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The Rowland family has sold many assets over the past few years, fearing an economic downturn, and is now hunting for bargains via Rowland Capital as well as investing in commodities. Jonathan, 33, the son of Guernsey-based property developer David Rowland, 63, made his name with internet firm Jellyworks. The family netted £42m in shares when the business was sold to Shore Capital in 2000. Early in 2002, the Rowlands were revealed to have more than £600m in property and investments. With assets under pressure, we cut them by £70m this year.


Rowland aiming to build a dynasty - Jonathan Rowland

Business Profile: multi-millionaire Jonathan is struggling to match his father

By Rachel Stevenson

Monday, 6 October 2003

On paper, Jonathan Rowland is the ultimate spiv. Son of the rags-to-riches property entrepreneur David "Spotty" Rowland, he was born into a £660m family fortune, began his investment career at 18 and started making his own millions aged 24. And he drives fast cars at the weekend.

On paper, Jonathan Rowland is the ultimate spiv. Son of the rags-to-riches property entrepreneur David "Spotty" Rowland, he was born into a £660m family fortune, began his investment career at 18 and started making his own millions aged 24. And he drives fast cars at the weekend.

He will likely never see or hear his name without "son of the former property tycoon", and his success will be measured against the not-always-spotless touch of his father.

Mr Rowland senior, the son of a scrap metal dealer, made his first million aged 23, earning him the nickname Spotty for having barely shed his adolescent skin. He went on to amass a complex property and investment fortune, and is based in Guernsey.

But dad is now in the back seat. Jonathan is for the most part in control of the Rowland Capital family trust. He has been emerging as a player in a number of deals recently, from Moss Bros to Chesterton International. He is itching to make the Rowland name more substantial than his father did, and this time maybe the City had better sit up and listen.

"Some people accuse me of living in my father's shadow. But we have a good relationship and he's very successful, so why shouldn't I?" he says. "Although, of course, I want to be more successful than he was."

When Mr Rowland junior burst on to the City scene in late 1999, cashing in on the phenomenon, he was written off for simply flashing his dad's money around. By summer 2000 it was all over, and JellyWorks, Mr Rowland's internet investment company, was sold. Mr Rowland junior was consigned to the scrapheap, but he had just completed a £65m deal and had a thirst for more.

Mr Rowland was a relatively late starter in his father's empire. He left school at 16 with no qualifications to speak of. He didn't apply himself, he says, and who would when they had the Rowland family millions in tow? He bummed around for a couple of years before taking any interest in what his dad did.

It took his girlfriend Zoe, now his wife, to tell him to get his act together and work for his father. He went to Norwich to run one of the Rowland property businesses, but then fever began taking hold, and Mr Rowland spotted more exciting opportunities.

The success of JellyWorks saw him labelled an internet geek, alongside Martha Lane Fox and other young trendies caught up in the hi-tech revolution. But Mr Rowland is no computer nerd. He is an investor, complete with the traditional pin-striped suit he was wearing for this interview.

When JellyWorks was sold, Mr Rowland turned to other investment areas. "I wanted to create a company that specialised in taking on undervalued, distressed ventures that were in the hands of liquidators or administrators," he says.

Again he met cynicism. The multi-millionaire now wants to go round the City, cleaning up on the disasters that he helped create? Yes, he said, and got Resurge off the ground despite a difficult start.

Its float on the Alternative Investment Market was only days away, and Mr Rowland had gone to New York to discuss another family investment. He had a meeting scheduled in the World Trade Centre on the morning of 11 September 2001. But having overdone a "quiet drink" the previous night, he was in his hotel room nursing a glass of Alka-Seltzer when the planes hit the twin towers.

Since then, despite much talk, Mr Rowland has failed to pull off a major deal. The problem is that although the suit may fit around his shoulders a little better these days, his face still seems too young.

