2020 Rich List

Danish owner of Highlands estates tops Scotland’s rich list

Aldourie Castle

Aldourie Castle: part of the Wildlands project

A Danish billionaire landowner and retailer, whose family were victims in a terrorist attack last year, has been named as the richest man in Scotland.

Anders Povlsen has amassed a £4.73 billion fortune which includes 221,000 acres of the Highlands, acquired through his company Wildland, a conservation project. Among the assets is the 500-acre Aldourie Castle estate, the only habitable castle on Loch Ness.

In September it was reported that he had added the North Coast 500 route to his portfolio.

He also owns the building in Princes Street occupied by Jenners. He bought the premises in 2017 for a reported £50m and last November it was revealed he had instructed advisers to draw up alternative plans to convert it to a hotel and restaurant.

Jenners owned by House of Fraser

Mr Povlsen is considering a change of use for the Jenner’s building (pic: Terry Murden)

Mr Povlsen’s other retail interests include the international clothing chain Bestseller. He is the biggest single shareholder in online clothing giant Asos with a 26.4% stake.

Tragedy struck last April when three of his four children died in a terrorist bombing in Sri Lanka.

Mr Povlsen is one of five new entries in the list of wealthiest people in Scotland, as compiled by The Sunday Times.

Daily Business last year questioned why, if land ownership was a qualifying factor, that Mr Povlsen was not included in the list.

Once again this year there is no mention in the top 20 of Glasgow-born Doug Barrowman, intended husband of Lady Michelle Mone, even though the couple are reputed to be worth more than £1 billion.

However, among those who are included in the Scottish list is retail entrepreneur Philip Day, despite having severed his links to Scotland some years ago. Born in Greater Manchester, he lives in Dubai, spends fewer than 10 days a year in Britain, and his Edinburgh Woollen Mill business relocated in 2018 from Langholm in the Borders to Carlisle.

The number of total rich-listers born, based or whose wealth is largely tied up in Scotland has remained the same this year at 82, but their combined worth is up by 13% to £39.5bn from £34.9bn.

Inventor James Dyson is the richest person in the UK for the first time.

The Brexit-backing vacuum cleaner entrepreneur saw his wealth grow by £3.6bn (€4bn) over the past year, climbing to £16.2bn (€18.1bn).

Overall, the wealth of the richest 1,000 across the whole of the UK is down £29bn or 3.7% from last year.

In February, it was expected the number of billionaires would rise to nearly 160, but it fell by four to 147 as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

A record 25 female billionaires make the list.

The Scottish top 20:

1) Anders Povlsen – Fashion, £4.73bn, New entry

2) Glenn Gordon and family (Wm Grant & Sons) – Spirits, £3.186bn, Up £304m

3) John Shaw and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw – Pharmaceuticals, £1.808bn, Up £119m

4) Sir Ian Wood and family – Oil services and fishing, £1.700bn, Down £63m

5) Mohamed Al-Fayed and family – Retailing, £1.675bn, Down £25m

6) Mahdi al-Tajir – Metals, oil and water, £1.669bn, Up £9m

7) The Thomson family – Media, £1.407bn, Up 6m

8) Trond Mohn and MaritMohn Westlake and family – Industry, £1.325bn, Down £277m

9) Philip Day (owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill) – Fashion, £1.140bn, Down £60m

10) Lady Philomena Clark and Family – Car sales, £1.131bn, Down £47m

11) Jim Mellon – Property and finance, £1.05bn, Down £50m

12) Jim McColl – Engineering, £1bn, Down £70m

13) Joanne Rowling – Novels and films, £795m, Up £45m

14) Lord Laidlaw – Conferences, £787m, Down £4m

15) Sir Brian Souter and Dame Ann Gloag – Transport, £730m, Down £145m

16) Ian Taylor – Commodities and fashion, £700m, Down £50m

17) Sir Tom Hunter – Retailing and property, £625m, Up £18m

18) The Duke of Sutherland – Art and land, £585m, No change

19) Rick Smith and family – Food distribution, £538m, Down £23m

20) Alastair Salvesen and family – Transport, plant hire and fisheries , £472m, Down £28m

The top 10 for the UK are:

1) James Dyson and family, household goods and technology, £16.2bn

2) Sri and Gopi Hinduja and family, industry and finance, £16bn

3) David and Simon Reuben, property and internet, £16bn

4) Leonard Blavatnik, investment, music and media, £15.78bn

5) Jim Ratcliffe, Ineos chemical giant, £12.15bn

6) Kirsten and Jorn Rausing, inheritance and investment, £12.1bn

7) Alisher Usmanov, mining and investment, £11.68bn

8) Guy, George and Galen Jr Weston and family, retail, £10.53bn

9) Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho, inheritance, brewing and banking, £10.3bn

10) The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family, property, £10.29bn

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