Fortunes of UK online billionaires soar by a FIFTH during lockdown

A record 171 billionaires in the UK saw their fortunes soar by more than a fifth as they shook off the financial toll of the pandemic, the Sunday Times Rich List reveals. 

Ukrainian-born Sir Leonard Blavatnik, 63, has topped the Rich List for the second time with his £23billion fortune following a £7.219billion leap in his wealth.

Overall, the number of UK-based billionaires has jumped by 24 per cent compared to 2020 in a stark contrast with the economic turmoil of a global crisis which saw millions enter furlough.  

But this had little impact on the very wealthiest, with the fortunes of billionaires increasing by 21.7 per cent over the year – rising by £106.5billion to £597.2billion.   

Blavatnik, 63, saw his personal wealth leap by £7.219billion, placing him at the top of the Rich List for the second time since 2015 – when he was worth £13.17billion.

Ukrainian-born Sir Leonard Blavatnik (above) has topped the Sunday Times Rich List for the second time with his £23billion fortune

Ukrainian-born Sir Leonard Blavatnik (above) has topped the Sunday Times Rich List for the second time with his £23billion fortune

Ukrainian-born Sir Leonard Blavatnik (above) has topped the Sunday Times Rich List for the second time with his £23billion fortune

Pictured: Simon Reuben (L) and David Reuben

Pictured: Simon Reuben (L) and David Reuben

Pictured: Sri Hinduja (L) and Gopi Hinduja

Pictured: Sri Hinduja (L) and Gopi Hinduja

In second and third place were David and Simon Reuben (left) Sri and Gopi Hinduja and family

Who are the top 10 richest people in the UK in 2021? 

These are the 10 richest people in the country according to the rich list:  

  1. Sir Leonard Blavatnik – £23 billion
  2. David and Simon Reuben – £21.46 billion
  3. Sri and Gopi Hinduja and family – £17 billion
  4. Sir James Dyson and family – £16.3 billion
  5. Lakshmi Mittal and family – £14.68 billion
  6. Alisher Usmanov – £13.4 billion
  7. Kirsten and Jorn Rausing – £13 billion
  8. Roman Abramovich – £12.1 billion
  9. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho – £12.01 billion
  10. Guy, George, Alannah and Galen Weston and family – £11 billion
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The Ukrainian-born businessman made his fortune in the music industry, having cashed in a £1.377billion stake in Warner Music when it listed in the US last year.  

Despite his wealth, Blavatnik is understood to have furloughed a member of staff at the global sports subscription service DAZN during the pandemic. 

He took the title of UK’s richest man from Sir James Dyson, who slipped back to fourth in the table after his wealth only increased by £100million to £16.3billion.

The electricals entrepreneur was also beaten by property investors David and Simon Reuben, who reached the second spot after their wealth increased by £5.46billion to £21.46billion.

Meanwhile, Sri and Gopi Hinduja, who run the Mumbai-based conglomerate Hinduja Group, saw their fortune rise by £1billion to clinch the third spot.

Other notable billionaires to feature in the top 10 include Alisher Usmanov, who saw his wealth rise by £1.7billion after selling his 30 per cent stake in Arsenal football club.

Chelsea owner and fellow Russian Roman Abramovich also saw his fortune climb, rising by £1.9 billion to £12.1 billion for the year.

Further down the list, fashion magnate Sir Philip Green saw his fortune drop by £20million to £910million after his Arcadia fashion empire collapsed into administration in November.

