71: PENTLAND

Iconic sports marques such as Speedo, Lacoste and Berghaus all fall under the ownership and management of this brand and clothing company. Originally established in 1932 as The Liverpool Shoe company, Pentland has expanded and diversified, mainly under the influence of Steven Rubin who took over from his father and has been chairman for nearly 40 years. The Rubin family keeps close control: “Of the seven board directors, I am the only non-family member,” says Tim Hockings, who has been with the company for 16 years. Much of the recent growth can be attributed to the acquisition of JD Sports in 2005, (Pentland took a 57 per cent stake), boosting the company’s exposure to the retail sector – its second area of operation. “The third division is an investment arm, which diversifies a lot of the family’s financial risk away from its two core areas,” says Hockings. Pentland tried a flotation but, disillusioned with poor valuations and the public arena, it returned to private ownership in 1999. www.pentland.com

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