Readers may recall him as the man who bought Sunderland AFC from a group of Irish investors in 2008. But critics will say that Irish-American financier Ellis Short (58), who holds an Irish passport, ran the now third-tier football club into the ground. Even though he pumped over Â£200m into the club, shouldering losses of over Â£500,000 a week on average, and last year crystallised a loss of at least Â£140m (€160m), he agreed to take over the debts in order to leave it with a clean sheet for the new owner, a group led by Stewart Donald, a multi-millionaire businessman from Oxford.
Missouri-born businessman Short is a former partner of private equity mogul John Grayken at Lone Star - which they together turned into a €67bn behemoth.
He then set up on his own, most recently raising over €4bn from investors to make timely plays on distressed assets as Europe's economies began to recover in the wake of the crash. His two companies, Kildare Partners and Curzon Advisers, have €6.2bn worth of European property assets, most recently moving late into the trend for shared and co-working spaces with the €730m purchase of listed firm Technopolis, which operates 17 of these spaces in the Nordic and Baltic Sea region.
Among the loans he took over were loans here worth €100m that were associated with Cork developer Michael O'Flynn. He also had Italy, Germany, Portugal, the UK and Holland in his sights.
Short paid Â£23m for Skibo Castle in Scotland, which operates as a members-only hotel and country club. He also owns a €40m beach-side home in Hawaii, and put a house in London's Chelsea on the market in 2017, ahead of a planned relocation to Florida. He is married to former tennis player Eve Zimmerman, and the move was reportedly so his tennis prodigy son could join an academy there.