"When I arrange meetings with people they don't always know who I am, or how old I am, and you can see the surprise on their face when I walk in the door. 'Who's this schoolboy in a suit that's turned up?' they are thinking," he says. "When I read about people that I think are interesting, I'll just ring them up and ask to meet with them. People like Allan Leighton (head of Royal Mail) and Terry Smith (boss of the broker Collins Stewart)," he says, as a display of his unflappable self-belief. For all his spivvy hallmarks, Mr Rowland in the flesh is endearingly unpretentious, and his money-making success does not come with a swagger.

He does not pretend that he would be where he is now without his father and his money. He is not ashamed of it, nor of working hard to grow it further.

But the fund management community has so far shunned him, not wanting to be associated with his father.

He finds this all the more frustrating, as his vision is that the Rowland family should become a financial brand based on a banking dynasty. "I want to run an investment house like the Rothschilds or the Flemings," he says. "There is no one around like that any more."

We are set to hear much more from him in the next few months. He is already talking of having significant deals very close to fruition - but then, doesn't every budding property tycoon?


The £690m divorce feud - Jonathan Rowland

By Luke David, Evening Standard Last updated at 00:00am on 14.02.05

The £690 million family fortune of one of Britain's richest men is today at the centre of a landmark divorce case.

Jonathan Rowland - the 29-year-old son of City financier David Rowland and heir to the family fortune - is being sued by his estranged wife for a share of his own and his father's vast wealth.

It comes after the collapse of his four-year marriage to Zoe Rowland.

Mrs Rowland, a 30-year-old account director from Oxfordshire, has retained two of the most successful divorce lawyers to fight for a huge payout.

She has instructed Nicholas Mostyn, the QC who last year secured an unprecedented share of former Arsenal star Ray Parlour's future earnings for the footballer ' s ex-wife.

Also in her corner is Kay Georgiou, the solicitor who won a record £10 million settlement for Zeta Graff, the ex-wife of Francois Graff, heir to a diamond fortune.

A source close to the Rowland family told the Standard Mrs Rowland "began gunning for the Rowland empire" after consultations with Mr Mostyn. Mr Rowland is listed as the 53rd richest man in the country.

"She was close to settling out of court with him but after meeting Mostyn, decided to go for his father's money as well," said the source.

"At the end of 2003, Jonathan offered her everything he had. That was the equity from their home and a few of his assets. He even offered to buy her a house worth half a million.

"She was about to agree but then met Mostyn and everything changed."

The source added: "The family aren't going to take this lying down. They plan to fight this all the way to the High Court. They are furious she has dragged them into Jonathan's divorce.

"David Rowland is especially upset that Zoe would take him for all he's got when all he has ever done is to be generous to her.

"He can't understand why she thinks she has a right to his money as well as Jonathan's."

According to the source the family are particularly upset by Mrs Rowland, who earns about £40,000 a year in her job at Lime Communications, because she has been living at the £1.2 million Chiswick home of Mr Rowland's mother Linda for the past 14 months.

Last month research by the Evening Standard revealed that Jonathan and David Rowland were number 30 in the list of the richest men in London with a combined wealth of £690 million in a list headed by steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea football club.

David Rowland, 58, built up his fortune in property and investments and is now retired in the Channel Isles with his wife Sheila.

Most of the family's wealth is tied up offshore.

Jonathan Rowland works for his father by investing his money in venture capital.

He made his name with the sale of internet investment company JellyWorks in

The case, which will be heard privately in the family court, is expected to start next month with the final hearing in November.

Mrs Rowland and her solicitor Ms Georgiou declined to comment.

When the Standard approached Jonathan Rowland outside his West End offices he refused to comment on the allegations.



Rowland makes Aim comeback - Jonathan Rowland

By Richard Fletcher-

Last Updated: 8:00PM GMT 08 Feb 2003

David "Spotty" Rowland, the legendary property developer and City financier, will return to the public arena this week by revealing plans to float Resourceworks on Aim.

Resourceworks is a corporate finance boutique specialising in the natural resources sector. The firm is 51 per cent owned by ZO Media Group, a private investment vehicle operated by the Rowland family.

