Tech bubble burst trims wealth of Britain’s richest
Danish businessman Anders Holch Povlsen is once again named the richest person in Scotland in a list that reveals how some of Britain’s wealthiest individuals are nursing heavy losses from the bursting of the tech bubble.
Mr Povlsen, the country’s largest land owner whose interests include the struggling online fashion business ASOS and the fire-damaged Jenners’ building in Edinburgh, ranks 17th in the overall Sunday Times Rich List, up from 23rd last year. He has a fortune estimated at £8.5 billion, up £2bn from £6.5bn in 2022.
But Sir Richard Branson’s wealth has fallen by £1.79bn since last year, largely due to the falling share prices of his space tourism and satellite ventures.
The list reveals that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty have lost £200 million as the value of her stake in her father’s IT company plummeted. The couple’s wealth is estimated at around £529m.
There are 171 billionaires in the UK recorded in this year’s Sunday Times rich list, down six from 2022. Even so, their combined wealth is up £30.7bn, or 4.5%, to £684bn.
Whisky dynasty, Glenn Gordon and family, is listed as this year’s second richest in Scotland at £4.6bn. Based in Jersey, Gordon runs William Grant & Sons, and is owner of Drambuie, Glenfiddich and Grant’s. Harrod’s owner Mohamed Al Fayed still appears in the Scottish list because of his ownership of an estate.
Among others in the Scottish list are transport and property entrepreneurs Sandy and James Easdale whose joint worth is £1.425bn, ranking them 126th in the UK list. Harry Potter author JK Rowling is ranked 191st with a fortune of £875m. Transport tycoons Sir Brian Souter and Dame Ann Gloag are listed at 221st with a worth of £780m. Sir Tom Hunter is 240th with £700m. As in previous years there is no mention of Douglas Barrowman and Lady Michelle Mone. Former Ferguson Marine owner Jim McColl has also disappeared from the list.
Under 35s in this year’s list include the likes of England footballer Harry Kane, and the singers Dua Lipa and Harry Styles.
Overall, the richest 350 in the UK this year are worth £796.5bn.The minimum wealth needed to be counted in the top 350 is £350 million.
The Giving List reveals the UK’s most generous man, a hedge funder who donates £2.1 million a day.
Robert Watts, compiler of the Rich List, said: “A golden period for the super rich is over. For the first time in 14 years we’ve seen the number of UK billionaires fall.
“Two years ago we raised concerns about an unsettling boom in the fortunes of the very wealthy that continued unchecked during the political instability around Brexit and the pandemic.
“This is not a crash – but there are household names who have lost vast sums over the past year. The bursting of the tech bubble, the end of rock bottom interests and the jitters creeping through the banking industry have all taken their toll.
“The super rich don’t exist in a vacuum. Many small investors lost money in some of their overblown stock market floats. Many people also work for their businesses. Financial losses for billionaires can have implications for us all.”
TOP 10 RICHEST IN UK
|1||Gopi Hinduja and family||£35bn|
|2||Sir Jim Ratcliffe||£29.688bn|
|3||Sir Leonard Blavatnik||£28.625bn|
|4||David and Simon Reuben and family||£24.399bn|
|5||Sir James Dyson and family||£23bn|
|6||Lakshmi Mittal and family||£16bn|
|7||Guy, George, Alannah and Galen Weston and family||£14.5bn|
|8||Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho||£13.122bn|
|9||Kirsten and Jorn Rausing||£12bn|
THE FIVE WEALTHIEST IN SCOTLAND
|Rank||Name||Source of Wealth||2023 Wealth||Rise/Fall|
|1||Anders Holch Povlsen||Fashion: Bestseller and Asos||£8.5bn||Up £2bn|
|2||Glenn Gordon and family||Spirits: William Grant & Sons||£4.607bn||Up £1.2bn|
|3||Sir Ian Wood and family||Oil services and fishing: Wood Group||£1.82bn||Up £1m|
|4||Mohamed Al Fayed and family||Retailing and hotels: Harrods and Paris Ritz||£1.699bn||No change|
|5||Mahdi al-Tajir||Metals, oil and water: Highland Spring||£1.637bn||Down £48m|