Northern Irish insurance magnate Sean Quinn has made a splash into the top list of wealthy insurance moguls.

Quinn's personal fortune of £230m has enabled him to leapfrog many established names in the Sunday Times Rich List. After leaving school at 15, Quinn went on to start his own quarrying business before diversifying into hotels.

Quinn used the profits from these businesses to strike into insurance. Helped by the Irish Republic's booming economy, his group Quinn Direct Insurance is now a market leader.

The richest insurance personality, 112th in the 1,000-name list, is 91-year-old Sir Edwin Manton. The former chairman of American International Underwriters Corp who is worth an estimated £260m.

This year's list closely mirrors 1999's, with a few glaring differences. Ruth Harding, widow of late Benfield Grieg chairman and Chelsea director Matthew Harding, featured last year. The Sunday Times said she received £75m of his personal fortune, but this year she is missing from the list with no explanation.

Other important insurance figures who have gone include Richard Balding, vice-chairman of United Assurance, Sir Mark Weinberg, and Vincent Isaacs, who sold his stake in General Portfolio for £20m.

They may have been elbowed out of the top 1,000 by the new generation of pop stars and e-commerce millionaires such as Martha Lane Fox, founder of, (a new entry at 914th at £30m).

Other high-profile insurance figures remain in the list, such as Direct Line founder Peter Wood (417th), Brian Scowcroft, son of Swinton founder Ken, (198th) and Michael Bright, chief executive of Independent Insurance, (747th).

Sir Edwin Manton – £260m.
Ninety-one-year-old benefactor of the Tate, he is said to have given £12m to the art gallery since 1992. Much of Manton's wealth is based on his £260m stake in American International Underwriters Corp, of which he was chairman until 1975.

New entry: Sean Quinn – £230m
Moved into insurance in Ireland after making his fortune in quarrying and cement businesses. Quinn, 53, made a £25m profit on £112m of sales by his group.

Brian Scowcroft – £150m.
Brian, 44, has taken over his father Ken's mantle, the founder Swinton insurance. He later sold the business to Royal & SunAlliance and retired, but son Brian is still active in the insurance industry.

Up £12m: Grahame Chilton – £122m.
Chilton, 41, is chief executive of the Lloyd's reinsurance brokerage Benfield Greig which had its value lifted to £750m following the success of its on-line insurance business BGIL.

Up £23m: Michael Rees- £113m.
Another Benfield Greig director, Rees, 55, has an individual stake worth around £113m.

William Brown and family – £110m.
Brown, 65, drew a salary of almost £2m in 1998, a drop on the £8.1m he drew in 1989, but as chairman of Lloyd's brokers Walsham Brothers his family has net assets of £92m.

New: Tony Sullman – £100m.
A former London taxi driver, Sullman, 45, is the founder of Claims Direct which is preparing for a £200m floatation and owns 50% of the business.

Down £3m: Lord Iverforth and the Weir family – £97m.
Still relatively young at 33, Iverforth is one of Britain's richest doctors whose wealth stems from the Weir shipping and insurance business.

Up £17m: John Coldman – £87m.
Coldman, 52, succeeded the late Matthew Harding as chairman of Benfield Greig, the profitable Lloyd's reinsurance broker.

Up £10m: Peter Wood – £75m.
Iconic insurance figure Wood, 53, blazed a trail with telephone insurer Direct Line in the 1980s before selling his stake to Privilege for £15m in 1997. More recently he has emerged as the backer of new insurer the Underwriter and is masterminding Halifax's new insurance internet site being launched in 2001.

Down £5m: John Charman – £70m.
Charman, 47, runs Ace UK, the British arm of a Bermuda-based insurance company, which bought his share of Ace's holding company for £70m in 1998.

Down £15: Henry Lumley & family – £70m.
Lumley, 69, is chairman of London underwriting firm Edward Lumley Holdings founded by his father.

Same: Christopher Moran – £60m.
Beginning with interests in property development and finance, Moran, 52, has made his name in the Lloyd's market. Chesterlodge, his holding company, is estimated to be worth £35m.

Same: Michael Bright – £40m.
Bright, 55, is chief executive of Independent Insurance, which he started with a team of ten in 1987. The company floated in 1993 and Bright's 6.1% stake is said to be worth £38m. Last week he bought 391,000 shares just as their value dipped after the Independent unveiled a 33% fall in pre-tax operating profits to around £61m.

Same: Martin Copley – £35m.
Copley, 59, no longer chairs London-based insurer Domestic and General, which specialises in warranty business. But he remains a large shareholder.

New entry: Stephen Verrall – £32
Verrall, 40, is the founder of Policy Master, the insurance software company. His 6.4 million shares are worth an estimated £32m

Same: Chris Norman – £30m.
Norman, 53, is the founder and owner of 3 Arrows, a Manchester insurer that helps drivers with repairs and claims. The company was sold to Avis Europe for £40m in 1998.