The boss of this FTSE 250-listed housebuilder just made one of the largest ever charitable donations by a UK businessman

 
Emma Haslett
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Steve Morgan is the former owner of Wolves (Source: Getty)

Steve Morgan, the boss of FTSE 250-listed housebuilder Redrow, has donated £200m to charity – thought to be one of the largest donations ever made by a UK business person.

A regulatory filing showed Morgan has donated 42m of shares in the housebuilder to his family's charitable foundation, The Morgan Foundation, which he founded in 2001 to support causes across North Wales, Merseyside, West Cheshire and North Shropshire. That means the charity now owns 11.36 per cent of the company.

Former Wolves owner Morgan, who founded Redrow in 1974, was ranked 130 in last year's Sunday Times Rich List, with a fortune of £880m – up by £140m in a single year.

Jane Harris, administrator of The Morgan Foundation, said the donation was a "huge and profound step-change" for the charity.

"Our ethos is based on making a difference and Steve's gift of over £200 million means we will be able to help thousands of more people in need.

"We can also ramp-up the donation of smiley buses which have made such a positive impact to the disabled and socially isolated in our region.

"I'm also delighted to say we are actively planning some very exciting, and significant, capital projects and we'll be announcing more details soon."

Read more: The City’s philanthropic heritage is a powerful draw for millennials

UK philanthropy vs US

Morgan's donation may be one of the biggest by a UK businessman – but he's going to have to do better to compete with his US peers.

A ranking published last year showed Michael Bloomberg donated $510m (£411m) in a single year, while Bill & Melinda Gates donated $272m.

At the top of the ranking, though, was banking and oil heir Richard Mellon Scaife, who died in 2014 – but still managed to donate $759m in 2015.

It seems 2015 was a big year for US philanthropy: in December of that year, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan pledged to donate 99 per cent of their wealth to good causes over the course of their lifetimes. At the time, that figure was worth roughly $45bn.

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