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Metro Bank founders enter Rich List

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Metro Bank founder Vernon Hill and his wife Shirley are now on the Sunday Times Rich List with wealth of £400m.

Metro floated in London last month for £1.6bn. The Sunday Times says the Hill’s stake is £136m, and their other assets make up the remainder of their fortune.

Hill started Commerce Bancorp in America, is a partner in Interstate Commercial and co-owns 40 Burger King restaurants in America and is  chairman of the American insurer Petplan.

Shirley Hill designs the Metro Bank branches and her company has earned £11.9m for design services since 2009.

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Apple: a stellar technology story

By Ali Unwin, head of technology sector research

Apple recently announced the highest-ever recorded quarterly net profit ($18bn), with the sale of 74.4 million iPhones helping the company deliver $74.6bn of revenue for the quarter ending December 2014. These sales were largely driven by strong demand for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Highlights included Chinese iPhone sales doubling year-on-year and unit growth of 44% in the US — supposedly a well-penetrated market. Apple ended the quarter with $178bn in cash on its balance sheet, having generated a staggering $30bn in free cash flow during the quarter.

At Neptune, we have been long-term believers in the Apple story, and continue to hold the stock in a number of our portfolios based on the company’s long-term growth prospects. This is predicated on our belief that Apple has proved thus far that it can — unusually for a consumer electronics company — maintain high margins for a sustained period of time, even as adoption of new technology slows down and competitors produce similar-specification products.