20= SUSAN TOBBELL
Fuel Retailing 2018: £200m 2017: £200m (17th=)
As one of the Liberal Democrats’ biggest donors and a member of the party’s business advisory group, Susan Tobell will be hoping that the party can make a breakthrough under the leadership of Sir Vince Cable. So far not much has happened. But Tobbell has deep pockets. Starting with her business partner Graham Peacock and just £1,000 back in 1997, the pair built up their Epping-based petrol retailer MRH into a business with £2bn annual sales and more than 450 sites. Tobbell served as finance director and owned a 22% stake in the business. A US private equity operation bought the business for around £1bn in 2016. Taking account of previous earnings, the sale price of her stake and a £1.5m stake in a quoted bus operator, Tobbell should easily be worth £200m after tax. Her LinkedIn profile page declares ‘every day’s a Saturday’ as she is now retired.