How he made his Pile: Gerald Ronson - Property tycoon

Who is he? CEO of property giant Heron International, Ronson will be forever known as one of the 'Guinness Four', having spent half of 1990 in Ford Open Prison for his part in a share-rigging scandal. Ronson's washing-up skills back then earned him a few quid a week, but he's worth an estimated £280m today.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

How did he make his millions? Leaving school at 15 to join the family furniture business, Ronson began exploring other markets, introducing the self-service petrol station to the UK in the '60s. By the '80s, Heron, built on property and petrol, was one of the UK's largest private companies. Work started this year on Heron Tower, 37 floors of as-yet un-let office space in the City.

The secret of his success? Perseverance. When Heron collapsed in 1995, Ronson refinanced it with the help of some of the world's wealthiest people. He is said to treasure Calvin Coolidge's words: 'Persistence and domination alone are omnipotent'.

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