Blavatnik took the title of UK's richest man from Sir James Dyson (above), who slipped back to fourth in the table after his wealth only increased by £100million to £16.3billion

Blavatnik took the title of UK's richest man from Sir James Dyson (above), who slipped back to fourth in the table after his wealth only increased by £100million to £16.3billion

Blavatnik took the title of UK’s richest man from Sir James Dyson (above), who slipped back to fourth in the table after his wealth only increased by £100million to £16.3billion

Pictured: Alisher Usmanov

Pictured: Alisher Usmanov

Pictured: Lakshmi Mittal

Pictured: Lakshmi Mittal

Lakshmi Mittal (right) and family have a fortune of £14.68 billion, while Russian Alisher Usmanov (left) trails slightly behind with £13.4 billion

Retailer Anders Povlsen tops Rich List in Scotland 

Scotland’s wealthiest people saw their fortunes soar over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest Sunday Times Rich List.

Danish retailer Anders Povlsen was named the richest person in Scotland in the latest study, increasing his wealth by £1.27 billion to £6 billion.

He is named as one of 10 billionaires in the Scottish rich list.

Mr Povlsen, who owns more land in the UK than the Queen and the Church of Scotland combined, increased his fortune chiefly off the back of his retail empire, according to the study.

He has a 25 per cent stake in the online fashion giant Asos – which recently acquired the Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge brands – with the bulk of his wealth stemming from the Denmark-based fashion retailer Bestseller.

Lockdown has also proved lucrative for Glenn Gordon and family, owners of the Willian Grant & Sons whisky business.

The family have registered gains of £409 million in the past year to lift them to £3.595 billion.

John Shaw and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw lifted their wealth to just under £3 billion.

Glaswegian Mr Shaw and his wife own a 60 per cent stake in Biocon, an India-based pharmaceuticals business.

Only five of the top 14 spots on the Scottish list failed to increase their fortune.

The Thomson family are listed in seventh at £1.271 billion, down £136 million and Trond Mohn and Marit Mohn Westlake and family are in eighth at £1.259 billion, down £66 million.

Jim McColl is 10th at £1 billion, no change on last year; Lord Laidlaw is 12th at £787 million, no change; and Sir Brian Souter and Dame Ann Gloag are 14th at £650 million, down £80 million. 

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The fall of the Group, which included Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins, was one of the most significant losses noted on the High Street during the Covid crisis. 

Three of the brands were ultimately sold to Boohoo, but thousands of jobs were placed at risk as the retailers prepared to move online.   

Others who saw their wealth sink over the past year include the Duke of Westminster, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Cameron Mackintosh.  

The Duke, who owns the lucrative Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, London, saw his personal wealth drop by £241million. 

However, he did manage to remain in the top spot of the Sunday Times Young Rich List – for those 30 and under – with a fortune of £10billion.

He slipped two places to 12th on the main Rich List.

Lockdowns also had an impact on those who make their money on the West End, with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s fortune falling by £275million.

This meant his total net worth dropped by 34 per cent to £525million ahead of theatres finally reopening this month.

The British composer is set to open his latest musical, Cinderella, at the Gillian Lynne Theatre next month. He did not feature on the main Rich List for 2021. 

Les Miserables producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh also saw his wealth shrink amid the pandemic, with his net worth falling £40million to £1.2billion.

He did, however, manage to remain in the top 250. Sir Cameron is placed at 138.

Musician Adele, 33, is another whose wealth took a hit, dropping by £20million to £130million amid her divorce from charity CEO Simon Konecki.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who topped the list in 2018, also saw a significant drop in his personal fortune, with the Rich List noting a loss of £5.82billion since 2020.

The CEO of the Ineos chemicals group fell 20 places on the List in 2021.     

Robert Watts, compiler of the rich list, said: ‘The global pandemic created lucrative opportunities for many online retailers, social networking apps and computer games tycoons.

‘The fact many of the super-rich grew so much wealthier at a time when thousands of us have buried loved ones and millions of us worried for our livelihoods makes this a very unsettling boom.’ 

Only around one in five of the Rich List’s top 250 are women, with 19 of the 53 who appear featuring as half of a married couple. 

Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho (above) are in 9th place with a fortune of £12.01 billion

Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho (above) are in 9th place with a fortune of £12.01 billion

Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho (above) are in 9th place with a fortune of £12.01 billion

Guy, George, Alannah and Galen Weston and family have a fortune of £11 billion

Guy, George, Alannah and Galen Weston and family have a fortune of £11 billion

Guy, George, Alannah and Galen Weston and family have a fortune of £11 billion

Chelsea owner and fellow Russian Roman Abramovich also saw his fortune climb, rising by £1.9 billion to £12.1 billion for the year

Chelsea owner and fellow Russian Roman Abramovich also saw his fortune climb, rising by £1.9 billion to £12.1 billion for the year

Chelsea owner and fellow Russian Roman Abramovich also saw his fortune climb, rising by £1.9 billion to £12.1 billion for the year

Covid’s biggest losers: Who saw their fortunes shrink in 2021? 

Fashion magnate Sir Philip Green saw his fortune drop by £20million to £910million after his Arcadia fashion empire collapsed into administration in November. 

Others who saw their wealth sink over the past year include the Duke of Westminster, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Cameron Mackintosh.  

The Duke, who owns the lucrative Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, London, saw his personal wealth drop by £241million. 

However, he did manage to remain in the top spot of the Sunday Times Young Rich List – for those 30 and under – with a fortune of £10billion.

He slipped two places to 12th on the main Rich List.

Lockdowns also had an impact on those who make their money on the West End, with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s fortune falling by £275million.

This meant his total net worth dropped by 34 per cent to £525million ahead of theatres finally reopening this month.

The British composer is set to open his latest musical, Cinderella, at the Gillian Lynne Theatre next month. He did not feature on the main Rich List for 2021. 

Les Miserables producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh also saw his wealth impacted by the pandemic,  with his net worth falling £40million to £1.2billion.

He did, however, manage to remain in the top 250. Sir Cameron is placed at 138.

Musician Adele, 33, is another whose wealth took a hit, dropping by £20million to £130million amid her divorce from charity CEO Simon Konecki.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who topped the list in 2018, also saw a significant drop in his personal fortune, with the Rich List noting a loss of £5.82billion since 2020.

The CEO of the Ineos chemicals group fell 20 places on the List in 2021.     

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Another 27 inherited at least some of their wealth.

Elsewhere, the wealth of some of Britain’s most established musicians has also jumped, with Sir Mick Jagger, 77, the lead singer of the Rolling Stones, now worth £310 million.   

Sir Elton John’s personal fortune rose by £15 million to £375 million, despite the lack of live music performances permitted during the Covid crisis.

But it was Sir Paul McCartney, 78, who topped the list of music millionaires with an estimated net worth of £820million, up £20million.

He was the only musician to make the main Rich List, sitting in 196th place.   

At the other side of the spectrum, England football star Marcus Rashford has topped the Sunday Times Giving List in a record-breaking year for donations.

Rashford, 23, has also appeared on the Young Rich List for the first time with a fortune of £16million.

The likes of One Direction stars Zayn Malik, 28, and Louis Tomlinson, 29, were also featured for their £36million and £45million fortunes respectively. 

Danish retailer Anders Povlsen was named the richest person in Scotland in the latest study, increasing his wealth by £1.27billion to £6billion.

He is named as one of 10 billionaires in the Scottish rich list.

Mr Povlsen, who owns more land in the UK than the Queen and the Church of Scotland combined, increased his fortune chiefly off the back of his retail empire, according to the study.

He has a 25 per cent stake in the online fashion giant Asos – which recently acquired the Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge brands – with the bulk of his wealth stemming from the Denmark-based fashion retailer Bestseller.

Lockdown has also proved lucrative for Glenn Gordon and family, owners of the Willian Grant & Sons whisky business.

The family have registered gains of £409million in the past year to lift them to £3.595 billion.

John Shaw and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw lifted their wealth to just under £3billion.

Glaswegian Mr Shaw and his wife own a 60 per cent stake in Biocon, an India-based pharmaceuticals business.

