2015年4月26日星期日

Ukrainian oligarch worth £13billion becomes Britain's richest man as wealth of top 1,000 people more than doubles since 2009 financial crash

  • Len Blavatnik tops the Sunday Times Rich List with a £13.17billion fortune
  • Ukrainian oligarch pipped last year's richest men Sri and Gopi Hinduja 
  • The wealthiest 1,000 individuals have a combined wealth of almost £550bn
  • Huge figure is more than double what the top 1,000 had ten years ago 

Ukrainian Oligarch Len Blavatnik - the richest man in Britain - with his wife Emily

Ukrainian Oligarch Len Blavatnik - the richest man in Britain - with his wife Emily

A Ukrainian oligarch has been named the richest man in Britain as it was revealed that the wealthiest 1,000 people have a combined wealth of more than £500billion.

Businessman Len Blavatnik, whose vast empire includes the Warner Music Group, topped the Sunday Times Rich List after his fortune grew £3billion to £13.17billion.

He took over top spot from brothers Sri and Gopi Hinduja, who were nudged into second place despite their fortune rising by £1.1billion to £13billion.

This year's list found the wealthiest 1,000 individuals and families now have a combined fortune of £547.1 billion.

That is more than double the wealth of the top 1,000 at the time of the financial crash in 2009, despite the world economy being gripped by a punishing recession over much of the last decade.

All of the elite group have at least £100million, while in 1997 people required far less - although still a vast sum of money - at £15million.

The list, which is published tomorrow, includes 117 billionaires, up from 104 last year. They account for a total wealth of £325.1billion and 80 of them are based in London. 

It means the capital has more billionaires than any other city in the world.

In third with £9.8billion is Galen Weston, who runs the company which owns Selfridges and Primark, followed by Russian Oligarch Alisher Usmanov, a major shareholder in Arsenal football club.

Usmanov, from Uzbekistan, is not the only football club boss in the top 10, with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in tenth with a £7.29billion fortune.

Abramovich saw his total wealth fall by more than £1billion, as did Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, who was seventh on the list.

Blavatnik owns a 13-bedroom grade II*-listed mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens in west London said to be worth £200million

Blavatnik owns a 13-bedroom grade II*-listed mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens in west London said to be worth £200million

Sri and Gopi Hinduja were nudged into second place on the list despite their fortune rising by £1.1billion to £13billion

Sri and Gopi Hinduja were nudged into second place on the list despite their fortune rising by £1.1billion to £13billion

Swiss businessman Ernesto Bertarelli and his wife Kirsty, a former Miss UK, have a £9.45billion fortune

Swiss businessman Ernesto Bertarelli and his wife Kirsty, a former Miss UK, have a £9.45billion fortune

Two women made the top 10, with Kirsten Rausing (pictured at Ascot) and her brother Jorn - grandchildren of the founder of Tetra Pak - sitting on £8.8billion

Two women made the top 10, with Kirsten Rausing (pictured at Ascot) and her brother Jorn - grandchildren of the founder of Tetra Pak - sitting on £8.8billion

Both Abramovich and Usmanov's empires were hit by the fall in the value of the Russian rouble as a result of economic sanctions brought against Vladimir Putin's country for its invasion of Crimea and conflict in Ukraine.

Two women made the top 10, with Kirsten Rausing and her brother Jorn - grandchildren of the founder of Tetra Pak - sitting on £8.8billion.

The other woman is Kirsty Bertarelli, a former Miss UK, however much of her family's money - totalling £9.45billion - was made by her husband, former pharmaceuticals boss Ernesto. 

Also making it on to the list was Richard Branson, who in 20th place commands a £4.1billion empire.

He has around £500million more than Newcastle United and Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, as well as entrepreneur James Dyson, who are both said to have assets worth £3.5billion, 

The 27th annual Sunday Times Rich List will be released tomorrow with profiles of the 1,000 richest individuals and families in the UK and the wealthiest 250 in Ireland.

It is based on 'identifiable wealth' - including land, property, other assets such as art and racehorses, or significant shares in publicly quoted companies. It does not include money held in bank accounts.

