Peoples Digest Online – It is a boom time for billionaires, according to this year’s Sunday Times Rich List.
The 29th Sunday Times Rich List, which lists the 1,000 wealthiest individuals and families in the UK, revealed that “this year’s 500 richest individuals and families are now wealthier than the entire top 1,000 were in 2016.”
Those who saw their fortunes soar were mainly those making money out of the City, those holding huge property portfolios, or people who were involved in manufacturing. This year though, it the top of the list saw some huge gains in individual fortunes. For example, the Lakshmi family, which owns the largest steel maker in the world ArcelorMittal, saw their wealth grow by £6.1 billion in just one year.
Take a look at who else made the top 25 spots this year below:
25. Joe Lewis
Net worth: £4.601 billion
Lewis initially made his his fortune in the hospitality business but now is incredibly rich due to his investment in Tavistock — an operation which has interests in more than 200 companies. He own four yachts and the latest 320 feet one is “more than an office – it’s also my home for much of the year,” he said to The Sunday Times.
He also has a huge art collection, which includes works by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, and owns Tottenham Hotspur football club.
24. Christo Wiese
Net worth: £4.62 billion
South African retail mogul Christo Wiese was a newcomer to The Sunday Times Rich List last year, 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. Sir Richard Branson
Net worth: £4.865 billion
Branson is Britain’s poster child for entrepreneurship. He built his Virgin empire, which comprises 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 Fools’ Day prank on a coworker — and got arrested.
22. Denise, John, and Peter Coates
Net worth: £5 billion
Age: 49, 47, 79
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 of their “small chain of pretty rubbish betting shops,” as described by Denise, to buy the Bet365 domain name for $25,000 on eBay.
Now Bet365 is worth at least £4.5 billion and the Coates family owns 93.3% of it.
21. John Grayken
Net worth: £5.086 billion
He was a newcomer in the list last year 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 managed to add £671 million onto his net worth, thanks to his Quintain investment.
20. Carrie and Francois Perrodo and family
Net worth: £5.176 billion
Ages: 65, 40
Carrie is the widow of the late Hubert Perrodo, who founded the Franco-British oil company Perenco. When he died in an Alpine climbing accident in 2006, Carrie and her eldest son, Francois, took control of the company.
19. Nicky Oppenheimer
Net worth: £5.534 billion
Oppenheimer made a bulk of his wealth when he 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.
18. Jim Ratcliffe
Net worth: £5.75 billion
Ratcliffe is the archetypal rags-to-riches story. He grew up on the outskirts of Manchester and, according to the Sunday Times, “he used to count the chimneys he could see from his parents’ council house. It inspired him to forge a career in industry.”
He then founded and now runs one of the world’s biggest chemical companies Ineos. He has a holding in that group worth £5.75 billion.
He also owns yachts and an impressive property portfolio, which includes a huge estate in remote northeast Iceland that he bought in December.
17. Earl Cadogan
Net worth: £6.5 billion
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.
16. Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber and family
Net worth: £6.763 billion
Al Jaber runs the London-based MBI International Holding Group. It invests in property, hotels, food, and energy.
He is perhaps most famous for accusing Barclays of engaging in corrupt Saudi Arabian deals, which later led to Saudi Arabia claiming $10 billion in damages from the UK lender. The Sunday Times said “Jaber’s net worth could have doubled in 2015 if a $10 billion suit against Barclays Bank over alleged licence fraud had gone his way.”
15. Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay
Net worth: £7.2 billion
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. The Sunday Times said they are “considering offloading a substantial stake in their £2 billion Shop Direct operation, which includes the brands Littlewoods and very.co.uk.”
However, they are most famous for buying The Telegraph newspaper in 2004 for £665 million.
14. Sir James Dyson
Net worth: £7.8 billion
Industrial designer Dyson 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 — this is worth alone £1.5 billion.
13. Roman Abramovich
Net worth: £8.053 billion
The insanely rich Russian oligarch made his money through a range of commodities and energy companies. His holdings in 13 businesses worth a combined £4 billion. He first 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.
He took a blow to his fortune when he divorced Irina Malandina but he is now married to Dasha Zhukova, 35.
12. John Fredriksen
Net worth: £8.057 billion
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.
The Sunday Times said “he is set to hand his empire over to his twin daughters Kathrine and Cecilie, 33. Both are business graduates who hold directorships in family companies (not to mention perpetual listings as eligible billionaires).”
11. Hans Rausing and family
Net worth: £9.25 billion
Rausing and his wife’s fortune is derived from his revolutionary packaging company Tetra Pak, which was later renamed to Tetra Laval.
The Rausing name has been in the spotlight in the last few years after the wife of his son, also called Hans, died in a drug overdose in 2012.
10. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho
Net worth: £9.3 billion
Ages: 62, 72
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.
9. The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family
Net worth: £9.52 billion
Hugh Grosevenor became the Seventh Duke of Westminster after his father Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor died in August 2016.
The family makes most of their money from inherited land that dates back to 1677. The Grosvenor family estate, which has 300 acres across west London, including in wealthy areas like Belgravia and Mayfair. His property-development pipeline is at £5.5 billion as of the end of 2015.
8. Kirsten and Jorn Rausing
Net worth: £9.66 billion
Ages: 64, 57
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. Gad and Hans initially inherited Tetra Pak. Jorn initially had a £26.5 million stake in the online retailer Ocado — this stake is now worth £182 million.
7. Guy, George and Galen Jr Weston and family
Net worth: £10.5 billion
Ages: 76, 56, 53
Galen 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.Their 20.8% stake is worth £4.3 billion.
5. Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli
Net worth: £11.5 billion
Ages: 51, 45
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 and was built for Kirsty’s 40th birthday.
Although their fortune rose by £1.7 billion last year but still moved down one spot in the ranking.
5. Alisher Usmanov
Net worth: £11.791 billion
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 also grew rich through shares in Spotify and Airbnb, which are up to about £4 billion.
4. Lakshmi Mittal
Net worth: £13.229 billion
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. But Mittal managed to jump several places up the ranking after a challenging 2015, where oil and commodities prices tanked over 12 months.
In previous years, his company lost £5.5 billion and stopped paying a dividend to investors. However, in 2016, shares rose sharply after Mittal’s main operation, Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal, reported a £1.38 billion profit.
3. David and Simon Reuben
Net worth: £14 billion
Ages: 78, 76
The Mumbai-born brothers and British citizens make most of their money through lucrative property deals after initially investing in the Russian metals market. Returns from their lucrative properties — such as 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. Their latest “success story,” says the Sunday Times, is in data centres, where they sold a 49% stake last year in operator Global Switch for £2.4 billion.
2. Len Blavatnik
Net Worth: £15.982 billion
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 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, as well as the world’s largest producer of polypropylene LyondellBasell, where his shares are now valued at £6 billion.
In 2011, he bought Warner Music and then The Beatles’ label, Parlophone.
1. Sri and Gopi Hinduja
Net worth: £16.2 billion
Age: 81, 77
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.
They are so rich that the wedding for one of the brother’s sons cost £15 million.