Sir James Arthur Ratcliffe (born October 18, 1952) is a British billionaire chemical engineer turned financial and industrial. Ratcliffe is the president and CEO of the Ineos chemical group, which he founded in 1998 and of which he still owns two-thirds, and which is estimated to have a turnover of $ 80 billion. He does not have a high public profile, and The Sunday Times has described him as “shy of advertising. On 13 May 2018 he was named the UK’s richest person, with a net worth of £ 21.05 billion.
He is 67 years old.
Early Life And Education
Born in Failsworth, Lancashire, the son of a father who was a carpenter and a mother who worked in an account office, Ratcliffe lived there in a council house until the age of ten. His father eventually ran a laboratory furniture factory. At age ten, he moved with his family to East Yorkshire, and Ratcliffe attended Beverley Grammar School and lived in Hull until the age of Ratcliffe graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in chemical engineering in 1974. He graduated from the London Business School in 1980 and donated £ 25 million to the school in 2016.
His first job was with the oil giant Esso, but he decided to expand his finance skills by studying management accounting and taking a master’s degree in finance at the London Business School in 1978. In 1989, he joined the American private equity group Advent International.
Ratcliffe was a co-founder of INSPEC, which leased the former BP Chemicals site in Antwerp, Belgium. In 1998 Ratcliffe formed Ineos in Hampshire to buy-out INSPEC and the freehold of the Antwerp site. From this small base, using high-yield debt to finance deals, Ratcliffe started buying unwanted operations from groups such as ICI and BP, selecting targets based on their potential to double their earnings over a five-year period. In 2006 Ineos bought BP’s refining and petrochemical arm Innovene, giving Ineos refineries and plants in Scotland, Italy, Germany, France, Belgium and Canada. In April 2010, Ratcliffe moved Ineos’s head office from Hampshire to Rolle, Switzerland, decreasing the amount of tax the company paid by £100m a year. In 2015, Ratcliffe opened the UK headquarters of the chemicals and energy group in Knightsbridge, London, along with gas and oil trading, and other functions, saying he was “very cheerful about coming back to the UK”. He was pleased with UK policy, London as a business base, and untroubled by the prospect of Brexit. Full year 2015 EBITDA was €577 million compared to €253 million for 2014. In the Sunday Times Rich List 2018 he was named as the richest man in the UK, with a net worth of £21.05 billion. In February 2019 it was announced that Ineos will be making £1bn worth of investments in the UK oil and chemical industries, which will include an overhaul of the Forties pipeline system that is responsible for transporting a significant percentage of the UK’s North Sea oil and gas. On 1 May 2019, Ratcliffe criticised the current government rules which say fracking in Britain must be suspended every time a 0.5 magnitude tremor is detected, which has led to a de facto ban on fracking. He said: “I think the government has been pathetic on the subject”.
Sports property and sponsorship
In 2018 Ratcliffe partnered with Ben Ainslie to form Ineos Team UK to compete for the 36th America’s Cup in 2021. Ratcliffe is reportedly investing more than £ 110 million in the project. On March 19, 2019, Ratcliffe purchased the Team Sky cycling franchise, later renamed Team Ineos. Their first competitive race under the new sponsorship of Ineos, was the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire. They subsequently won the 2019 Tour de France with the Colombian driver Egan Bernal. On November 13, 2017, Ratcliffe became the owner of FC Lausanne-Sport, a soccer club in the Swiss Super League.
In March 2019, INEOS said it would close its Middlesbrough manufacturing plant unless it is allowed to “defer compliance” with EU standards designed to prevent air and water pollution. An analysis of data from the Environment Agency (EA) also reveals that the plant recorded 176 permit violations between 2014 and 2017. An EA spokesperson said: “Air emissions are well above legal limits. and this represents a risk for the environment. ” INEOS director Tom Crotty said the company “cannot justify” the investment required to comply with EU air and water pollution standards that will come into force in the coming years. INEOS has had small projects in the production of bioethanol using Clostridium to try that route of sustainability, although it has had problems with Syngas, which has too high levels of HCN (hydrogen cyanide) for the bacteria to function properly.
In May 2009, the Institution of Chemical Engineers awarded Ratcliffe an honorary scholarship citing “his sustained leadership in building the Ineos Group.” In 2013, he received the Petrochemical Heritage Award. Ratcliffe was named Knight Bachelor in the 2018 birthday honors for business and investment services.
In 1985 Ratcliffe married Amanda Townson; They have two children, George and Samuel. They divorced in 1995. He has a daughter with his second wife, Alessia Maresca, an Italian tax attorney. Lives in Chelsea, London, and Hampshire, England. In May 2017, he presented his fifth plan, less ambitious than the first four, to build a “luxury home” in Thorns Beach, near Beaulieu, on the Hampshire coast, that would replace an existing two-bedroom bungalow . In August 2018, The Guardian reported that Ratcliffe would be moving to Monaco for income tax related reasons. Ratcliffe enjoys physical adventure and has made expeditions to the north and south poles, as well as a three-month motorbike trek in South Africa, and has founded a charity “Go Run for Fun”, which encourages thousands of children from five and ten, to be activated by creating celebrity-led events. Ratcliffe is reported to have completed the 2007 London Marathon. Ratcliffe is a euroskeptic and has stated that “as a company, INEOS supported the common market, but not the United States of Europe”. He opposes the “layers and layers” of European legislation that he believes is creating increasingly cumbersome and inefficient European economies. He has publicly expressed his disdain for politicians, criticizing them for the way they negotiated the Brexit withdrawal agreement and for being happy to “have lunch with the bankers”, but less interested in discussing economic matters with industrialists and businessmen. Ratcliffe has had two superyachts, Hampshire and Hampshire II. Her first yacht was built as Barbara Jean by Feadship. In 2012, he received the 78-meter (256-foot) Feadship Hampshire II, built by Royal van Lent, which he still owns.
Marriage & Children
In 1985 Ratcliffe married Amanda Townson; They have two children, George and Samuel. They divorced in 1995. He has a daughter with his second wife, Alessia Maresca, an Italian tax attorney.
Use Of The Government Scheme
Sir James Ratcliffe, majority owner of Home Grown Hotels and Lime Wood Group, is using the government scheme that provides for workers to pay up to £ 2,500 per month
$ 13 billion (2020).