Martin Naughton (77) built up the world's biggest manufacturer of home and commercial heating appliances from a base at Dunleer, a Louth village with little over 5,000 residents. Glen Dimplex makes most of the heaters and toasters in the world, through brands such as Morphy Richards, Stoves and Belling. Glen Dimplex is an unlimited company and does not have to reveal its finances. Last April, he said he would leave the board of the company he founded more than 40 years ago, and hand the reins to his long-time CEO, Sean O'Driscoll.
Glen Electric, a UK subsidiary which is thought to account for close to half the business, saw sales fall 5pc last year to 850m. Operating profits were also down at 41m before a donation of almost 21m to the Naughton Foundation, which focuses on art and education.
He has significant interests outside of Glen Dimplex including a stake in the five-star Merrion Hotel and the exclusive restaurant Patrick Guilbaud's. He also cashed in some of his more mature property assets, offloading two office blocks in the IFSC for a combined 90m in recent years.
Naughton, who lives on a 200-acre estate at Stackallen House, Co Meath has also invested in a number of domestic Irish firms, ranging from wind energy to water-coolers and telecoms.