Former Marks & Spencer trainee Kim Winser has propelled herself into this list by dint of sheer will.
Although her teachers may have despaired when she left education before tackling university, Winser, who describes herself as a born retailer, has proved them all wrong.
Not only is she credited with the transformation of Pringle from a dowdy brand into a desirable one, but she is widely acknowledged as having repeated the trick as chief executive at Aquascutum.
The heritage brand is on target to achieve profit by 2010, which could explain why Winser has chosen this moment to gear up for a buyout, according to reports.
The chief executive of the luxury heritage brand and retailer is preparing to put together a bid amid reports that Aquascutum’s Japanese parent company, Renown, has put the business up for sale.
Renown bought Aquascutum in 1990 for about 20 billion yen (£113.2 million). In 2006, the company drafted in Winser to help turnaround the business. The market is watching with interest to see if Winser will pull off an MBO in the current market.