💰🇷🇺Jim Mellon is a close friend and business associate of Arron Banks, with whom he owns Conister Trust Bank in the Isle of Man. His extensive global property portfolio includes homes in London, Berlin, Austria, Ibiza, Brussels and San Francisco. In 2015, Mellon gave £100,000 to Banks’ Brexit campaign.
With a net worth estimated by the Sunday Times at £920 million, Mellon has described how he made a fortune in the chaotic world of 1990s Russia.
“I had read somewhere that Russia was privatising its industry and that they were handing out certificates that represented a share of the post-Soviet state to every adult,” he has explained. Mellon bought up large numbers of these certificates at rock-bottom prices from Russians who “did not think they were worth more than a bottle of vodka”. Their loss was Mellon’s gain. Within a few weeks, he was a multi-millionaire.
Mellon co-founded Regent Pacific Group, a Hong Kong-listed company that quickly earned the nickname “Vulture Fund“, according to the South China Morning Post. The newspaper notes that “soon, people were muttering that Regent’s tactics were unscrupulous . . . dodgy even”. Mellon has also made a very large amount of money from mining investments. In 2005, he and an associate each put $50,000 into UraMin, a shell company that bought up uranium concessions in Africa. In 2007 the company was sold for $2.5 billion.
In 2000, South Korean authorities issued an arrest warrant for Mellon in relation to his alleged involvement in a criminal conspiracy to manipulate the share price of Regent Securities, a subsidiary of Regent Pacific Group. Mellon denied the allegations, but the warrant was renewed several times before automatically expiring in 2010.
In October 2017 Mellon published Juvenescence, a book that claims “life expectancy is going to rise to between 110 and 130 in the next 30 years”. Mellon sees this as a tremendous business opportunity: “With the science now catching up to the aspirations of ‘life-extensionists’, this is truly the biggest money fountain we have ever seen.”
Young people who feel their future has been blighted by Brexit may have mixed feelings about this prospect.