Essex Life - - RICHEST 50 -

In­dus­try 2018: £70m 2017: £80m (41st=)

Frank Van Wezel founded his Hi-Tec sports footwear business in the ap­pro­pri­ately named Shoe­bury­ness. That was back in 1974 and the firm soon be­came well known for its squash and ten­nis shoes, later branch­ing out into train­ers as Bri­tain’s run­ning boom took off in the 1980s. Hi-Tec shoes have sold well in the US and to­day their wares are bought in 85 coun­tries around the world. The UK com­pany was sold in late 2016 to the US brand Chero­kee for $96m. Van Wezel is a di­rec­tor of League One foot­ball club Southend United, which is now look­ing to build a new £80m sta­dium ca­pa­ble of tak­ing 22,000-strong crowds. In all the Dutch­man should eas­ily be worth £70m after tax and with other as­sets.

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