Thursday, May 30

These are the top 25 richest people in Britain



The richest people in Britain have suffered from the worst fall in fortune since the credit crunch in 2007, according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2016.

The newspaper, which lists the 1,000 wealthiest individuals and families in the UK, said that the commodities market crash has had such a pronounced effect on some of Britain’s most wealthy people that they’ve seen their fortunes crater by over 50% over the last few years.

Regular rich list member, steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, has seen his wealth crash by around 75% since 2008 he used to be worth £27.7 billion but now he’s worth £7.12 billion.

Len Blavatnik, the London-based, Ukrainian-born, US citizen who is the owner of Warner Music Group, dropped from the number one spot this year. And the Queen has failed to make the top 300 for the second consecutive year.

Only those who have significant property investments have seen their fortunes grow due to the housing boom.

Take a look at who made the top 25 spots this year below:

1. David and Simon Reuben

Net worth: £13.1 billion

Ages: 77, 74

The Mumbai-born brothers and British citizens, make most of their money through lucrative property deals after initially investing in the Russian metals market. They leaped to poll position after the returns from their lucrative properties — such as delivered some solid the Millbank Tower the John Lewis Partnership HQ in Victoria and shops in Sloane Street — were solid.

The Sunday Times points out that the Reuben brothers are famous for being wary of debt and consistently hold a large proportion of their fortunes in liquid assets — cash and bonds.

2. Sri and Gopi Hinduja

Net worth: £13 billion

Ages: 80, 76

The Hinduja brothers racked up their sizeable wealth through property development, car manufacturing, and more recently, the old War Office in London’s Whitehall for £300 million. The Sunday Times said they are planning to turn the old government into a hotel worth £1 billion.

They are so rich that the wedding for one of the brother’s sons cost £15 million.

3. Len Blavatnik

Net Worth: £11.59 billion

Age: 58

Blavatnik, dubbed a “child of the Soviet Union, citizen of America” by the Sunday Times, became a billionaire after the fall of Soviet communism. Blavatnik, pictured on the right in this photo with model Miranda Kerr and Co-Founder & CEO of SnapChat Evan Spiegel, built his wealth through the control of oil producer TNK, partner of BP.

When it was sold to Russia’s Rosneft in 2013, Blavatnik’s share was worth more than £4 billion. He also invests in aluminium producers and chemical companies. In 2011, he bought Warner Music and then The Beatles’ label Parlophone.

4. Galen and George Weston

Net worth: £11 billion

Ages: 75, 52

Galen, pictured left here with actor James Franco, was born in Buckinghamshire and derives most of his fortune from the huge George Weston operation in Canada. The group owns a number of huge food stores including Loblaw supermarket chain, Weston Foods, and the British branch of the Weston empire, Associated British Foods. It is run by his nephew, George, and bargain fashion retailer Primark.

5. Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli

Net worth: £9.78 billion

Ages: 50, 44

Ernesto is Switzerland’s richest man after he sold his family’s pharmaceutical company Serono, which was Europe’s biggest biotech firm at the time, to German drugmaker Merck in 2006 for £9 billion.

His combined wealth with his wife Kirsty, the singer and model he married in 2000, makes her the richest woman in Britain. You can often spot them sailing around the world in the largest yacht ever built in the UK — the Vava II, which cost Ernesto £100 million for Kirsty’s 40th birthday.

6. The Duke of Westminster

Net worth: £9.35 billion

Age: 25

Following the sudden death of his father earlier this month, Hugh Grosvenor is the new Duke of Westminster – and at just 25, one of the richest people in Britain (and the world). The Duke makes most of his money from inherited land that dates back to 1677. He owns the Grosvenor family estate which has 300 acres across west London, including in wealthy areas like Belgravia and Mayfair. His property development pipeline was worth £5.5 billion as of the end of 2015.

7. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho

Net worth: £9.15 billion

Age: 61, 71

Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken inherited Dutch brewer Heineken, worth £36.7 billion, as the only child of Freddy Heineken who died in 2002. Her family’s stake is worth around £8.43 billion. She lives in London and Switzerland with her husband, Michel.

8. Kirsten and Jorn Rausing

Net worth: £8.7 billion

Ages: 63, 56

The Swedish brother and sister, who are the leading shareholders of Swiss packaging group Tetra Laval (formerly known as Tetra Pak), live in Britain. Their father was Gad Rausing, who is pictured in the middle next to his father Reuben and brother Hans. Gad and Hans had initially inherited Tetra Pak. Jorn had initially a £26.5 million stake in the online retailer Ocado — this stake is now worth £185 million ($266.46 million).

Meanwhile Kirsten owns three stud farms in the UK.

9. Hans Rausing and family

Net worth: £8.6 billion

Age: 90

Rausing and his wife’s fortune is derived from his revolutionary packaging company Tetra Pak, which later renamed to Tetra Laval.

The Rausing name has been in the spotlight after the last few years after the wife of his son, also called Hans, died in a drug overdose in 2012. Here is Hans (junior) with his new wife Julia Rausing, an art expert in 2014.

10. Alisher Usmanov

Net worth: £7.58 billion

Age: 62

The Russian oligarch made his money through steel and iron ore mines and companies such as Metalloinvest, and has a 30% stake in Arsenal Football Club. He has, however, started to move the ownership of some businesses back to Russia after President Vladimir Putin installed more favourable tax laws, according to The Sunday Times. He has slipped from 4th spot to 10th due to his large stake in commodities.

