Brain Food: How he made his pile - Roger De Haan, former chairman, Saga

Who is he? De Haan capitalised on his father Sidney's one-hotel business to create a travel-to-insurance empire for the over-50s. It was sold last year in an MBO for £1.35 billion, enabling De Haan to retire a very rich man.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

How did he make his millions? At 17, De Haan started working for his father at the Old People's Travel Bureau (as Saga was then called), progressing from bag carrier to chairman. His genius lay in diversifying the business into insurance, and also magazine and financial products that could be cross-sold. He sold it off in October, giving each employee £1,000 per year worked, and retired to pursue his other interest: the regeneration of Folkestone.

What's the secret of his success? Realising Saga's first-mover advantage, De Haan used the brand to tap into a growing market of cash-rich and clued-up Third Agers.

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