Only five of the top 14 spots on the Scottish list failed to increase their fortune.

The Thomson family are listed in seventh at £1.271 billion, down £136 million and Trond Mohn and Marit Mohn Westlake and family are in eighth at £1.259 billion, down £66 million.

Jim McColl is 10th at £1 billion, no change on last year; Lord Laidlaw is 12th at £787 million, no change; and Sir Brian Souter and Dame Ann Gloag are 14th at £650 million, down £80 million. 

The Duke of Westminster, who owns the lucrative Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, London, saw his personal wealth drop by £241million

The Duke of Westminster, who owns the lucrative Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, London, saw his personal wealth drop by £241million

The Duke of Westminster, who owns the lucrative Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, London, saw his personal wealth drop by £241million

Those who saw their wealth sink over the past year include the Duke of Westminster, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber (above) and Sir Cameron Mackintosh

Those who saw their wealth sink over the past year include the Duke of Westminster, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber (above) and Sir Cameron Mackintosh

Those who saw their wealth sink over the past year include the Duke of Westminster, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber (above) and Sir Cameron Mackintosh

Musician Adele, 33, is another whose wealth took a hit, dropping by £20million to £130million amid her divorce from charity CEO Simon Konecki

Musician Adele, 33, is another whose wealth took a hit, dropping by £20million to £130million amid her divorce from charity CEO Simon Konecki

Musician Adele, 33, is another whose wealth took a hit, dropping by £20million to £130million amid her divorce from charity CEO Simon Konecki

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford, 23, tops Sunday Times Giving List after raising £20million in donations from supermarkets 

Marcus Rashford (above) has topped the Sunday Times Giving List

Marcus Rashford (above) has topped the Sunday Times Giving List

Marcus Rashford (above) has topped the Sunday Times Giving List

England football star Marcus Rashford has topped the Sunday Times Giving List in a record-breaking year for donations.

The Manchester United striker, with a personal worth of £16million, has become the youngest person to top the philanthropy list by raising £20million in donations from supermarkets for groups tackling child food poverty in the UK.

For the first time, total donations on the list exceeded £4billion, with a 36 per cent rise on the previous year’s £3.2billion taking the 2020 total to more than £4.3billion.

Along with helping charity FareShare distribute four million meals to vulnerable children during the pandemic, Rashford, 23, also forced a series of Government U-turns over free school meals.

The Prime Minister retracted his vow not to extend the voucher system into the summer holidays on June 16, two days after Rashford called on his Cabinet to reconsider the decision in an open letter.

In October, he launched a petition urging the Government to again extend free school meals through the half-term and Christmas holidays, eventually pressuring ministers into providing £170million of extra funding.

Rashford, who received free school meals himself, was made an MBE in the delayed 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

He has since called for an urgent review of the free school meals system.

Lindsay Boswell, FareShare chief executive, said: ‘We are delighted he’s been honoured in this way. Marcus’s support for FareShare over the last year – and his commitment to tackling child hunger – has simply been incredible.

‘His own experience of relying on free school meals to eat brings authenticity and compassion to his campaigning, and his status as a Premier League footballer means people and politicians sit up and take notice.’

Rashford features on the list alongside fellow footballer, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, who ranked sixth after raising £4 million for the NHS from fellow Premier League footballers through the £PlayersTogether appeal.

The Manchester United striker, with a personal worth of £16million, has become the youngest person to top the philanthropy list by raising £20million in donations

The Manchester United striker, with a personal worth of £16million, has become the youngest person to top the philanthropy list by raising £20million in donations

The Manchester United striker, with a personal worth of £16million, has become the youngest person to top the philanthropy list by raising £20million in donations

The Sainsbury family ranked second in the list, as serial benefactors through a network of trusts which generated just under £230million for charities.

Jonathan Ruffer, whose Auckland Project is leading the regeneration of the former County Durham mining town, was third with £62million gifted in 2020.

