- Billionaire James Dyson, inventor of the Dyson vacuum cleaner, has moved back to the UK after two years in Singapore.
- Dyson spent $54 million on Singapore’s most expensive penthouse in July 2019. He sold it in 2020.
- High-profile billionaires like Sergey Brin and Ray Dalio are opening family offices in the city-state.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Billionaire James Dyson, inventor of the Dyson vacuum cleaner and a notable Singapore resident for about two years, has moved his main address back to the United Kingdom, Benjamin Stupples reported for Bloomberg, citing filings for Dyson’s companies including his family office.
Dyson made headlines for paying $54 million for a three-story penthouse atop Singapore’s tallest building in July 2019, breaking the city-state’s real-estate record. That same year, he relocated the Dyson headquarters to Singapore from the UK and opened a branch of his family office in the city-state.
Estimates of Dyson’s personal net worth range from around $10 billion to as high as $29 billion, with his wealth stemming from his holdings in Dyson Holdings Pte., the UK’s best-selling vacuum cleaner, according to Bloomberg.
It’s unclear why Dyson, 73, has switched his residency back to his home country. In October 2020, he sold his Singapore penthouse at a $7 million loss, but he still reportedly owns another home in Singapore, a bungalow worth a reported 50 million Singapore dollars, or nearly $38 million.
Dyson’s company, which currently employs about 1,400 people in Singapore, said last week that the company would “shortly” be moving into its new headquarters at an old power station in Singapore, according to the Business Times.
“We do not comment on private family matters and nothing has changed in respect of the company,” a Dyson spokesperson told Bloomberg. “The structure of the group and the business rationale underpinning it are unaltered.”
Representatives from Dyson’s company and charitable foundation did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment for this story.
Dyson, who designed the world’s first bagless vacuum cleaner in 1983, also owns a 300-acre estate in the English countryside. On Wednesday, his luxury yacht, Nahlin, was spotted moored off England’s Cornish Coast, photos on Getty Images show.
Dyson may be spending less time in the city-state, but other wealthy foreigners seem to be more interested in Singapore than ever. The number of ultra-wealthy people in Singapore grew in 2020 despite the pandemic, according to Knight Frank’s annual Wealth Report. In the past six months, billionaire Google cofounder Sergey Brin and hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio both announced they’d be setting up family offices in Singapore.
Singapore’s low taxes have long attracted foreign investors, and the city-state’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has “cemented the country’s traditional safe haven status” for the ultra-rich, Wendy Tang, Knight Frank’s Group Managing Director in Singapore, said in a recent report.
“When coupled with strong and enduring economic fundamentals, stable governance, and an attractively competitive tax regime, Singapore offers a break in the clouds that pushed some of the world’s mega-rich to have a presence here in recent years,” Tang said.