Indian-origin Hinduja brothers stay on top of UK rich list
The pair are transforming Westminster’s Old War Office into a luxury hotel, having turned their late father’s business into a vast empire spanning finance, property, oil and plastics.business Updated: May 09, 2017 00:08 IST
The Hinduja brothers – Srichand and Gopichand – have retained their top spot in the annual compilation by the Sunday Times of the United Kingdom’s rich set, which said the fortunes of the super-rich increase by what it called a ‘Brexit boom’.
More billionaires have entered this year’s list: “Our 29th edition reveals that this year’s 500 richest individuals and families are now wealthier than the entire top 1,000 were in 2016”, it said. The entry level into the list’s top 1,000 has risen to £110 million, double the threshold of 2009.
“There are 134 billionaires based in Britain, led by Sri and Gopi Hinduja, with the wealth of the Indian-born brothers put at £16.2 billion — up £3.2 billion from last year. The pair are transforming Westminster’s Old War Office into a luxury hotel, having turned their late father’s business into a vast empire spanning finance, property, oil and plastics”, it said.
Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, 66, and family are fourth in the list, with the biggest increase in wealth within the past 12 months, having added more than £6 billion to their £13.229 billion fortune.
Ukrainian-born American and British businessman Len Blavatnik, whose empire includes the Warner Music Group, is in second place on the list with a fortune of £15.982 billion, while brothers David and Simon Reuben, 78 and 76 respectively, rank third this year.
Robert Watts, compiler of the list, said: “While many of us worried about the outcome of the EU referendum, many of Britain’s richest people just kept calm and carried on making billions”.
“Yet we’re seeing more diversity in the Rich List. More women, more people from ethnic backgrounds and more from surprising walks of life, with egg farmers and pet-food makers lining up with private equity barons and hedge fund managers.”
James Dyson, who found success with his bagless vacuum cleaner, is one of the year’s biggest risers. His fortune has increased to £7.8 billion — up from £5 billion last year. There have also been strong rises for the Bet365 founder, Denise Coates, who has become the highest-paid woman in corporate history, and Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea football club.
The publication said that 15 years ago, there were only 21 UK-based billionaires in the Rich List, yet, remarkably, over the past 12 months 19 have seen their wealth rise by more than £1 billion within a single year.
The combined wealth of the top 500 of the list surged to £580.3 billion, more than the £575.6 billion total wealth of the 1,000 richest people in 2016.