Wealth league

Billionaires in decline as super rich quit Britain

Jim Ratcliffe is a faller, Paul McCartney hits new milestone, Anders Holch Povlsen stays top in Scotland

Britain’s billionaires are a shrinking community, according to the latest compilation of the wealthiest individuals and families.

The number has fallen sharply in just two years, from a peak of 177 in 2022 to 165 this year, according to the Sunday Times Rich list.

The minimum entry for the list of 350 this year is £350 million and they have a combined fortune of £795 billion — a sum larger than the annual GDP of Poland.

Robert Watts, compiler of the list, said: “Britain’s billionaire boom has come to an end. Many of our home-grown entrepreneurs have seen their fortunes fall and some of the global super rich who came here are moving away.

“Thousands of British livelihoods rely on the super-rich to some extent. We’ll have to wait and see whether we have now reached peak billionaire, and what that means for our economy.

“These may be harder times to create wealth, but The Sunday Times Rich List continues to unearth entrepreneurs building fortunes in diverse and often surprising ways. This year’s new entries include people who have made money from artificial intelligence and virtual worlds as well as plumbing supplies and teaching aides.”

Despite the fall in billionaires, Gopi Hinduja and his family are the richest people in the UK with a fortune of £37.2 billion, up from £35 billion last year and the largest fortune ever recorded in the leading wealth rankings.

The biggest fallers on this year’s list are Sir Jim Ratcliffe (£6.2bn), founder of the petrochemicals giant Ineos that now operates 194 sites, including Grangemouth, in 29 countries. He resides in Monaco and has bought a stake in Manchester United.

Another big faller is Sir James Dyson and family (£2.2bn) , Britain’s best-known inventor who has established a university and pledged £35 million to his old school.

Meanwhile, Sir Paul McCartney has reached a milestone as the first UK musician to achieve billionaire status, boosting his wealth by £50 million. This increase comes after a year of touring and the lucrative value of his back catalogue, along with covers by Beyoncé. 

Optical Express founder David Moulsdale joins the list for the first time this year. Also making her debut alongside the Glasgow entrepreneur is Flure Grossart, the daughter of the late Edinburgh financier Sir Angus Grossart. 

Other new entries include Euan Blair,Tony Blair’s eldest son, who set up the £1.4 billion apprenticeship tech firm Multiverse that matches people with apprenticeships at more than 1,500 firms, ranging from Google and Microsoft to Pfizer and Net-a-Porter, where they can earn a salary as they learn. Monaco-based Sir Lewis Hamilton, the Formula 1 driver, is said to have secured a new contract with Ferrari that could be worth as much as $446 million.

Once again there is no mention of the ‘billionaire’ Doug Barrowman and his wife Michelle Mone.

Danish retailer and land owner Anders Holch Povlsen remains the richest person resident in Scotland. Among his assets is the fire-hit Jenners building in Edinburgh.

Other familiar names in the list include the Gordon family owners of spirits firm William Grant, the oil and regeneration leader Sir Ian Wood, the bus and property brothers Sandy and James Easdale, and the author JK Rowling.

SCOTLAND’S RICHEST

ScotlandRankNameSector2024wealthWealth increase/decrease
1Anders Holch Povlsen Fashion: Bestseller and Asos£6.73bnDown £1.77bn
2Glenn Gordon and familySpirits: William Grant and Sons£5.619bnUp £1.012bn
3Sir Ian Wood and familyOil services and fishing: Wood Group£1.911bnUp £91m
4Mahdi Al-TajirMetals, oil and water: Highland Spring£1.641bnUp £4m
5Lady Philomena Clark and familyCar sales: Arnold Clark£1.581bnDown £310m
6Sandy and James EasdaleTransport and property: McGill’s£1.45bnUp £25m
7The Thomson familyMedia: DC Thomson£1.367bnDown £90m
8JK RowlingNovels and films: Harry Potter£945mUp £70m
9Sir Brian Souter and Dame Ann GloagTransport: Stagecoach Group£815mUp £35m
10Lord Laidlaw Conferences: IIR£741mDown £8m

THE 20 WEALTHIEST UK BILLIONAIRES

2024Rank Name2024 WealthSource of WealthRise/Fall2023 Wealth
1Gopi Hinduja and family£37.196bnInvestors▲£2.196bn  £35bn
2Sir Leonard Blavatnik£29.246bnInvestor▲£0.621bn  £28.625bn
3David and Simon Reuben and family£24.977bnLandlords▲£0.578bn  £24.399bn
4Sir Jim Ratcliffe£23.519bnChemicals magnate£6.169bn  £29.688bn
5Sir James Dyson and family£20.8bnInventor£2.2bn  £23bn
6Barnaby and Merlin Swire and family£17.2bnTransport dynasty▲£8.82bn  £8.38bn
7Idan Ofer£14.960bnShipping tycoon▲£6.96bn  £8bn
8Lakshmi Mittal and family£14.921bnSteel magnate£1.079bn  £16bn
9Guy, George, Alannah and Galen Weston and family£14.493bnHeirs and retailers£0.007bn  £14.5bn
10John Fredriksen and family£12.867bnOil baron▲£4.556bn  £8.311bn
11Kirsten and Jorn Rausing£12.634bnHeirs▲£0.634bn  £12bn
12Alex Gerko£12.055bnTrader▲£2.926bn  £9.129bn
13Michael Platt£12bnHedge funder▲£0.5bn  £11.5bn
14Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho£11.751bnBrewing heir and banker▼£1.371bn  £13.122bn
15The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family£10.127bnProperty heir

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/sunday-times-rich-list



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