The Greatest Deal of Richard Branson’s Life

What do you do when you hear that there’s an island with the same name as your company and it’s up for sale? Most likely, you'd call up the people selling it and inquire. That’s how it started when Richard Branson, British business magnate and founder of the Virgin Group, heard about an island in the British Virgin Islands that was for sale. At the time, he was desperately trying to impress Joan Templeman, a woman he had been dating, so he called the realtor. He was told that the asking price was $6 million, which was the “discounted” price. At the time, he didn’t have the money he does today, so he offered the highest price he could afford — $100,000. Needless to say, the realtor was less than impressed and the offer was declined. A year later, another realtor showed up at Branson’s door with the news that no one else had made an offer on the island and the owner was desperate to sell. In the end, Branson agreed on the price of $180,000. Today, the island is the famous Necker Island, and the woman he was trying to impress is his wife of 31 years. The island's value today, however, is $100 million. Not a bad investment.