It is, bizarrely, an eagerly-anticipated feature of newspaper publishing each year.
The Sunday Times Rich List enables us to go a little green with envy as we find out who the wealthiest people with a connection to the UK are.
The 2023 countdown has been published, and inside the top-20 are two gambling industry and horse racing behemoths who continue to make money at a remarkable rate. More on those shortly.
But taking top spot is Gopi Hinduja, the Indian-British chairman of the Hinduja Group. They have investments in some eleven different sectors, including oil, banking and automotive, and the success of their entries into these markets is reflected in a net wealth of £35 billion – a cool £6.5 billion rise on last year’s estimate.
Also enjoying a profitable last financial year was Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the INEOS founder who is deep in talks to take over as owner at Manchester United. He has added some £23.6 billion to his net worth in the past year – a huge chunk of his £29.6 billion fortune.
The Ukrainian, Leonard Blavatnik, takes third place. He made his early money when the collapse of the Soviet Union saw a number of energy sectors, including oil and aluminium, privatised, but he’s since gone on to set up his own investment firm that now owns Warner Music Group and DAZN, amongst other things.
Also in the top-10 are hot air salesman Sir James Dyson, steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, who….well, you can probably guess from the surname where her money came from.
But it’s two entries on the Rich List with an interest in betting and horse racing that particularly caught my eye….
The Reuben family, who own one of UK racing’s premier outfits Arena Racing Company (Arc), dropped from third to fourth on the Rich List.
But you shouldn’t feel too sorry for them: they still managed to add £2.1 billion of wealth to their already-sizable £24.3 billion kitty.
In addition to Arc, David and Simon Reuben have investments in property and other sectors, and that must be where the bulk of their income is yielded from given that Arc makes a very nice but not stratospheric £50 million in revenue per year.
With 16 racecourses and four greyhound tracks across Great Britain, the Reubens are considerable figures in UK racing – their continue success is arguably a good thing all-round for the sport.
Others with a stake in racing also enjoyed a solid financial year, according to the Rich List. Kirsten and Jorn Rausing, who inherited their grandfather’s Tetra packaging company, have £12 billion in the bank between them – an amount swelled slightly when Alpinista, their brilliant horse trained by Mark Prescott, won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October.
Elsewhere, Lord and Lady Bamford – whose empire includes the JCB construction equipment firm – added £1.5 billion to their pile. They also own their own breeding stud operation, as well as holding an ownership share in a number of Group winners. Wings of Desire, the former Dante Stakes champion, is chief among them.
Coates in Arms
Despite regulatory headwinds that may knock their ship off course somewhat, the Coates family – the owners of Bet365 and major shareholders in Stoke City FC – have had another good year.
Their wealth increase was fairly modest compared to some on the Rich List – ‘just’ £158 million, but the Coates have amassed a net worth of around £8.8 billion thanks largely to the success of their internet gambling empire.
Denise Coates admitted that she had taken a £170 million pay cut back in 2022 but is still thought to be amongst the UK’s highest paid individuals.
There’s life in the old dog, elsewhere, as Fred Done increased his net worth by some £300 million to remain on the Rich List at £1.87 billion.
Other gambling industry professionals that remain steadfast amongst Britain’s richest people are PokerStars owner Mark Scheinberg and Playtech chief Teddy Sagi, who still hold assets worth a handsome £4 billion apiece.
The Parasol family, who own PartyGaming, have slipped down the list but there’s a new entry in the form of Tony Bloom, professional gambler and owner of Brighton FC and Champion Chase victor Energumene. He’s got a stack of around £500 million to enjoy.