The Missouri-born private equity baron Ellis Short helped John Grayken transform Lone Star into a 67bn investment giant before setting up on his own. He set up Kitano Partners and in 2013 created Kildare Partners to go on a purchasing spree as Europe's economy began to recover. Kildare raised 2bn from investors and spent it rapidly, loading up on distressed commercial, leisure and industrial property assets across Ireland and Europe, including 100m worth of loans associated with developer Michael O'Flynn's business. Like Grayken, he shuns the limelight.
He bought Sunderland Football Club from a group of Irish investors in 2008, though the purchase has become somewhat of a headache for Short. The club has denied that its owner is actively trying to sell it for up to £170m despite a brochure being created last year to advertise the benefits of buying the relegation-threatened outfit. The club is thought to have accumulated debt worth 164m.
Short also owns Skibo Castle, Scotland, the former home of billionaire industrialist Andrew Carnegie, which he now runs as a private members' club. He owns a 40m beach-side pad in Hawaii. Short, who is married to former tennis player Eve Zimmerman, holds an Irish passport.