Business features

Meet the Ronson property star (and it's not Gerald)

By Candice Krieger, November 11, 2010

When Gerald Ronson, the property heavyweight and boss of Heron International, welcomed his daughter Lisa into the business, he said they would "give it a go for a year". Twelve years on and she is still there. And Ms Ronson, a former Asian equities saleswoman, seems to have no intention of leaving. There is after all, a lot of work to be done.


The gas chief with a whole lot of energy

By Simon Griver, November 4, 2010

The news that Israel's Delek Group, controlled by Israeli billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva, is reportedly considering raising around £200 million on the London Stock Exchange in January will focus attention on one of Israel's largest corporations. Delek's holdings include a global property portfolio, hundreds of petrol stations in the US, Europe and Israel, and the Phoenix Israel Assurance company, but it will be Delek's achievements in discovering vast gas reserves off Israel's shores that whets the investor's appetite.


Here's an idea: Get cash for it

By Candice Krieger, October 28, 2010

Serial Entrepreneur Serge Bueno is passionate about start ups. He has after all helped set up around 80. So passionate is Mr Bueno, 51, that he has delayed retirement to launch a million-pound online Dragons' Den-style initiative as a way for like-minded entrepreneurs to find each other - and investment.


How a stew made me pots of money

By Candice Krieger, October 22, 2010

With an ever-maturing convenience food market, companies need to create new ways to stand out to price-savvy customers.

Doing his best to stay ahead of the game is Alan Rosenthal, a newcomer to the industry. The self-confessed foodie is the founder of stewed! - a range of potted stews and slow-cooked dishes inspired by flavours from around the world.

Launched in 2008, initially to target the lunchtime market, the stews are now selling in Ocado, Sainsbury's, Budgens, Harvey Nichols and Waitrose.


Hands up who wants to trade?

By Candice Krieger, October 14, 2010

Anyone can be successful on the stock market says active investor Adam Karni Cohen.

The 30 year-old is the co-founder of Tradenet UK, a training programme designed to help inexperienced investors learn the "tricks of the trade" and make the most of investment opportunities.

He says: "You don't need to be a professional to trade. Don't be daunted by the technical language out there. What it boils down to is that one person is selling and one is buying. If you know what you're doing you can make money from that."


Food firm with a big appetite

By Simon Griver, October 7, 2010

Ofra Strauss is a woman of influence. In 2009, she was ranked 12th in the Financial Times list of top businesswomen around the world.

Strauss Group's new corporate headquarters is in an industrial zone in Petach Tikvah, where orange groves have been recently razed to make way for office developments in a neat marker of Israel's changing economic horizons.

Ms Strauss laughs modestly when asked how she felt about the FT listing. She says: "I think it probably shows that too few women head major companies around the world.


Crisis? They want to dress up for it

By Candice Krieger, September 28, 2010

The world may still be recovering from a financial crisis but that has not stopped businessmen across the globe from splashing out on bespoke suits. In fact, according to Leeds-based veteran tailor Toby Luper, work attire becomes increasingly important in a recession.

He says: "Over the years I have always noted that suits have become more important to people when times are difficult. It gives them confidence, certain gravitas and credibility.


+20% = The annual return this super investor gets for his clients

By Candice Krieger, September 21, 2010

He knows a lot about funds. In fact, he knows a lot about money. Alan Miller has one of the longest track records in money-managment in the UK, having spent over 19 years overseeing a variety of assets and investment vehicles. He was a director at Jupiter Asset Management and, more recently, Chief Investment Officer and founding shareholder of New Star Asset Management, until his departure in early 2007. It is unsurprising, then, that Mr Miller is back investing money for private clients - and achieving better returns than his peers.


We'll be flying high again soon

By Candice Krieger, September 16, 2010

With soaring competition, the recession and ongoing unrest in the Middle East, El Al has had a tough few years: the national carrier lost around 10 per cent of its market share of UK passengers flying to Israel over 2008 and 2009.

But the airline is battling back. Uri Danoor, chief executive of its operations in the UK, northern Europe and South Africa, says that the airline has come up with new ways of clawing back business.


Buckle in for a rollercoaster

By Candice Krieger, September 7, 2010

Buying property is no different to buying jeans, says Nick Leslau, one of Britain's most accomplished property entrepreneurs: "You want the best product at the cheapest possible price."

If Mr Leslau's property portfolio is anything to go by, you can rest assured that he has a pretty enviable wardrobe to boot. With a track record that few others in the property sector can boast, Mr Leslau is the chief executive and chairman of Prestbury Investments, which has a portfolio valued at around £3bn.