Tony Murray (businessman)

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Tony Murray
Jacques Gaston Murray

(1920-02-08) 8 February 1920 (age 100)
Paris, France
Net worthIncrease2.svg £2.3 billion (Sunday Times Rich List, 2020)
TitleChairman, London Security plc
Chairman, Andrew Sykes Group plc
Children2 sons

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


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 life

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 life

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

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  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. 1 2 3 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.