2 Mark Dixon

Essex Life - - Richest 50 -

Ser­viced Of­fices £1,020m

Mark Dixon’s Re­gus is the world’s largest provider of flex­i­ble workspaces and ser­viced of­fices. Es­sex-born and Rains­ford ed­u­cated, Dixon is the son of a Ford car me­chanic and be­gan his en­tre­pre­neur­ial ca­reer sell­ing peat from a wheel­bar­row. He went to Rains­ford Com­pre­hen­sive School, leav­ing at 16. He set up a sand­wich busi­ness Dial-AS­nack in 1976, which failed to make his for­tune, so he trav­elled the world, work­ing his pas­sage around Europe, Asia and Aus­tralia, from iron min­ing to bar work. Dixon re­turned to his na­tive Es­sex and in­vested £600 in a burger van on Lon­don’s North Cir­cu­lar Road. With the pro­ceeds, along with his sav­ings, he bought other vans but strug­gled to get enough bread rolls for the busi­ness – so he set up his own bread com­pany sup­ply­ing fast-food ven­dors, which he sold in 1988 for £800,000. Hav­ing re­lo­cated to Brus­sels, he no­ticed how busi­ness peo­ple held meet­ings in cafes. So in 1989 he was in­spired to set up Re­gus, pro­vid­ing of­fices with so­cial and meet­ing spa­ces. The con­cept worked and he floated the com­pany in 2000. It is now val­ued at a record £2.74bn. Founder Dixon has an £894m stake in the Lux­em­bourg-based op­er­a­tion. Nearly £100m of share sales and other as­sets, in­clud­ing the Chateau de Berne vine­yard in Provence and a five-star 25-room ho­tel, should take him to £1020m.

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