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Revealed: The top 10 richest husbands and wives in the UK

2nd May 17 9:43 am

Take a look

1. Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli
Wealth: £11.5bn, up £1.72bn

2. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho
Wealth: £9.3bn, up £150m

3. Alejandro Santo Domingo and Lady Charlotte Wellesley
Wealth: £3.862bn (new)

4. Francois-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek
Wealth: £3.437bn, up £1.087bn

5. Sir Philip and Lady Green
Wealth: £2.787bn, down £433m

6. Sir Michael Moritz and Harriet Heyman
Wealth: £2.629bn, up £679m

7. Chris and Sarah Dawson
Wealth: £1.9bn, up £150m

8. Douglas and Dame Mary Perkins
Wealth: £1.6bn, up £50m

9. Poju and Anita Zabludowicz
Wealth: £1.5bn

10. Georg and Emily von Opel
Wealth: £1.416bn

Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli are the richest couple in Britain, according to the new edition of The Sunday Times Rich List, to be published this Sunday, May 7. The 160-page special edition of The Sunday Times Magazine reveals the wealth of the 1,000 richest people in Britain.

Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli top the list of the richest husbands and wives with a fortune of £11.5bn. The couple’s fortune is largely derived from the sale of the family biotech business Serono which earned them $8.6bn, and the soaring share value in a further pharma business, Santhera, in which they have a significant stake.

Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, the daughter of late Heineken boss Freddy Heineken, and her husband Michel de Carvalho are the second wealthiest couple in the UK with a fortune standing at £9.3bn, up £150m on last year. They are more than twice as rich as Alejandro Santo Domingo and Lady Charlotte Wellesley who make their debut in the Rich List as the third richest pair with a fortune of £3.862bn.

Cumulatively the ten richest husbands and wives in the UK have seen their fortune increase by £3.4bn in the past twelve months with only one couple, Sir Philip and Lady Green, experiencing a decrease in wealth during that time. In total the ten couples are worth £39.9bn.

At 160 pages this year’s new-look Sunday Times Rich List – the 29th annual edition to be produced – is the biggest ever. The definitive guide to wealth charts the fortunes of the 1,000 richest individuals and families in the British Isles.

Robert Watts, the Compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List 2017, said: “This year’s Sunday Times Rich List will show how the make-up of Britain’s richest 1,000 people is changing – with a record number of women and more husband and wife partnerships than before.

“Starting a business with your other half may not appeal to everyone. A bit of pillow talk about balance sheets wouldn’t suit all marriages, but there are clearly some couples who are making it work – and very well.

“The growing number of women we’re seeing in the Rich List is part of a greater diversity, with more people from ethnic backgrounds and more surprising walks of life, with soft toy makers and dating app developers lining up with private-equity barons and hedge-fund managers.”

Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli have seen a £1.72bn to their fortune in the last year. His wife Kirsty, 45, is a former Miss UK turned singer-songwriter and mother of three who is a member of the Roper family, which controls the Staffordshire-based Churchill China company. The couple own the largest superyacht built in the UK – named Vava II, a birthday present for Kirsty from Ernesto who is a double winner of the America’s Cup.

Dutch brewer Heineken has seen its shares grow in value, with the company now worth £37bn, up £3.3bn since last year’s Rich List, with profits in 2016 growing 8.5% and revenues increasing 4.8%. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, 62, has a stake in Heineken valued at nearly £8.5bn. She lives in London and Switzerland with banker husband Michel de Carvalho, 72, who, as well as acting in Lawrence of Arabia as a child actor, represented Britain at the winter Olympics as a young man.

Alejandro Santo Domingo and Lady Charlotte Wellesley are new entries to this year’s Rich List following their recent marriage.

In a boon for society pages across several continents the Colombian-American billionaire, 40, married Lady Charlotte, 26, in a 16th-century Spanish church last May. New York-based Santo Domingo is the Harvard-educated heir to the Bavaria brewery in Colombia, sold by his father Julio Mario in 2005 for a 15% stake in SABMiller – then the world’s second-largest brewer. The stake is the largest in the privately-held Santa Domingo Group’s portfolio of companies. Wellesley, who holds a degree from Oxford in archaeology and anthropology, works for Peruvian fashion and portrait photographer Mario Testino. 

In fourth place on the list of richest husbands and wives, Francois-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek have seen their wealth rise by a huge £1.087bn in the past year. They are now worth £3.437bn. Pinault, who turns 55 later this month, runs luxury fashion business Kering whose brands include Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen. Pinault’s £8.56bn stake in Kering is complimented by his wife’s wealth which stands at £75m. Mexican-born actress Hayek, 50, is set to appear in four films this year including the action comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard alongside Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson. She earns approximately £12m a year from her work.

Following the collapse of BHS, Sir Philip and Lady Green have seen their wealth drop by £433m to £2.787bn. Ranked at number five, the couple has also suffered from a drop in the value of Sir Philip’s Arcadia stake, due to falling sales, reduced assets and a ballooning pension deficit. In February, Sir Philip agreed to write a cheque for £363m to help fund the pensions of former employees of BHS, which disappeared from our high streets last year.

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