2017: No.5 - £1.1bn
2016: No.3 - £1.1bn
Jacques Gaston Murray’s fortune comes from his air conditioning and heating firm and his fire protection business.
He is easily the oldest person on our list, aged 97, but is still active.
Despite his age, Jacques Gaston Murray shows little sign of slowing down.
His two main businesses are Wolverhampton-based AIM-listed Andrew Sykes Group and Leeds-based London Security plc, one of Europe’s leading fire protection businesses, of which he owns 98 per cent.
London Security provides fire protection for around 220,000 customers in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria and Luxembourg.
It includes Nu-Swift International Ltd which was founded in 1933 and manufactures, sells and services fire extinguishers.
The Andrew Sykes Group supplies industrial heating and air conditioning.
The group began life as Sykes in 1857 and has well over 30,000 customers, employing more than 500 people in the UK from 25 sites from Scotland to Devon.
That firm continues to invest and in 2014 opened a new depot in Paris, the city of Jacques Murray’s birth.
He puts the company’s success down to its policy of reducing its reliance on its traditional core products and services, together with an increase in non-seasonal business and investment in new technically advanced and environmentally friendly products.
Revenues were up to £60 million at the Andrew Sykes Group in 2015 with pre-tax profits climbing from £11.8 million to £13.4 million.
The upward trend continues for the first half of 2016.
The company has expanded its overseas operations across Europe and the Middle East, providing platforms for future expansion.
The family – including his two sons Jean-Jacques and Jean-Pierre, also has six hotels worth more than £350 million including the 431 bedroom Grand Beach Hotel in Miami Beach.
He has been a British national since just after the Second World War.
He studied architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and was called up in 1940.
When France surrendered to Germany he made his way to England where he joined the Royal Air Force, flying 38 missions as a navigator.
He was awarded the French Legion of Honour.
After the war – during which his father died in Auschwitz - he returned to France, but came back to England to embark on a distinguished business career.
His involvement with fire extinguishers began in 1961 when he invested in a business which became General-Incendie SA, one of France’s largest fire extinguisher companies.
As well as these businesses, the Murray family has a property portfolio and other assets.