Jorgen Philip-Sorensen died in Switzerland on January 18 after a long illness. He was 71. He remains in this year’s Rich List as a dedication to his untimely death, and his commitment to improving the environment.
In recent years he continued to invest in his ecological detergent and cleaning products brand Ecover. The group was recognised by the United Nations Environmental Programme for its outstanding practical contributions to the preservation and improvement of the environment.
Founded by Jorgen Philip-Sorensen, Ecover is active in more than 30 countries worldwide. It launched a partnership with WaterAid to enable communities in Ethiopia to get access to clean water.
Jorgen Philip-Sorensen was a former chairman of G4s – previously known as Group 4 Securicor. He remained a major shareholder with a stake worth around £335 million.
G4S has been on the acquisition trail, hoovering up firms in the fragmented security industry. It spent £55 million on investments in the first half of 2009 alone. These included juvenile justice contracts in the US, security systems in Ghana, a cash solutions business in China and UK-based SecuraMonde, a worldwide cash consultancy.
For the first six months of 2009 G4S reported pre-tax and interest profits of £229.8 million, up from £202.6 million the previous year. Group revenue increased 11 per cent to £3.48 billion. Decreases in the commercial security market have been more than compensated for by increases in risk management activities and Government contracts.
Jorgen Philip-Sorensen retired as chairman of the massive Anglo-Danish security company in 2006 but remained a major shareholder and was President Emeritus.
He also owned a wide range of other businesses, including the Dormy House Hotel in the Cotswolds, a shipyard, an internet fish distribution business in Denmark, the massive Farncombe Estate Adult Learning Centre, also in the Cotswolds and Mike Golding Yacht Racing Ltd, a business which allowed him to indulge his passion for competitive sailing.
He represented the third generation of Philip-Sorensens to run Group 4 and it flourished under his stewardship. It was in 1915 that the first of the Philip-Sorensens became involved in security in Scandinavia. In the 1960s Jorgen Philip-Sorensen was despatched from Scandinavia to the UK to build the family’s security empire. He established the then Worcestershire-based Group 4 which became the world’s largest security company.
In 2004 Group 4 Falk merged with Securicor, and through acquisitions and growth the company now employs 500,000 people in 100 countries worldwide.
The Farncombe Estate Adult Learning Centre allows people to combine weekend study breaks with breathtaking views across the Vale of Evesham to Malvern. The brainchild of Jorgen Philip-Sorensen, it means that a 56 bedroom conference centre during the week is able to continue earning money at weekends, full of people on a wide variety of courses.
Father-of-four Jorgen was a passionate follower of competitive sailing, first becoming involved with his Group 4 sponsored boat in the 1992 British Steel Challenge.