Rowland, who was nicknamed "spotty" because he made his first million aged just 23, started out as a property developer.

The son of a scrap metal dealer, he invested in oil, shipping and casinos, amassing a £100m fortune from a series of high-profile, and sometimes controversial, deals in the 70s and 80s. The Rowland family's wealth is now put at £690m.

Although he leaves the limelight to his son Jonathan, Rowland has remained an active investor in the London market. In the 1990s the family backed a series of internet companies, including 365 Corporation, which developed sports websites.

Resourceworks will provide funding, corporate finance advice and may take an active role in the management of companies.

Jonathan Rowland first came to prominence at the height of the dotcom boom as one of the backers of JellyWorks, an investor in internet start-ups. He recently returned to the stock market with Resurge, an Aim-listed finance house.


NETTWORX plc TO JOIN AIM - Jonathan Rowland

Nettworx plc ("Nettworx"), a newly-incorporated company that intends to invest in the fast-growing area of voice and data networks, announces today that it is to seek admission to AIM via an Initial Public Offering.

The Company intends to raise at least £5 million through the issue of shares via an institutional placing. Canaccord Capital (Europe) Limited is acting as the Nominated Adviser and Broker.

The Company has been formed to take advantage of the increasing convergence between voice, video and data, fixed line and mobile networks. Networks are coming together; operators are using a combination of fixed and mobile assets and users expect to retrive their content - emails, spreadsheets, presentations, music even video - wherever they go. The rapidly increasing penetration of broadband, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) 3G and Wi-Fi, is accelerating this trend.

While the Board of Nettworx believes that most services will in time be offered over IP, the industy will still rely on fast, efficient networks to deliver content. Nettworx plans to buy existing telecom and network companies, integrate them and improve their performance to create the type of rich, high-performance, flexible services that today's operators and users expect.

The Company has identified a number of network companies with existing customers and revenues, that lack either the scale or the technological skill sets to capitalise on the convergence of technology and telecommunications.

Nettworx has assembled a board of experienced technology investors, managers and entrepreneurs that will identify and execute acquisitions as well as providing the requisite skills.

The Company is headed by Jonathan Rowland, founder of jellyworks, the internet investment company, and Jason Drummond, founder of Virtual Internet, the web hosting company, and Co-Founder and Chairman of Gaming Corporation, the operator of the world's leading gaming search engine.

The executive team is assisted by two high calibre non-executive directors, Charlie Muirhead, the founder of Orchestream, the IP telecoms software company and Nexagent, the telecoms process automation software company, and Julie Meyer, Chief Executive of Ariadne Capital and founder of First Tuesday. In addition Brent Hoberman, co-founder of, has agreed to be a founder shareholder in the business.

Nettworx intends to seek the appointment of a senior non-executive chairman early in the New Year, and to recruit further executive directors to the board when appropriate.

Jonathan and Jason commented: "We are extremely pleased to be working with Charlie and Julie on this exciting new project. We have assembled a great team to explore this very promising area. We look forward to working together to identify attractive acquisitions, to integrate and improve their performance and build a significant business in this space."

Tel: 020 7493 9116
Jason Drummond
Jonathan Rowland

Canaccord Capital (Europe) Limited
Tel: 020 7518 2777
Mark Ashurst
Jason Woollard

Tel: 020 7379 5151
Neil Bennett
Brian Hudspith

Notes to editors:

Nettworx Board of Directors

Jason Drummond, Executive Director
At 18, Jason Drummond established IDL Communications Limited, a distributor of cell phones and fax machines. He spent approximately three years outside the United Kingdom, establishing and running distribution and new media companies in emerging markets such as Russia and Africa and returned to the United Kingdom in 1995, prior to establishing Virtual Internet (UK) Ltd, an online intellectual property protection and web hosting services company.