The Sunday Times ranking sets the sums donated or raised for charity against the Rich List wealth valuation for those individuals or families.

Coronavirus has fuelled the giving spree, and the Giving List recorded nine donations of more than £100million and 71 gave at least £10million – up from 42.

Some £520million of donations covered pandemic-related causes, including PPE, community support and helping to plug the cumulative £10billion funding gap in the finances of charities around the country.

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#1 – Sir Leonard Blavatnik – £23 billion

Age: 63 

Industry: Music and chemicals 

The Ukrainian-born magnate sits atop an empire that spans from entertainment to chemicals.

After graduating from Colombia University with a degree in computer science, he made investments in Russian energy companies following the fall of the Soviet Union.

In 2013 he sold his stake in oil company TNK-BP, netting him more than £5billion.  Two years prior, he had bought Warner Music for £2.4billion. 

The philanthropist currently lives in London and has donated to UK institutions including Oxford University, which named its Blavatnik School of Government after him.

He has also donated to both U.S. Republicans and Democrats, including to Donald Trump’s presidential inaugural committee.

#2 David and Simon Reuben – £21.4 billion

Industry: Property and internet 

For billionaires, the Mumbai-born brothers are notoriously secretive. 

They decline interviews, and don’t like it when details about their lives are leaked.  

However, ahead of Christmas, David and Reuben bought the 189-room hotel The Surrey in Manhattan for an estimated $151 million.  

They also have a stake in Miami’s Turnberry Resort, which has boasted past celebrity guests such as Bing Crosby and Luciano Pavarotti.

The brothers, who came to Britain in the 1950s, have also invested in buildings let to luxury brands such as Tiffany, Armani and Alexander McQueen in the US.

Elsewhere, they have invested in property in Mallorca and Spain. 

It is understood they plan to build hundreds of luxury resorts in their place, reports the Sunday Times.  

#3 Sri and Gopi Hinduja and family –  £17 billion

Industry: Diversified 

Siblings Srichand, Gopichand, Prakash and Ashok control the expansive Hinduja conglomerate that boasts businesses including transportation to banking to real estate. 

They own the Old War Office building in Whitehall, which will soon be transformed into a Raffles hotel.

Hinduja group employs over 150,000 people worldwide. The brother are all devout Hindus and are vegetarian and tee-total. 

However, Sri, 85, has recently become embroiled in a legal battle with his three brothers Gopi, 81, Prakash, 75, and Ashok, 70.

Sri is claiming personal ownership of the Switzerland-based Hinduja Bank, which is overseen by his daughter Shanu and her son Karam.

His brothers have contested this claim and argue their eldest sibling has dementia.   

Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja, who, along with Prakash and Ashok, control the expansive Hinduja conglomerate

Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja, who, along with Prakash and Ashok, control the expansive Hinduja conglomerate

Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja, who, along with Prakash and Ashok, control the expansive Hinduja conglomerate

#4 Sir James Dyson and family – £16.3 billion

Age: 74 

Industry: Vacuums

Sir James revolutionised cleaning in the late 1970s by inventing a vacuum this uses a cyclone to suck up dirt.

Today he employs more than 5,800 engineers worldwide, and was a vocal backer of Brexit. 

He now lives at Dodington Estate in Gloucestershire, a 300-acre Georgian estate, built in the early 19th century by James Wyatt, and recognised as being of ‘exceptional architectural and historic interest’.

#5 Lakshmi Mittal and family – £14.68 billion 

Age: 70 

Industry: Metals and mining 

Mittal is chairman of ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel and mining business since the two companies’ merger in 2006.

The firm took a hit last year, and reported £500million losses as the global steel market dipped.

Earlier this year Mittal handed the chief executive reins to his son Aditya but retained the chairmanship. 

Mittal is an Indian national but resides in London, and when the UK hosted the 2012 Olympics ArcelorMittal funded a bizarre-looking metallic tower for the site of the Games.

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