12 (9=) Sir Peter Rigby £520m (£520m)

Sir Peter Rigby, aged 64, has a £480 million stake in Birmingham-based Specialist Computer Holdings - Europe’s largest independent technology group. This is the company Sir Peter founded back in 1975 with just £2,000 in cash.

A qualified fixed wing and helicopter pilot, Sir Peter also runs Patriot Aviation, based in Gloucester and Cranfield, which operates flying schools, charter operations and helicopter maintenance, indulging his passion for all mechanical things that fly.

He is also one of the West Midlands Ambassadors, a group of the region’s most powerful and high profile businessmen brought together by Advantage West Midlands to boost the image of the region and help regeneration.

His Specialist Computer Holdings is a leading founder sponsor of Millennium Point.

SCH, with its headquarters on the Warwick Road in Birmingham, provides European blue chip companies and government organisations, including HM Revenue and Customs, with desktop services, computer networks and products. It is a successful organisation, with more than 6000 staff and over 90 offices in cities across Europe.

And it continues to grow. SCH has recently secured its foothold in Italy with the acquisition of MVS SrI, a former subsidiary of IBM Italia.

SCH’s UK operation is also its European headquarters. After more than 30 years of profitable growth it has a leading position in the UK market serving organisations across the public and private sectors.

In October 2006 Sir Peter’s son James, 37, took over as managing director of SCH’s UK operations, having through the ranks. His other son Steven is also a senior board director. SCH now turns over in excess of £2 billion a year.

Patriot Aviation - based at Cranfield airport in Bedfordshire - is the sole UK representative for Gulfstream. The company is also the sole UK and Northern Ireland agent for Bell Helicopters. Patriot also provides maintenance services and training.

Sir Peter also owns the award winning Warwickshire hotel Mallory Court, and a sister hotel - Buckland Tout-Saints in Kingsbridge, Devon.

The Michelin-starred Mallory Court’s Dining Room boasts three AA Rosettes and the hotel’s Brasserie has just won its first AA Rosette. The hotel also picked up the accolade of Best Small Hotel in the VisitBritain Excellence in Tourism awards.

Sir Peter devotes much of his time and money to charity. The Rigby Foundation Charitable Trust supports child related causes and children’s hospices.

It also donates to charities for the aged, either with cash support or by providing IT equipment, training and expertise.

As well as encouraging science and technology education in the region, SCH supported the first virtual museum focusing on the Cold War based at RAF Cosford.

Sir Peter was knighted in the Queens Jubilee Honours for his contribution to information technology and business. He also holds honorary doctorates from UCE and Aston University.