Jim Ratcliffe

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Jim Ratcliffe
Jim Ratcliffe PET 2013 03 25 DSC 0554.JPG
Jim Ratcliffe (2013)
Born James Arthur Ratcliffe
(1952-10-18) 18 October 1952 (age 64)
Failsworth, England
Residence Rolle, Switzerland
Nationality British
Education Beverley Grammar School
Alma mater University of Birmingham and London Business School
Occupation Chairman and CEO, Ineos
Net worth £9.2 billion[1]
Children Two sons (with first wife), one daughter (with second wife)

James Arthur "Jim" Ratcliffe (born 18 October 1952) is a British chemical engineer turned financier and industrialist.[2] Ratcliffe is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Ineos chemicals group, which he founded in 1998 and still owns two-thirds of, and which has been estimated to have a turnover of $44bn. He does not have a high public profile, and has been described by the Sunday Times as "publicity shy".[3][4] According to the 2010 Sunday Times Rich List, he is one of the richest people in the UK.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Failsworth, Lancashire, the son of a joiner father and an accounts office worker mother, Ratcliffe lived there in a council house until the age of ten. His father eventually ran a factory making laboratory furniture.[6] Aged ten, he moved with his family to Yorkshire, and Ratcliffe attended Beverley Grammar School and lived in Hull up to the age of 18.[6]

Ratcliffe graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in chemical engineering in 1974.[6]


His first job was with oil giant Esso, but he decided to broaden his skills into finance by studying management accounting and taking an MBA at London Business School. He subsequently, in 1989, joined US private equity group Advent International.[7]


Ratcliffe was a co-founder of INSPEC, which leased the former BP Chemicals site in Antwerp, Belgium. In 1998 Ratcliffe formed Ineos in Hampshire to buy-out INSPEC and the freehold of the Antwerp site.

From this small base, using high-yield debt to finance deals, Ratcliffe started buying unwanted operations from groups such as ICI and BP, selecting targets based on their potential to double their earnings over a 5-year period. In 2006 Ineos bought BP's refining and petrochemical arm Innovene, giving Ineos refineries and plants in Scotland, Italy, Germany, France, Belgium and Canada.[3][4]

In April 2010, Ratcliffe moved Ineos's head office from Hampshire to Rolle, Switzerland, decreasing the amount of tax the company paid by £100m a year.[8]

In 2015, Ratcliffe opened the UK headquarters of the chemicals and energy group in Knightsbridge, London along with gas and oil trading, and other functions, saying he was "very cheerful about coming back to the UK”. He was pleased with UK policy, London as a business base, and untroubled by the prospect of the UK leaving the EU. "For the time being" it remains an Anglo-Swiss company.[9] It retains a head office in Rolle Switzerland for businesses in INEOS Group AG. The Anglo/Swiss business continues to grow. Full year 2015 EBITDA was €577 million compared to €253 million for 2014.[10]


In May 2009, Ratcliffe was granted an honorary fellowship by the Institution of Chemical Engineers citing “his sustained leadership in building the Ineos Group.”[11] In 2013 he received the Petrochemical Heritage Award.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Ratcliffe has two sons with his first wife, and one daughter with his second wife.[6]

Ratcliffe enjoys skiing and sailing,[13] and is also reported to have completed the 2007 London Marathon.[14]

Ratcliffe has owned two super yachts, Hampshire and Hampshire II. His first yacht was built as Barbara Jean by Feadship. In 2012 he took delivery of the 78 metres (256 ft) Feadship Hampshire II, built by Royal van Lent, which he still owns.[15]

He enjoys physical adventure, and has made expeditions to the North and South Poles as well as a three-month-long motorbike trek in South Africa, and has founded a charity "Go Run for Fun", encouraging thousands of children aged between 5 and 10 years, to get active by creating celebrity-driven events.[9]


  1. ^ "James Ratcliffe". 17 March 2017. 
  2. ^ List of companies related to Jim Ratcliffe - http://www.flixens.com/director/james-arthur-ratcliffe
  3. ^ a b Dominic O’Connell (29 April 2007). "Ratcliffe in richest top 10". London: Times Online. Retrieved 22 June 2008. 
  4. ^ a b Grainne Gilmore (21 April 2008). "Business big shot: Jim Ratcliffe". London: The Times. Retrieved 22 June 2008. 
  5. ^ The Sunday Times Rich List 2010: Rising from the rubble, BBC News 25 April 2010
  6. ^ a b c d Pfeifer, Sylvia (7 February 2014). "Jim Ratcliffe". FT. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "The quiet entrepreneur who is as wealthy as Richard Branson, but nowhere near as famous". Liverpool Daily Post. 17 March 2010. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  8. ^ The Sunday Times - Tycoon Jim Ratcliffe flees UK - (April 2010)
  9. ^ a b "Ineos owner Jim Ratcliffe: "I’m very cheerful about coming back to the UK"". Retrieved 2015-07-19. 
  10. ^ http://www.ineos.com/news/ineos-group/q4-2015-trading-statement
  11. ^ "Press release: Ion and Ratcliffe awarded Honorary Fellowships". IChemE. 13 May 2009. Archived from the original on 2 June 2009. 
  12. ^ https://www.chemheritage.org/petrochemical-heritage-award
  13. ^ Ratcliffe, the alchemist", The Telegraph, 11 August 2007.
  14. ^ The alchemist" University of Birmingham, Innes Lecture of Chemical Engineering 2007 Nov.
  15. ^ "Motor Yacht Hampshire II". Super Yacht Fan. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 

External links[edit]