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The list features individuals from big business, the public sector, universities, cultural and leisure ambassadors for the region, key professional advisers and lenders – and, of course, the new mayor of Bristol.
The Power 50 is Insider’s list of people in the South West with power in its various guises – sometimes they have money; sometimes the ear of Downing Street; and sometimes the ability to win over the public.
Although subjective, there are few businessmen who are instantly recognisable to the public as Sir James and whose every pronouncements are seized upon by the business press. He was therefore considered a clear choice for the top spot.
In September, Insiderreported that Sir James’ Malmesbury-based company had posted a turnover of £1.1bn for the year to 31 December 2011, up from £887m in the previous year. Earnings increased by 30 per cent to £306.3m.
Sir James said record numbers of US and Japanese customers were buying Dyson products, adding that Dyson was now the biggest selling upright vacuum cleaner brand in the US by value, with a 26.6 per cent value share of the market.
Other names to feature in the top ten of the Power 50 include Stephen Lansdown, the co-founder of Hargreaves Lansdown; Nationwide’s chief executive Graham Beale and Sir David McMurtry, the chairman and chief executive of Renishaw.
South West Business Insider editor Neil Tague said: “We have not done this just so that people can have a sneaky look for themselves in the list before saying they’re not bothered by it (if they’re not in it) or casually leaving it lying around open (if they are) – although it would be nice to think that does happen.
“We’ve done it to offer a snapshot of South West business right here and now; of the names that matter.”
The full Insider’s Power 50 list is published in the December issue of South West Business Insider, which is out now.