Home Business NewsBusiness Meet the UK’s 37 British billionaires…

Meet the UK’s 37 British billionaires…

27th Jan 14 8:34 am

…you won’t have heard of most of them

Envy? For sure. Inspired? A given. Driven to dip that bit closer to the grindstone at work? Definitely the healthiest choice.

Using data taken from Forbes’s World’s billionaires List, we’ve compiled a breakdown of Britain’s richest home-grown residents – and uncovered the means by which the top 10 acquired their wealth.

There are 37 billionaires with British citizenships in all, and you may be surprised that you won’t have heard of many of them.

So cast a green-hued eye over the wealth of Britain’s richest.

And with money on your mind, how about scheduling a meeting about that long-overdue rise?

UK Rank 1: Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor and family

Wealth: $11.4bn

Source: Real estate

Can you imagine it? Being Britain’s richest citizen and having pockets so deep no one else comes close. No, we can’t either, but we had a few moments fun trying.

It’s the reality for the fifth Duke of Westminster and his family. He’s the founder of the expansive Grosvenor Group firm.

But the Grosvenor family’s wealth spans history. Born in Northern Ireland, most of Grosvenor’s wealth comes from vast land ownership across Britain and different cities.

Among the assets are 190 acres of real-estate in Belgravia where homes can sell for $150m. The family also has 96,000 acres in Scotland and 32,000 acres in Spain. (I’d like to make a witty comment here, but for Britain’s richest resident, I’m rendered tongue-tied.)

UK Rank 2: David and Simon Reuben

Wealth: $10.5bn

Source:  Investments and real estate

This mega-successful duo cut their teeth in business importing carpets and metals trading before joining forces in Transworld, a metals trader that invested in Russia and Kazakhstan in the 1990s.

The pair also controls 48% of all horseracing in the UK after acquiring Arena Leisure.

Latest ventures include a plan to turn the famous Mayfair estate of In and Out Club into a 48-bedroom residence and a 35,000-bottle wine cellar. Culmination of the project will make it the most expensive private residence in the UK.

Listing star-studded Monaco among their homes, the pair still makes time for philanthropic pursuits and recently announced plans to provide the funding for university scholarships for inner city children.

Mega successful and with a social conscience – we are not worthy.

UK Rank: 3 Hinduja Brothers

Wealth: $8.3bn

Source: Diversified

Gopichand, Srichand, Prakash and Ashok are the four brothers who together control the multinational conglomerate Hinduja Group. It operates in 37 countries with businesses in banking, trucks, lubricants and healthcare.

The close-knit foursome have also made a household name for themselves in India for IndusInd Bank and truckmaker Ashok Leyland.

The brothers, who rank third richest in Britain and sixth wealthiest in their native India, boast scores of business triumphs, notably the sale of a 49% stake in Saudi-based lubricants maker Petromin for over $30m.

And the dwelling place of choice for these four members of the mega rich? The 67,000 sq. ft. fully-restored Carlton House Terrace, a heritage mansion near Buckingham Palace valued at a cool $500m.


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UK Rank 4: Charles Cadogan and family

Wealth: $5.5bn

Source: Real estate

The Earl of Cadogan, the head of one of London’s wealthiest real-estate dynasties, stepped down as chair of Cadogan Estates in 2012, 38 years after first taking the helm. The 300-year-old property portfolio is now in the hands of Cadogan’s son, Edward, Viscount Chelsea. He is overseeing the redevelopment of shopping haven Sloane Street, named after an ancestor, as part of his new role.

Cadogan, who launched himself as a merchant banker at Schroder Wagg before entering into real estate is the owner of 90 acres of prime real estate in some of London’s glitziest postcodes.

Happen upon Chelsea and Knightsbridge and you’re likely to stumble upon a piece.

UK Rank 5: Philip Green and family

Wealth: $5bn

Source: Retail

We’ve all heard of Topshop. And this has nothing to do with my personal addiction to the brand that bangs out rail after rail of ahead-of-the-trends clobber seemingly week after week.

Perhaps even more impressive is the mastermind behind the retailer’s success. Welcome the inimitable Philip Green, the high-school dropout come Arcadia Group extraordinaire and media darling.

He’s responsible for turning around the fortunes of high street stalwarts BHS and Dorothy Perkins and making Topshop the household name it is today.

After selling 25% of Topshop to J. Crew’s investor Leonard Green for an inconceivably huge $763m in 2012, he valued his fashion chain at $3bn and eradicated the bank debt for Arcadia in one smooth swoop. Makes us mere mortals whimper, doesn’t it. And rumour has it he may make a second attempt at turning around the fortunes of Marks & Spencer next.

Green, who launched his first store selling discount designer brands at the age of 27, is renowned for his ability to host the glitziest Monaco parties. Just ask good friends Simon Cowell and Kate Moss!

Read: All about Bill Gates’ bizzare post on ‘condom hat’

UK Rank 6:  Richard Branson

Wealth: $4.6bn

Source: Virgin

Forbes magazine has unveiled the news that one of Britain’s best known billionaires has added even more zeros to his bank balance this year following the sale of Virgin Media to billionaire John Malone of Liberty Global.

The mogul, now in his sixties, has his finger in pretty much every conceivable pie with his giant Virgin empire, from mobile phones to health centres to space travel.

Never one to play the publicity-shy card, most of his feats appear in the papers accompanied by a picture of a champagne-popping Branson.

And of course he teamed up with billionaire investor Wilbur Ross in a $1.2bn deal to bail out Northern Rock.

Not bad for a high school drop-out.

