Essex Life - - RICHEST 50 -

Prop­erty 2018: £300m 2017: £270m (12th)

Stephen Con­way’s Loughton-based de­vel­oper, Gal­liard Homes, is work­ing on three de­vel­op­ments in Birm­ing­ham, to­gether worth £500m. Gal­liard, which is one of Lon­don’s largest de­vel­op­ers, was co-founded in 1991 by Con­way. An East En­der by birth, Con­way left school in 1964 aged 16 and de­vel­oped his early en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit through trad­ing, work­ing in a bank and run­ning a mar­ket stall at week­ends. “When I was a kid, I worked in the mar­ket run­ning my own stall. After I left school with five O Lev­els, my mum wanted me to get a ‘proper job’ pay­ing £6 a week in a bank. But the at­trac­tion of get­ting £40 a week from the mar­ket on a week­end was too great to re­sist,” Con­way re­calls. In 1969, he be­gan his ca­reer in in­dus­trial fi­nance, work­ing for the First Na­tional Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion be­fore be­ing poached to run a small prop­erty-lend­ing bank un­til 1974. Then fol­lowed the worst prop­erty and bank­ing crash of the cen­tury. Con­way saw it first hand and learnt the lessons be­fore go­ing to work for a prop­erty com­pany un­til he co-founded Gal­liard Group. It made £74m profit on £391.9m sales in 2016-17. Gal­liard’s net as­sets have also soared to al­most £202.5m – an in­crease of nearly £60m in 12 months. Con­way and his sons own well over half the com­pany, so we raise the fam­ily by £30m this year tak­ing them to £300m.

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