Town owner's fortune doubles in a year

IPSWICH Town owner Marcus Evans' fortune has soared to an estimated �400million, it can be revealed today.

Jonathan Barnes

IPSWICH Town owner Marcus Evans' fortune has soared to an estimated �400million, it can be revealed today.

The reclusive businessman's wealth has doubled in a year despite the recession, ranking him 128th in this year's Sunday Times Rich List, which is published in full tomorrow.

Mr Evans' conferencing and corporate hospitality businesses are now believed to be worth �200m while the value of his properties is also estimated at �200m.

While many in the Rich List have suffered big losses as a result of the global recession, the Blues chief - who has installed high-profile duo Roy Keane as manager and Simon Clegg as chief executive in an extraordinary week at Portman Road - has seen his personal stock rise dramatically.

He has jumped 269 places in the list from last year's ranking of 397 and appears to have thrived despite the recession, according to the wealth expert who compiles the figures.

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Philip Beresford, who said he had received fresh information on Mr Evans' wealth since last year's list, said: “He is doing very well indeed - he's a Tractor Boy who can certainly afford to buy a big new tractor.

“Marcus Evans is one of the fastest risers in a list where hardly anyone has seen rises in their wealth.

“He employs 3,500 staff in 36 countries and is doing huge trade. He has certainly survived the recession.

“Because he has a worldwide business he has been able to re-focus on countries, areas and sectors that are growing.

“His company runs conferences and if there is a sector which is growing, organisations in that sector hold conferences - and that's where Marcus Evans comes in. He is very, very good at what he does.”

Former Ipswich Town shareholder Michael Spencer, who runs City-based interdealer broker Icap, has not fared quite so well in the recession.

According to the Rich List, his fortune has dropped from �1,150m last year to �250mm this year, which has seen him plummet from 62nd last year in the list to 222nd this year.

Mr Spencer, 53, has a home in Suffolk and owned a 15% stake in Ipswich Town before Mr Evans bought the club.

Mr Evans and Mr Spencer both declined to comment on the Rich List figures.