Tony Murray (businessman)

Jacques Gaston "Tony" Murray (born 8 February 1920) is a French-born British billionaire businessman.[1]

Tony Murray
Jacques Gaston Murray

(1920-02-08) 8 February 1920 (age 100)
Paris, France
Net worthIncrease £2.3 billion (Sunday Times Rich List, 2020)
TitleChairman, London Security plc
Chairman, Andrew Sykes Group plc
Children2 sons

Murray and his family own Andrew Sykes Group, the heating and air-conditioning equipment hire company, and London Security, the Leeds-based fire protection business which includes the Nu-Swift fire extinguisher brand.[2]

According to The Sunday Times Rich List in 2020 his net worth was estimated at £2.3 billion. He turned 100 in February 2020.[3]

Early lifeEdit

Tony Murray was born in Paris, France on 8 February 1920 and was originally named Gaston Jacques Kalifa. His father ran a construction company that worked on infrastructure projects such as bridges.[4] He was accepted to study architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris before the outbreak of World War II.[4] He escaped from Paris at the time of the German invasion of France and reached Biarritz where he boarded a Polish ship which took him to England. He enlisted in the Free French forces and eventually transferred to the Royal Air Force (RAF). He flew 38 missions as a navigator in No. 613 Squadron RAF.[5][4] He received British citizenship after the war.[6]

His father died in Auschwitz. He was awarded the Legion of Honour by the French government.[7]


In 1982 Murray bought Nu-Swift a Leeds manufacturer of fire-extinguishers then in difficulties, with the businessman Michael Ashcroft. Murray later "became irritated" by Ashcroft getting too much of the credit for turning round the company.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

His sons, Jean-Jacques Murray and Jean‑Pierre Murray are both directors of London Security, the latter being non-executive.[9]


  1. ^ "Un Français Libre parmi 51809". francaislibres (in French). Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  2. ^ "New billionaire on Yorkshire Rich List | Insider Media Ltd". Insider Media. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  3. ^ Stockwatch: Keep backing this 100-year-old chairman
  4. ^ a b c Wood, Martin (24 August 1998). "Murray's made mint without meaning to; French war hero turned international takeover tycoon really wanted a farm". The Birmingham Post. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  5. ^ "Rich List 2015: No.3 - Jacques Gaston Murray & family". The Birmingham Post. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  6. ^ Zhuravlyova, Sonia (11 May 2020). "He escaped Nazi-occupied Paris, flew for RAF - and is on the Rich List aged 100". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Birmingham Post Rich List 2014: No.4 - Jacques Gaston Murray and family (£850m)". The Birmingham Post. 23 January 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  8. ^ "Movers and shakers among the contacts and business buddies". The Guardian. 17 July 1999. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  9. ^ "London Security PLC". Retrieved 9 September 2016.