FOOTBALL CLUB CHAIRMEN AND OLIGARCHS TOP THE LIST

Len Blavatnik, who topped the Sunday Times Rich List, with singer Katherine Jenkins

Len Blavatnik, who topped the Sunday Times Rich List, with singer Katherine Jenkins

1) Len Blavatnik - £13.17billion

Len Blavatnik leapt from fourth to first in the list as his fortune grew to £13.17billion. 

He arrived penniless in the U.S. with his parents in the 1970s at the age of 21 but immediately took to American entrepreneurial capitalism.

He made an early fortune buying and selling apartments in Manhattan and after decades of shrewd business was able to buy Warner Music Group, in a $3.3billion all-cash buyout of the world’s third-largest music company.

The company's artists include Green Day, Metallica and Bruno Mars - the latter of which was reportedly paid $1.25million to play at Blavatnik's daughters bat mitzvah.

In February, he bought Parlophone Records, the once legendary record label, for £500 million.

Parlophone has the likes of Coldplay, Tinie Tempah and Blur on its roster and Blavatnik’s purchase makes him an even stronger power in the music game.

Blavatnik, who has four children with his wife Emily, owns a 13-bedroom grade II*-listed mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens in west London said to be worth £200million

Indian-born brothers Sri (right) and Gopi Hinduja last year topped the rich list

Indian-born brothers Sri (right) and Gopi Hinduja last year topped the rich list

2) Sri and Gopi Hinduja - £13billion

Indian-born brothers Sri and Gopi Hinduja last year topped the list of the UK's wealthiest billionaires, but have slipped to second this year.

The London-based pair run the global conglomerate Hinduja Group, which has a wide range of interests in businesses including bus manufacturing and banking.

The Hinduja brothers' pursuit of British citizenship embroiled the Labour party in scandal and cost two Blair ministers their jobs in 2001.

The family have previously been implicated in an arms scandal in India and their attempts to get British passports led to the resignation of then Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson.

He had been accused of lobbying for their passports in return for £1million donations towards the cost of the Millennium Dome. 

Keith Vaz was also sacked when it emerged he had made representations on behalf of the Hinduja brothers as they applied for British citizenship.

3) Galen Weston and family - £11billion

Galen Weston is the executive chairman of George Weston Ltd, a leading food distribution company.

The English Canadian businessman, 74, is also reported to be the second wealthiest man in Canada.

Galen Weston is also an experienced supermarket retailer who maintains controlling interest in Loblaw Companies, Canada’s largest food retailer.

He is known best in Britain as being head of the Selfridges Group, which owns upmarket Selfridges in central London. 

Galen Weston, pictured with Joan Collins and Lily Allen, owns Selfridges and is worth £11billion

Galen Weston, pictured with Joan Collins and Lily Allen, owns Selfridges and is worth £11billion

4) Alisher Usmanov - £9.8billion

The Uzbek oligarch was named Britain’s richest man in 2012 and owns almost one-third of Arsenal Football Club.

Usmanov owns Sutton Place, the former Surrey home of the oil baron J. Paul Getty, as well as a £48million mansion in London.

He is married to Irina Viner, 64, the head coach of Russia’s rhythmic gymnastics team. 

Mr Usmanov served six years in a Soviet jail in the Eighties after being convicted of fraud and extortion, although his conviction was later overturned. 

Usmanov, pictured with Chelsea chairman Roman Abramovich, owns almost a third of Arsenal Football Club

Usmanov, pictured with Chelsea chairman Roman Abramovich, owns almost a third of Arsenal Football Club

5) David and Simon Reuben - £9.7billion 

The Reuben brothers made their money in Russian aluminium before branching into the London real estate market.

Their portfolio includes the Millbank Tower, the John Lewis headquarters in Victoria, Carlton House in SW1, Connaught House on Berkeley Square and prime Sloane Street shops.

They have also been involved in the regeneration of the Paddington area through the Merchant Square scheme and are in the process of creating a 340,000 square foot mixed-use development on Albert Embankment. 

The Reuben brothers made their money in Russian aluminium before branching into the London real estate market

The Reuben brothers made their money in Russian aluminium before branching into the London real estate market

 



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