29= (24=) Andrew Cohen and family £150m (£140m)
Andrew Cohen has done a good job with Castle Vale-based Betterware. Not only is the 80-year-old company one of the UK’s most successful home shopping operations, it is now making it big in Poland and Spain.
The brand also sells to customers in Gibraltar, Malta, and Central America through its network of distributors and territory sales agents.
Andrew Cohen, aged 54, has had two shots at running Betterware. He bought the household products empire in 1983, floated it for £30m in 1986, sold it to its management for £42.7m in 1997 and came back as non-executive chairman in 2002.
His current stake is worth at least £50 million, and he has other property interests and racehorses to add to his family’s wealth.
Betterware began in the East End of London in the 1920s. Best known for its kitchenware and cleaning products the company now has over 5,000 distributors and operates from a purpose-built warehousing complex in Park Lane Castle Vale. Betterware handles around five million customer orders every year.
Betterware sales are returning healthy profits, which is good news for Andrew Cohen as it helps him afford his two passions of horse racing and collecting rare film posters. When he put his vintage poster for Fritz Lang’s movie Metropolis up for sale at the Reel Poster Gallery in London’s Notting Hill it fetched nearly £400,000.
Andrew Cohen and his wife Wendy also run the Betterware Foundation set up to support good causes. Employees of Betterware are often to be found jumping out of aeroplanes or climbing mountains to raise cash. The Foundation takes pride in quick action, getting help where it’s needed as fast as possible. Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital and breast cancer care are among the charities to benefit from the Foundation.