Overall ranking: 31
Hotelier ranking: 10
Sir Rocco Forte - Snapshot
Sir Rocco Forte is the chairman and chief executive of the Rocco Forte Collection, which he set up in 1996 as RF Hotels shortly after losing Forte - the hospitality giant founded by his father Lord Charles Forte in 1934 - to a £3.87b hostile takeover by Granada.
The Collection now numbers 13 hotels, including the Balmoral in Edinburgh, the Lowry in Manchester, Brown's hotel in London and the Charles hotel in Munich.
Sir Rocco Forte - Career guide
Sir Rocco Forte, who was born in Bournemouth in 1945, was exposed to all aspects of his father’s business from the age of 13. He qualified as a chartered accountant in 1969 before joining the family firm, where he rose to become chairman and chief executive of Forte.
Forte founded RF Hotels after failing to buy back the Le Méridien hotel chain from Granada in 1996. It became Rocco Forte Hotels in 2001 when Compass Group returned the rights to the Forte business name it had inherited from its merger with Granada in 2000. The group was renamed the Rocco Forte Collection in July 2007.
Sir Rocco Forte - What we think
Stepping out from the shadow of a famous father is never easy, but Forte has, over the years, more than established himself as a force in the hospitality industry.
During his time at Forte, he had responsibility for more than 800 hotels, 1,000 restaurants and almost 100,000 employees in 50 countries around the world. As chairman, he transformed Forte from a UK operation to an international hotel player, based on the Le Méridien chain and a collection of luxury hotels including the George V in Paris, the Sandy Lane in Barbados, the Ritz in Madrid and the Plaza Athénée in New York.
His own company, the Rocco Forte Collection, has maintained the reputation for quality, with all the properties in the group being members of the Leading Hotels of the World consortium. Joining forces with the Bank of Scotland has allowed the Collection to expand where opportunity allows, with new hotels planned for Marrakech, Abu Dhabi (two) and Jeddah. Early in 2010 Forte agreed new terms with the bank, involving the extension of a £300m loan at a higher rate of interest.
Forte was knighted in 1994 for his services to tourism – he was president of the British Hospitality Association from 1991 to 1996 and served as a member of the World Travel & Tourism Council’s executive committee. In 1999 he won a Special Award at the Cateys for his resilience in bouncing back after the sale of the "family silver" and for his commitment to quality.
He was 247th in the 2010 Sunday Times Rich List, with a personal fortune of £285m.
Sir Rocco Forte - Further information