Thomas Mackie, an ex-GEC employee, founded City Electrical Factors in Coventry 1951. He began by selling electric cables and light fittings to local contractors. Now City Electrical Factors employs around 8,000 people worldwide, has more than 400 UK branches and another 400 overseas outlets and has net assets of more than £100 million.

In the 1960s CEF moved into Kenilworth to set up head office on the site of a former cinema. From there the empire was cultivated and grown by Thomas Mackie, his son Gerald and grandsons Ashley and Adam to the size it is today.

CEF is one of the UK’s fastest growing electrical wholesalers with divisions in Telford, Redditch, Doncaster and Wrexham and overseas manufacturing facilities in France, Turkey, Tunisia and the USA producing a wide range of in-house electrical products.

The group has more warehousing space than 30 football stadiums and around 5000 delivery vehicles.

The company is represented in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Holland and Spain.

The family now lives in Switzerland where the tax regime is friendlier, and their wealth puts them high up in Bilan – Switzerland’s rich list.