UK Rank 7: James Dyson

Wealth: $4.4bn

Source: Vacuums and engineering

Sir James Dyson doesn’t do multiple-billion pound success by halves. This genius engineer and inventor ran through 5,127 prototypes before settling on his G-Force upright vacuum cleaner. The final product utilises spinning air and the power of centrifugal force – no, we didn’t get it either – and is as successful as his introduction of the now universally-used bagless vacuum.

The magnate recently lobbied UK government ministers to improve the image of engineering and highlight it as a career. In 2013 he pushed to focus on the development of tangible technology to export above “the glamour of web fads and video gaming”.

His 2010 invention, a futuristic bladeless fan called the Air Multiplier, has been plagued by Chinese copies – but we’d like to think we could tell the Dyson difference.

UK Rank 8: Laurence Graff

Wealth: $4.4bn

Source: Diamond jewellery

Self-made diamond merchant tycoon Laurence Graff dropped out of school at the age of 14 to become a jeweller’s apprentice in London’s East End.

And it was a sage decision, because he now counts Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump and the Sultan and Queen of Brunei among his loyal

Graff has more than 20 stores worldwide, with recent outposts in Hong Kong and Dubai, and assets which include a polished-diamond trading venture in Antwerp, a vineyard and winery in South Africa and real estate in London’s Mayfair.

Married to French wife Anne-Marie for more than 50 years, Graff made the headlines a few years ago when he admitted to fathering a baby outside of wedlock. But his marriage – like his business – remains strong.

UK Rank 9: Anthony Bamford

Wealth: $4.2bn

Source: Construction equipment

Just as my mum calls all vacuums “hoovers” after the machine’s original inventor, backhoes are usually referred to as JCBs, after Joseph Cyril Bamford, who founded the equipment institution JC Bamford Excavators in 1945. The family-owned brand is now owned by Joseph’s son Sir Anthony Bamford.

The company enjoyed a post-recession construction boom with revenues of more than $4.3bn in 2012, up almost 40% year-on-year.

Bamford counts the Prime Minister David Cameron among his friends and is a prolific donator to the conservative party.

The Bamford portfolio also boasts prime real estate including the 1,700-acre Daylesford House in Gloucestershire.

Sir Anthony’s wife has added to the family portfolio with the founding of her Daylesford Organics business which has relaunched into an upmarket café chain. 

That’s one successful family.

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UK Rank 10: Joe Lewis

Wealth: $4.2bn

Sector: Investments

Now in his seventies, Joe Lewis started out as an FX trader and continues to trade currencies today. He owns the 7,000-acre medical city in Lake Nona, described as one of the fastest-growing communities in the US. It features four large medical institutions and sells 40 houses per month.

Lewis also heads Tavistock Group with interests in more than 150 companies, among them Tottenham Hotspur and a stake in giant UK pub operator Mitchells & Butlers.

Lewis spends his spare time adding to his $1bn art collection and working from the comfort of his yacht.

And where does he call home? Florida, the Bahamas and Argentina.


That got you excited! Here are the rest:

UK Rank 11: Bruno Schroder

Wealth: $4.1bn

Source: Investments

UK Rank 12: Bernard Ecclestone and family

Wealth: $3.8bn

Sector: Formula One

UK Rank 13: Michael Ashley

Wealth: $3.5bn

Source: Sports retailing

UK Rank 14: Ian and Richard Livingstone

Wealth: $3.4bn

Source: Real estate

UK Rank 15: David and Frederick Barclay

Wealth: $3.2bn

Source: Media retail

UK Rank 16: Eddie and Sol Zakay

Wealth: $3bn

Source: Real estate

UK Rank 17: Farhad Moshiri

Wealth: $2.8bn

Source: Iron ore, steel, telecoms

UK Rank: 18 John Caudwell

Wealth: $2.6bn

Source: Mobile phones

UK Rank 19: John Whittaker

Wealth: $2.5bn

Source: Real estate

UK Rank 20: Clive Calder

Wealth: $2.4bn

Source: Record label

UK Rank 21: Peter Hargreaves

Wealth: $2.3bn

Source: Financial services

UK Rank 22: Nadhmi Auchi

Wealth: $2.2bn

Source: Real estate

UK Rank 23: Alex Beard

Wealth: $2.1bn

Source: Glencore International

UK Rank 24: Mark Coombs

Wealth: $2.1bn

Source: Finance

UK Rank 25: Ayman Asfari

Wealth: $1.9bn

Source: Oil services

UK Rank: 26 Richard Desmond

Wealth: $1.9bn

Source: Oil services

UK Rank 27: Charles Dunstone

Wealth: $1.9bn

Sector: Mobile phones

UK Rank 28: Richard Elman & family

Wealth: $1.8bn

Source: Commodities

UK Rank 29: Alan Howard

Wealth: $1.6bn

Source: Hedge funds

UK Rank 30: Xiu Li Hawken

Wealth: $1.5bn

Source: Real-estate

UK Rank 31: Robert Miller

Wealth: $1.5bn

Source: Retail

UK Rank 32: David Harding

Wealth: $1.3bn

Source: Finance

UK Rank 33: Mohammed Ibrahim

Wealth: 1.1bn

Source: Communications

UK Rank 34: James Ratcliffe

Wealth: $1.1bn

Source: Chemicals

UK Rank 35: David Sainsbury

Wealth: $1.1bn

Source: Retail

UK Rank 36: Michael Ashcroft

Wealth: $1bn

Source: Security

UK Rank 37: Nasser Khalili

Wealth: $1bn

Source: Art, real-estate


All information has been sourced by Forbes magazine World billionaires List.


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