6= ANDREAS PANAYIOTOU
East End-born property entrepreneur Andreas Panayiotou learnt all about timing in the boxing ring. Later, eschewing the ring on his mother’s advice, he worked in his Greek Cypriot-born father’s dry cleaning business before branching out on his own with Ability in 1996. Working in what were then unfashionable parts of Hackney, Shoredich and the like, Ability rented out to young City professionals. Showing immaculate timing before the 2007 crash, Ability sold the majority of its residential stock, with a value of over £1bn. Epping-based Panayiotou then moved into hotels and now owns 14. Cautiously for now we put Panayiotou at what he will no doubt consider an excessively conservative £400m for two reasons. Firstly, a Grade II-listed house in the exclusive Bishop’s Avenue was bought by Panayiotou in 2006 for around £14m, with another £40m spent on refurbishment. But it was recently sold for £25m so he may have taken a hit there. Secondly, his largest British company registered at Companies House, Ability Developments has seen its net assets fall by £75m from nearly £190m in 2005 to £114.5m in 2013. It is owned by a Cypriot parent. True there are another £45.5m net assets in other hotel and yacht chartering operations also owned by the Cypriot parent.