Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

#175 James Dyson $8.20B

Random fact: Used home as collateral for the loan that established Dyson.

Overview

Dyson is the founder and chief engineer of Dyson Ltd., a Wiltshire, England-based company that designs and manufactures a range of products including vacuum cleaners, fans and hand dryers. The closely held business had the best-selling cleaners in the U.K. and revenue of 2.5 billion pounds ($3.1 billion) in 2016.

As of July 21, 2017:
Last change -$152M (-1.8%)
YTD change +$3.55B (+76.1%)
Industry Consumer
Biggest asset Dyson
Citizenship United Kingdom
Age 70
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

James Dyson's net worth of $8.20B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Dyson's fortune is derived from closely held Dyson Ltd., the household appliance manufacturer that makes the U.K.'s best-selling vacuum cleaner, according to researcher Euromonitor. The valuation of the company is based on the average enterprise value-to-sales and enterprise value-to-Ebitda multiples of two publicly traded peer companies: De'Longhi and Techtronic Industries. The company reported on March 27, 2017 that its revenue rose 45 percent to 2.5 billion pounds ($3.1 billion) in 2016, boosting Bloomberg's calculation of the value of Dyson Ltd. by $2.5 billion on that day. The billionaire controls his stake through Holkham Group, a Malmesbury, England-based holding company.

The billionaire owns farmland, which is valued using its net asset value, as disclosed in the 2015 annual report of holding company Beeswax Farming.

Dyson also owns a 300-foot steam yacht, Nahlin, and an English country estate. Nahlin is valued at 25 million pounds, the cost of its customization. No market price exists for such an unusual asset, according to a broker in the industry familiar with the vessel who asked not to be identified because the information is private. His 300-acre Gloucestershire estate is valued at current market prices for similar assets in the region, according to a property broker who asked not to be identified because the information is private. A liability is included based on an analysis of property purchases, charitable donations, dividends, insider transactions, asset sales and taxes.

Dyson's press office didn't respond to e-mailed requests for comment on his net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 5/2/1947
Family: Married, 3 children
Education: 9/1997, Oxford Brookes University 1966-1970, Royal College of Art

James Dyson was born in Norfolk, England on May 2, 1947, the third child of Alec and Mary Dyson, who were both teachers. His father died of liver cancer when he was 9. He was sent to Gresham's, a Norfolk boarding school, the same year.

Dyson enrolled at London's Byam Shaw School of Art in 1965. He left after a year to attend the Royal College of Art, where he studied furniture and interior design, and met Jeremy Fry, an engineer who offered him a job designing an amphibious landing craft in 1970. Four years later, Dyson left to start his own company after inventing a wheelbarrow with a load-spreading red ball instead of a wheel.

Against Dyson's wishes, the invention was sold off a few years later by his business partners, who'd become majority shareholders. He started working on a bagless vacuum cleaner in 1979, which he developed using the principle of cyclonic separation. He first saw the process at an industrial sawmill, which used a vortex to remove particles from the air, and decided to apply it to a domestic appliance.

He spent five years refining the idea and, after 5,126 prototypes, licensed the technology to a Japanese company. The royalties he received enabled him to begin selling a bagless machine, the DC01, under his own name in the U.K. in 1993. It became the country's most popular model within two years. He repeated the feat nine years later when debuted the DC07 in the U.S.

Dyson released a hand dryer in 2006, a bladeless fan in 2010, and various iterations of his vacuum cleaner. He regularly appears in the U.K. press and criticized the U.K.'s dearth of engineering graduates and innovation in 2013, which he said was limiting his company's growth.

Dyson married artist Deirdre Hindmarsh in 1968. They have three children -- Emily, a fashion designer, Jacob, a lighting designer, and Sam, a musician.

Milestones
  • 1974 Invents the Ballbarrow, a wheelbarrow with a ball-wheel.
  • 1983 Completes the design of his first bagless vacuum cleaner.
  • 1986 Licenses his bagless vacuum technology in Japan.
  • 1993 Sells DC01, the first Dyson vacuum cleaner, in the U.K. market.
  • 2000 Wins lawsuit against Hoover over copying his vacuum mechanism.
  • 2006 A Dyson hand dryer is introduced.
  • 2007 Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
  • 2013 Sues Samsung for infringing on Dyson's vacuum cleaner patents.
  • 2014 Funds engineering research center at Cambridge University.