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Lloyd Dorfman was 24 when he started his money-changing empire with a small shop in London’s Russell Square. That was in 1976, when he worked 14-hour days, seven days a week. Now the former merchant banker runs a foreign exchange business with 650 outlets across the world, and is worth an estimated £633m. Three years ago the company acquired Thomas Cook’s global and financial-services division for £440m. Travelex’s highly profitable move into corporate work was motivated in part by the introduction of the euro. It reported sales of £463m in 2002, with 4,986 staff.

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Company details
ActivityForeign exchange operator
LocationCentral London
Sales £m463
Profit £m36
Year endDec 02
Principal shareholdersLloyd Dorfmann (63%), 3i (32.6%)

If applicable:

* Supplied by company † Annualised figure **Estimated