11. Lakshmi Mittal

Net worth: £7.12 billion

Age: 66

The steel tycoon’s fortune is actually down from its 2008 peak of £27.7 billion as falling steel and commodity prices hit the share value of ArcelorMittal. In fact, Mittal’s rankings is worse this year as the oil and commodities prices have yet to recover from tanking over the past 12 months.

Over the last year, his company has lost £5.5 billion last year and stopped paying a dividend to investors.

12. Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay

Net worth: £7 billion

Ages: 81

The London-born twins made most of their money from retail and hotel operations, such as Maybourne, which is the owner of iconic London hotels Claridge’s, the Berkeley, and the Connaught.

In 2015, they sold their stake in his group, which cost the Qatari purchasers £2.4 billion.

However, they are most famous for buying The Telegraph newspaper in 2004 for £665 million. This helped them make a £54 million profit last year.

13. Roman Abramovich

Net worth: £6.4 billion

Age: 49

The insanely rich Russian oligarch, pictured with his son Aaron, made his money through a range of commodities and energy companies. He firstly sold the Sibneft oil operation to Gazprom for £7.5 billion in 2005, after buying it for only £120 million a decade earlier.

However, he is more famous in Britain for owning Chelsea Football Club, one of the top teams in the English Premier League.

14. John Fredriksen

Net worth: £6.3 billion

Age: 71

Fredriksen is also Norway’s richest man. His fortune is largely down to what happened during the Iran and Iraq war of 1980 to 1988. His tankers managed to defy the fighting and pick up oil from the regions.

He also invests in shipping, fish farming, and other oil support operations but over the last year, the “family stakes in 15 companies have fallen to a combined £3 billion, says the Sunday Times.


15. Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber and family

Net worth: £5.84 billion

Age: 57

Al Jaber runs the London-based MBI International Holding Group. It invests in property, hotels, food, and energy. His business empire and property assets are worth £3.84 billion, with £2 billion held in cash.

He is perhaps most famous for accusing Barclays Bank of engaging in corrupt Saudi Arabian deals, which later led to Saudi Arabia claiming $10 billion in damages from the UK lender.

16. Earl Cadogan

Net worth: £5.7 billion

Age: 79

Charles Gerald John Cadogan cultivated a massive fortune through the property company Cadogan Group. In 2014, the group bought almost 200 properties. He’s been a huge beneficiary of the London property price boom as the Cadogan Group owns 93 acres in Chelsea — one of the capital’s prime locations.

Im 2015, net assets at the Cadogan Group rose to £5.2 billion, says The Sunday Times.

17. Sir James Dyson

Net worth: £5 billion

Age: 68

Industrial designer Dyson, pictured to the right, invented the bagless vacuum cleaner. His first ever invention was the Ballbarrow, a modified version of a wheelbarrow using a ball instead of a wheel, which he later implemented into some of his Dyson vacuum cleaner designs. He’s so rich now that he also owns more land in England than the Queen.

18. Nicky Oppenheimer

Net worth: £4.83 billion

Age: 70

Oppenheimer made a bulk of his wealth when sold his 40% stake in the De Beers diamond operation for £3.2 billion in 2011. He now owns an estate and organic farm near Maidenhead but still retains “extensive investments” in South Africa and in mining group Anglo American, said the Sunday Times.

19. Sir Richard Branson

Net worth: £4.52 billion

Age: 65

Branson is Britain’s poster child for entrepreneurship. He built his Virgin empire, which comprises of 400 companies, from the age of 16. His group now does everything from mobiles to banking to aviation and even, potentially, space travel. He’s known for his sense of humour and once pulled an extreme April Fool’s Day prank on a coworker — and got arrested.

20. John Grayken

Net worth: £4.415 billion

Age: 59

This newcomer has entered the list at a lofty position 20 for his huge stake in UK property operation Quintain.

The ex-Morgan Stanley banker’s US private equity firm Lone Star bought Quintain for £700 million in July last year. He lives in a mansion in Surrey.

21. Nathan Kirsh

Net worth: £4.37 billion

Age: 84

Kirsh founded a Swaziland corn milling business in 1958, which later led to his sizeable fortune. He controls Kirsh Group, which has a 75% stake in New York-based cash and carry operation Jetro Holdings.

22. Christo Wiese

Net worth: £4.33 billion

Age: 74

South African retail mogul Wiese in a newcomer to The Sunday Times Rich List, thanks to his range of investments in retail and property.

His active property portfolio is alone worth £80 million and he has large stakes in seven publicly traded companies. He is also the largest single shareholder in Africa’s biggest retailer, Shoprite and in 2015 he bought the New Look fashion chain in Britain.

23. Bruno Schroder

Net worth: £4.06 billion

Age: 83

Schroder and his family own a £3.7 billion ($5.32 billion) stake in City-based asset management group Schroders. He is the great-great-grandson of John Henry Schroder, who cofounded the Schroders businesses in 1804. He is still a non-executive director of the group.

24. Denise, John and Peter Coates

Net worth: £3.765 billion

Age: 48, 46, 68

Denise Coates is Britain’s richest self-made woman thanks to turning her small betting shop into the world’s largest online gambling company — Bet365.

The Sunday Times said that the family mortgaged all their “small chain of pretty rubbish betting shops,” as described by Denise, to buy the Bet365 domain name for£17,300 on eBay.

Now, Bet365 is worth at least £3.5 billion.

25. Baroness Howard de Walden and family

Net worth: £3.63 billion

Age: 80

The eldest of four daughters of the late Lord Howard de Walden leads the family’s property empire, which grew by £400 million in 2014 to 2015. The family controls 90 acres of central London land.

The Sunday Times said that “with central London values holding up well, we value the family’s business assets at £3.4 billion and add £230 million for other wealth.”