Michael Alan Spencer: Inside Kenya’s Most Expensive Hotel Owned By UK Billionaire

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Michael Alan Spencer: Inside Kenya's Most Expensive Hotel Owned By UK Billionaire
British Billionaire philathropist Michael Alan Spencer Image/Courtesy

By Kuria Kimani

Little was known about British Billionaire philathropist Michael Alan Spencer, Baron Spencer of Alresford until he was stopped at Wilson Airport under unclear circumstances. The billionaire, who also doubles as an MP in the UK Parliament House of Lords, was in the company of Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi and controversial Tanzania politician Lazaro Nyalandu. That aside, the man who has been described as the richest self made person in the city of London is a serial entrepreneur whose investments make an enviable portfolio. 

WoK explores his investments in and out of the country including a hotel he owns that is considered one of the most expensive in Kenya. 

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A Business Mogul

Lord Michael Spencer founded NEX Group, a United Kingdom based inter broker dealer vested in electronic markets and post-trade business. The business which was formerly known as Intercapital Brokers (ICAP) was acquired for a whooping US$5.4 billion in (stock and cash) in November 2018 by CME Group. Beyond the acquisition, Spencer was granted 3 million CME Group shares. He also purchased a controlling interest in City Index Group, a betting firm in 1997. This was later sold to GAIN Capital making the businessman a return in excess of US$80 million. 

Also Read: Meg Whitman: The Billionaire US Ambassador To Kenya

The billionaire set up IPGL Group that is worth more than £1 billion in assets. IPGL Group is a private holding company that he particularly set up to make investments on his behalf and other family trusts. 

He is also a co-owner of Exotix which is an investment banking boutique, an investor in fintech firms such as Veridium, Tradefeedr, and Glasswall Solutions. Spencer has also made investments in the London-based hedged fund Viewforth Investment Partners, FCFM, Element Ventures, Netwealth, Nutmeg, Numis Securities, Martin Gilbert’s AssetCo, and Singapore Life among other ventures.

Kenyan-based Investments

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Lord Michael Spencer is the founder and owner of Sirai House, a commercial lodge situated in Borana Conservancy – Laikipia County at the foot of Mount Kenya. The lodge sits on 250 acres of land high on a ridge with spectacular views in all directions, surrounded by indigenous forests and game-rich hills and plains. Some of the activities at Sirai include fly camping, picnics and sundowners, retreats, game drives, walking safaris, and riding safaris. The lodge is arguably Kenya’s most expensive destination with suite prices starting from approximately Ksh 1.5 million each night and its policy requires guests to stay for a minimum of three days. For each stay therefore, one part with at least Sh4.5 million for three days.

Also Read: Top 10 Most Expensive Hotels In Kenya

Michael Alan Spencer also owns a Kenyan home in Kilifi County sitting on a cliff top overlooking the Indian Ocean. The residence has an open veranda with the scenic view of an infinity pool that seems to extend into the Indian Ocean giving perfect sundowner evenings. Complete with yacht rides, the Kilifi residence is stately. The billionaire flies around in a Pilatus PC-12, a passenger and cargo aircraft with a reputation for outstanding versatility, performance, reliability, and operational flexibility. The aircraft costs between Ksh 225 million and Ksh 248 million.

Additionally, in 2018 Lord Spencer revealed in an interview with Business Daily that he was the Kenya Derby’s main sponsor. The Kenya Derby is a popular horse competition regularly held at Ngong’ Racecourse.

The rates are provided by Stavica.com are:

  • $14,000 per night (up to 6 guests)
  • Additional guests (up to a maximum of 12 guests) at $2,200 per adult per night
  • Children between the age of 6 and 12 years of age at $960 per child per night
  • Children between the age of 0 and 5 years of age are complimentary
  • $215 per night per person for private guides or pilot
  • A recommended gratuity of $50 per guest per day

Politics

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson granted Michael Alan Spencer peerage in August 2020 giving him a ticket into the House of Lords. Before this, he had served between 2006 and 2010 as the Conservative Party’s treasurer.

Also Read: The Seven Multi-Billion Hotels Owned By The Kenyatta Family

Engagement with Kenyan Politicians

The 66 year-old was on 5th January 2022 detained at Wilson Airport along with Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi and former Tanzanian Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Lazaro Nyandalu following an altercation at the airport. After their arrival in Nairobi from Eldoret, the three insisted on using the VIP area and did not want to have their luggage scanned with the Kapseret MP claiming to have been in a rush to attend a parliamentary engagement. As airport officials would not back down, the trio was detained until they agreed to follow set procedure. 

After the incident was broadcasted in the media, there was an impeding curiosity as to whom the two individuals who accompanied Oscar Sudi were. The Sunday Times Rich List in 2021 estimated his net worth at approximately £1.2 billion (Ksh 184.3 billion). There are now claims that he is among Deputy President Ruto’s 2022 presidential campaign financiers.

Personal Life

The billionaire and Oxford University graduate is based in London, Suffolk, UK and is married with three children. He is also a philanthropist who founded the ICAP Charity Day where celebrities and royalty converge annually in an event where they man the ICAP desks and at the end of the day, the revenues collected are donated to charities.

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