Barely a couple of years after receiving his law degree from the University of Nottingham, David Ross joined his friend, Charles Dunstone, at Carphone Warehouse a financial director. According to David, he was brought in to take charge of the operation as well as financial and legal issues while Dunstone managed the department of sales and marketing. Together, the duo succeeded in creating a fortune. This is the story behind the exceptional success of Carphone Warehouse and how it has gone on to add to David Ross’ net worth, making him a billionaire and one among the most respected entrepreneurs in all of the United Kingdom.
What Is David Ross’ Net Worth?
Considering the number of successful businesses that he has been involved in, David Ross has amassed quite a fortune from all his ventures. Besides, his fortune changed the moment he joined Carphone Warehouse, which placed him among the crème de la crème of the business world. When his business interest was valued in 2008, the business tycoon was found to be named among the 100 wealthiest people in all of the United Kingdom. The same year, he was ranked #843 in the global list of wealthiest billionaires by Forbes with a net worth estimate of US$1.4 billion. However, subsequent review of his wealth by The Sunday Times in 2015 pegged it at an estimate of £1.0 billion.
How He Made Money From Carphone Warehouse
While David Ross was at Uppingham, he became friends with Charles Dunstone. Charles later founded the company – Carphone Warehouse, with part of his savings (£6000). Dunstone operated from a Marylebone Road flat. A while later, he brought Ross into the business as director of finance and by the next four years, Carphone Warehouse had 20 stores and was experiencing a booming period through acquisition processes and in-house development.
With Dunstone as the public face of the business, Ross, whom he refers to as his secret weapon, focused on driving and growing the company’s high-street retail footprint by developing markets for their product in both the US and Europe, as well as purchasing Tandy in the United Kingdom. As the business grew, it continued to expand into several other areas of telecom with the TalkTalk ISP established in 2003 and the takeover of some other providers like AOL. By 2000, when David Ross was supporting Carphone Warehouse with their IPO, the company was already at the peak of success, making borrowing or involving outsiders unnecessary. At that time, half of the company belonged to Dunstone, a third to Ross and a majority of the rest was for Guy Johnson – a fellow co-founder of Carphone Warehouse.
Ross grew in the company, moving from one rank to rank; between 1991 and 1996, he occupied the position of the finance director and until 2003, he functioned as the joint-Chief Operating Officer. His role began to reduce from that year and 2005 saw his appointment as the deputy chairman, with his next rank as the company’s non-executive director coming in 2008.
David Ross’ involvement with Carphone Warehouse became so successful that other businesses started demanding his services. Thus he served with National Express as the chairman in 2001 and was also appointed a director in other businesses like Trinity Mirror, Frontiers Capital and Big Yellow Storage.
David Ross’ net worth experienced a great boost at Carphone Warehouse before his resignation in 2008 when he equally withdrew from Big Yellow Storage. However, Ross leveraged a lion’s share of his share in these companies as collateral in favor of a personal loan; he did this without the knowledge of the companies and this was termed as a breach of the rules of the stock market.
A while later, statements from FSA – the Financial Services Authority disclosed that the issue was uncertain as the rules which were regulated by the EU Market Abuse Directive were found to be quite unclear and its application across the EU was rather inconsistent. However, they took notice of the fact that those sorts of practices were also controlled by disclosure regulations of the Listing Rules of the stock market. The FSA also revealed that other directors still did similar transactions with their shares.