Brian and Alan Stannah with their stairlift ranges earlier in their careers
Brian and Alan Stannah with their stairlifts earlier in their careers

Mobility magnates have reappeared in the Sunday Times Rich List 2020, with Acorn’s boss John Jakes continuing to leap up the table whilst the Stannah Stairlifts siblings dip further down.

Published annually for over three decades, the Sunday Times Rich List uses publicly-available information to rank the UK’s top 1,000 wealthiest individuals and families on the net wealth – excluding bank accounts.

John Jakes ascends into the top half

2020: Ranked 470th – Estimated net value: £279m
2019: Ranked 569th – Estimated net value: £210m

Starting his business as a one-man-band in Bradford in 1992, Jakes has seen the Steeton-headquartered Acorn Stairlifts rise into one of the global leaders for stairlifts.

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The 64-year-old chairman who now resides in Monaco has also seen his wealth increase in line with the success of Acorn, reaping the rewards of its profitable operations as the company’s sole shareholder.

In the company’s latest annual report, it was confirmed that Jakes had paid himself a £23.8m dividend for the year after the company achieved £241.1m in revenue. The substantial amount follows the £20.8m dividend he received the previous year.

Paying himself around £100m of these payments across the space of almost a decade, the Sunday Times Rich List reports that due to the company’s financial success in the year ended 30 September 2018, it upgraded the value of Acorn to £200m.

As a result, Jakes has shot up into the upper half of the table, above well-known names such as Iceland’s Sir Malcolm Walker (the supermarket, not the country) in 491 and former Beetle Sir Ringo Starr in 497.

Brian and Alan Stannah and family slip down the league

2020: Ranked 783rd – Estimated net value: £156m
2019: Ranked 760th – Estimated net value: £155m

At the other end of the Sunday Times Rich List are the Stannah Stairlift’s joint chairmen and brothers Brian and Alan, along with their family.

Founded in 1867, Stannah Lifts has grown into one of the UK’s best-known independent suppliers of stairlifts, working with private customers, trade partners and local authorities, as well as exporting across the world.

Now headed up by the family’s fifth-generation, it was in 1975 that the siblings combined Brian’s engineering expertise with Alan’s commercial nous to pioneer its first stairlift, the Maxilift.

Recently, the lift supplier saw a fall in profitability in the year ended 31 December 2018 as profits fell by half a million despite a rise in turnover.

Despite this, the Sunday Times Rich List pointed out that it remains a £130m business which, when combined with the brothers’ past salaries and dividends, accounts for its £156m net wealth estimation.

The richest of the rich

2020: Ranked 1st – Estimated net value: £16.2bn
2019: Ranked 5th – Estimated net value: £12.9bn

Topping the table in 2020 was Sir James Dyson and his family, the famous British inventor who revolutionised many household appliances including the vacuum cleaner and hairdryer with his innovative technology.

Strong sales in China helped propel the engineering to the richest man in the UK and, according to the Sunday Times Rich List, Dyson and his family now own more land in the UK than the Queen, “totalling more than 36,500 acres across Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset.”

https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Brian-Alan-seated-stannah.jpg?fit=900%2C617&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Brian-Alan-seated-stannah.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Calvin BarnettNewsroomSupplier NewsTrade NewsAcorn Stairlifts,Alan Stannah,Brian Stannah,James Dyson,John Jakes,Maxilift,Monaco,rich list,Stairlifts,Stannah Stairlifts,The Times Rich ListMobility magnates have reappeared in the Sunday Times Rich List 2020, with Acorn’s boss John Jakes continuing to leap up the table whilst the Stannah Stairlifts siblings dip further down.Published annually for over three decades, the Sunday Times Rich List uses publicly-available information to rank the UK’s top 1,000 wealthiest...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals