Brainfood: How he made his pile - Sir Alan Sugar, chairman and CEO, Amstrad

Who is he? The pugnacious Sugar founded electronics/computers firm Amstrad (Alan Michael Sugar Trading Company) in 1968. He ingloriously chaired Tottenham Hotspurs in the 1990s, famously firing CEO Terry Venables. His estimated fortune is £703 million.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

How did he make his millions? Son of a Hackney tailor, Sugar joined the civil service but left to sell car aerials and cigarette lighters before founding Amstrad. Its invention of the PCW8256 word processor in 1985 transformed UK home computing. At its peak, Amstrad was worth £1.2 billion.

It's now valued at just £149 million, but Sugar has made shrewd investments, notably in London property. He also made about £14 million from his stake in Spurs.

The secret of his success? A natural dealmaker, Sugar is known for his eye for an opportunity, once famously supplying Rupert Murdoch with his first satellite dishes at ludicrously short notice.

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