Britain is now officially a billionaires’ playground

New rich list suggests country has more billionaires per capita than any other country

Gopichand Hinduja who has made it into the top twenty of billionaires living in Britain according to the Sunday Times 2014 Billionaire List. Photograph: Michael Stephens/PA Wire

Gopichand Hinduja who has made it into the top twenty of billionaires living in Britain according to the Sunday Times 2014 Billionaire List. Photograph: Michael Stephens/PA Wire

 

Britain is now officially a billionaires’ playground, with more billionaires per capita than any other country.

This elite club has 104 members who share a fortune of more than £301bn. That figure compares with 30 - worth £65bn - a decade ago, and gives Britain more billionaires per head of population than any other country in the G8, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

Indian-born brothers Sri and Gopi Hinduja top the list with a fortune of £11.9 billion. The London-based pair, who run the global conglomerate Hinduja Group, saw their wealth rise by £1.3 billion in the past year, knocking Russian business magnate Alisher Usmanov off the top after the Arsenal shareholder’s fortune fell to £10.6 billion.

The list, which includes Irish-based billionaires, ranked telecoms tycoon Denis O’Brien in 22nd postion, with a personal fortune of £3.85 billion, up £486 million on last year.

Many of the list’s members pay little or no income tax because they are not domiciled here.

With a fortune of nearly £4 billion, Lady Green, wife of Topshop tycoon Sir Philip Green, is one of 14 women on the list, but she lives in Monaco. Ann Gloag, who is listed along with her brother, Sir Brian Souter, as being worth £1 billion, is the only businesswoman on the list, with the rest either inheriting or gaining billionaire status through marriage.

The super-rich want to live in Britain because of “culture, financial services, nice tax regime, good education for their kids and a nice lifestyle where they meet their friends”, Philip Beresford, the study’s author, told the BBC. London has more billionaires than any other city in the world with 72 - far ahead of its nearest rival, Moscow, which has 48.

Only three of the top 20 are British, with Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, the publishers and property developers, the only self-made billionaires in this group. The richest Briton, the Duke of Westminster, is ranked 10th with a fortune of £8.5 billion.

A decade ago, having £700 million in the bank was enough to be among Britain’s 50 wealthiest people, but today you need at least £1.7bn. The combined wealth of the Britain’s super-rich is now greater than 2008’s pre-recession levels, when the total wealth of the UK’s 75 billionaires was £201 billion.

The biggest risers are Kirsten and Jorn Rausing, members of the Tetra Pak dynasty, who saw their wealth surge from £3.7 billion to £8.8 billion. Usmanov was the biggest faller, down 20 per cent.

Among the new members of the club is West End producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh, whose fortune increased by £175 million to £1 billion, and Jon Hunt, the founder of estate agents Foxtons, who is now worth £1.1 billion. The wealthiest new entry is Carrie and Francois Perrodo and their family, who own the London-based Perenco oil and gas operation and are worth an esitmated £6.1 billion.

Guardian