Virtual Internet plc ("VI") listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in January 1999 and became the first web hosting company to list on a primary European market. In April 2000 VI combined a £25 million fundraising with a move to the official list of the London Stock Exchange. In February 2002, VI was acquiring in a recommended cash offer by Inc. (Nasdaq: RCOM), a leading provider of global domain name registration and Internet services.

In September 1999 Jason Drummond co-founded Xworks Ltd on e-business incubator providing funding, services and business management to businesses operating in the digital economy. Xworks listed on the AIM market of the London stock exchange in April 2001. In August 2002 Xworks changed its name to Gaming Corporation plc (LSE:GMC) to reflect its focus on its principal business "" (the UK's most visited gaming site). In March 2005 Gaming Corporation plc raised £10 million in an institutional placing. In May 2005 Gaming Corporation acquired for $20 million; is the global leader in searching casino, poker, and sports betting sites.

Jonathan Rowland, Executive Director
Jonathan Rowland was a founder director and chief executive of Jellyworks plc from its flotation on 21 December 1999 until it was purchased by Shore Capital Group plc in August 2000. He has spent the preceding 5 years as an executive of Rowland Capital Limited. Mr Rowland has wide investment experience and over the last ten years has focused on listed investments, private equity and assisting companies with re-structuring and financial advice. His role has been to identify and evaluate such investments. More recently he has been a founder Director of Resourceworks plc and Latitude Resources plc which have been very prominent in the mining sector.

Julie Meyer, Non-Executive Director
Julie Meyer has 17 years of investment and advisory experience, helping start-up businesses and industry standards to emerge and establish themselves. As Chief Executive of Ariadne Capital, she has overall general and financial management responsibility for the group which she founded in August 2000. Julie is well-known for founding First Tuesday, the largest global network of entrepreneurs, which many credit for igniting the Internet generation in Europe . It was sold for $50 million in cash and shares in July 2000. Julie has raised more than $100 million of capital for start-ups in addition to overseeing another $150 million of seed capital found for start-ups through First Tuesday. From 1998 to 1999, Julie was part of the team at NewMedia Investors (which became NewMedia Spark, an early stage investment firm, in October 1999) where she helped several companies, including, WGSN and Arc Cores, raise significant venture capital financing and internationalise. Each of these businesses has had successful exits for their investors. She previously, worked for Andy Cunningham in Boston , Massachusetts , and through Cunningham Communication she consulted for Motorola, Inc, on the PowerPC initiative. She has also consulted for Hewlett Packard and 3Com in France . Named a "Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum" and one of the top 30 most powerful women in Europe by the Wall Street Journal, Julie's mission is to back the best entrepreneurs in Europe with global ambitions. She was awarded "Entrepreneur of the Year" Award in October 2000 by Ernst & Young U.K.

Charlie Muirhead, Non-Executive Director
Having already successfully started up three organisations, Charlie Muirhead is a proven entrepreneur and specialist in the telecoms industry at just 30 years old.

In the past ten years, Muirhead has engaged and listened to the needs of more than 100 carriers, many of the world's leading integrators and virtual netowkr operators and over 50 global enterprises. This has enabled him to gain a unique and true understanding of the complex challenges and needs of carriers and systems integrators.

Today, Muirhead is president of UK technology company Nexagent, which he founded in 2001 with Chris Gre, formerly of Cable & Wireless, and David Page, from Cisco Systems, with funding from investors, including Apax Partners, Atlas Venture, Benchmark Capital, Quester apital, Lago Ventures and iGabriel.

Nexagent is the pioneer and market leader in centralised management software and hardware for interconnecting next-generation telecom networks. Prior to Nexagent, Muirhead founded iGabriel NV, in May 2000 - an angel investment network of 30 business leaders providing start-up companies with capital and access to a network of industry leaders and entrepreneurs.

Muirhead's career began in 1996 with the inception, flotation and acquisition of Orchestream, the market leader in IP Service Activation software for MPLS-VPNs, whose customers included AT&T, Vodafone and Energis. The company was acquired in 2003 by another NASDAQ listed OSS software company, Metasolv.

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