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Fortunes of UK online billionaires soar by a FIFTH during lockdown

Fortunes of UK online billionaires soar by a FIFTH during lockdown: Sunday Times Rich List reveals record 171 billionaires in Britain despite lockdown as Sir Leonard Blavatnik comes out top with £23bn wealthWarner Music’s Sir Leonard Blavatnik topped t…

Fortunes of UK online billionaires soar by a FIFTH during lockdown: Sunday Times Rich List reveals record 171 billionaires in Britain despite lockdown as Sir Leonard Blavatnik comes out top with GBP23bn wealth

  • Warner Music's Sir Leonard Blavatnik topped the Rich List with a GBP23bn fortune
  • UK billionaires saw their fortunes soar from GBP106.5billion to GBP597.2billion in 2021
  • Losses noted for Philip Green, Duke of Westminster and Andrew Lloyd Webber

By Faith Ridler For Mailonline

Published: 10:27, 21 May 2021 | Updated: 11:37, 21 May 2021

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 GBP23billion fortune following a GBP7.219billion 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 - from GBP106.5 billion to GBP597.2 billion.   

Blavatnik, 63, saw his personal wealth leap by GBP7.219billion, placing him at the top of the Rich List for the second time since 2015 - when he was worth GBP13.17billion.

Ukrainian-born Sir Leonard Blavatnik (above) has topped the Sunday Times Rich List for the second time with his GBP23billion fortune

Ukrainian-born Sir Leonard Blavatnik (above) has topped the Sunday Times Rich List for the second time with his GBP23billion fortune

Pictured: Simon Reuben (L) and David Reuben 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 - GBP23 billion
  2. David and Simon Reuben - GBP21.46 billion
  3. Sri and Gopi Hinduja and family - GBP17 billion
  4. Sir James Dyson and family - GBP16.3 billion
  5. Lakshmi Mittal and family - GBP14.68 billion
  6. Alisher Usmanov - GBP13.4 billion
  7. Kirsten and Jorn Rausing - GBP13 billion
  8. Roman Abramovich - GBP12.1 billion
  9. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho - GBP12.01 billion
  10. Guy, George, Alannah and Galen Weston and family - GBP11 billion
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The Ukrainian-born businessman made his fortune in the music industry, having cashed in a GBP1.377billion 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 GBP100million to GBP16.3billion.

The electricals entrepreneur was also beaten by property investors David and Simon Reuben, who reached the second spot after their wealth increased by GBP5.46billion to GBP21.46billion.

Meanwhile, Sri and Gopi Hinduja, who run the Mumbai-based conglomerate Hinduja Group, saw their fortune rise by GBP1billion to clinch the third spot.

Other notable billionaires to feature in the top 10 include Alisher Usmanov, who saw his wealth rise by GBP1.7billion 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 GBP1.9 billion to GBP12.1 billion for the year.

Further down the list, fashion magnate Sir Philip Green saw his fortune drop by GBP20million to GBP910million 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 GBP100million to GBP16.3billion

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 GBP100million to GBP16.3billion

Pictured: Alisher Usmanov Pictured: Lakshmi Mittal

Lakshmi Mittal (right) and family have a fortune of GBP14.68 billion, while Russian Alisher Usmanov (left) trails slightly behind with GBP13.4 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 GBP1.27 billion to GBP6 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 GBP409 million in the past year to lift them to GBP3.595 billion.

John Shaw and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw lifted their wealth to just under GBP3 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 GBP1.271 billion, down GBP136 million and Trond Mohn and Marit Mohn Westlake and family are in eighth at GBP1.259 billion, down GBP66 million.

Jim McColl is 10th at GBP1 billion, no change on last year; Lord Laidlaw is 12th at GBP787 million, no change; and Sir Brian Souter and Dame Ann Gloag are 14th at GBP650 million, down GBP80 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 GBP241million. 

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 GBP10billion.

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 GBP275million.

This meant his total net worth dropped by 34 per cent to GBP525million 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 GBP40million to GBP1.2billion.

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 GBP20million to GBP130million 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 GBP5.82billion 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 GBP12.01 billion

Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho (above) are in 9th place with a fortune of GBP12.01 billion

Guy, George, Alannah and Galen Weston and family have a fortune of GBP11 billion

Guy, George, Alannah and Galen Weston and family have a fortune of GBP11 billion

Chelsea owner and fellow Russian Roman Abramovich also saw his fortune climb, rising by GBP1.9 billion to GBP12.1 billion for the year

Chelsea owner and fellow Russian Roman Abramovich also saw his fortune climb, rising by GBP1.9 billion to GBP12.1 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 GBP20million to GBP910million 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 GBP241million. 

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 GBP10billion.

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 GBP275million.

This meant his total net worth dropped by 34 per cent to GBP525million 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 GBP40million to GBP1.2billion.

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 GBP20million to GBP130million 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 GBP5.82billion 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 GBP310 million.   

Sir Elton John's personal fortune rose by GBP15 million to GBP375 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 GBP820million, up GBP20million.

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 GBP16million.

The likes of One Direction stars Zayn Malik, 28, and Louis Tomlinson, 29, were also featured for their GBP36million and GBP45million fortunes respectively. 

Danish retailer Anders Povlsen was named the richest person in Scotland in the latest study, increasing his wealth by GBP1.27billion to GBP6billion.

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 GBP409million in the past year to lift them to GBP3.595 billion.

John Shaw and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw lifted their wealth to just under GBP3billion.

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 GBP1.271 billion, down GBP136 million and Trond Mohn and Marit Mohn Westlake and family are in eighth at GBP1.259 billion, down GBP66 million.

Jim McColl is 10th at GBP1 billion, no change on last year; Lord Laidlaw is 12th at GBP787 million, no change; and Sir Brian Souter and Dame Ann Gloag are 14th at GBP650 million, down GBP80 million. 

The Duke of Westminster, who owns the lucrative Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, London, saw his personal wealth drop by GBP241million

The Duke of Westminster, who owns the lucrative Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, London, saw his personal wealth drop by GBP241million

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 GBP20million to GBP130million amid her divorce from charity CEO Simon Konecki

Musician Adele, 33, is another whose wealth took a hit, dropping by GBP20million to GBP130million amid her divorce from charity CEO Simon Konecki

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford, 23, tops Sunday Times Giving List after raising GBP20million in donations from supermarkets 

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 GBP16million, has become the youngest person to top the philanthropy list by raising GBP20million in donations from supermarkets for groups tackling child food poverty in the UK.

For the first time, total donations on the list exceeded GBP4billion, with a 36 per cent rise on the previous year's GBP3.2billion taking the 2020 total to more than GBP4.3billion.

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 GBP170million 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 GBP4 million for the NHS from fellow Premier League footballers through the GBPPlayersTogether appeal.

The Manchester United striker, with a personal worth of GBP16million, has become the youngest person to top the philanthropy list by raising GBP20million in donations

The Manchester United striker, with a personal worth of GBP16million, has become the youngest person to top the philanthropy list by raising GBP20million in donations

The Sainsbury family ranked second in the list, as serial benefactors through a network of trusts which generated just under GBP230million for charities.

Jonathan Ruffer, whose Auckland Project is leading the regeneration of the former County Durham mining town, was third with GBP62million 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 GBP100million and 71 gave at least GBP10million - up from 42.

Some GBP520million of donations covered pandemic-related causes, including PPE, community support and helping to plug the cumulative GBP10billion funding gap in the finances of charities around the country.

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