Bob Edmiston, the head of car distribution and finance company IM Group, has been named the most wealthy property magnate in the Midlands.

With a net worth of #410 million, Mr Edmiston came 45th in the rich list published by Estates Gazette magazine.

With bumper profits pouring into his Birmingham-based car distribution and property operations, he was able to give away over #27 million to the charity Christian Vision in 2003.

The charity, set up by Mr Edmiston in 1988, is at the heart of Edmiston's operations. Ten per cent of IM Group's and IM Properties' profits go directly to the charity, which then borrows against this cash to buy property itself and now holds a #140 million portfolio.

An accountant by trade, Mr Edmiston is one of Britain's biggest importers of Far Eastern cars.

His West Bromwichbased IM Group made #7.8 million profit on #309 million sales in 2004 and saw its net assets fall from #198 million to just under #144 million after he de-merged his finance business, The Funding Corporation Group from IM and into his own control as a separate operation.

Estates Gazette Rich List added the #60 million funding for that transfer to Mr Edmiston's wealth.

In all, the companies are valued at #385 million net assets.

He was followed in the Midlands rich list by Tony Gallagher, whose residential and retail development company A C Gallagher has planning consents or allocations for 32,000 residential plots.

Mr Gallagher, aged 54, is estimated to be worth #350 million, which placed him at joint 49th in the 400-strong list.

He share his position with Don and Roy Richardson, the 76-year old twins who are best known for developing the Merry Hill Shopping Centre in Brierley Hill.

The overall list was headed by the Duke of Westminster, whose holdings are estimated to give him assets totalling #6.6 billion.