Analysis of the richest 250 entrepreneurs in each of the Sunday Rich List’s over the last five years reveals:
- At current rate, it will be 200 years before women account for 50 per cent of list
- Most popular source of wealth is property
- Top end of the list is dominated by non-British-born entrepreneurs
- More Swedes on the list than Welsh and Northern Irish combined
Want to end up on the Sunday Times Rich List? It helps if you’re a male, London-based property magnate, according to new research analysing the make-up of the country’s top 250 entrepreneurs over each of the last five years. The findings also reveal that originally being born outside the UK, with a spare £12.8bn will usually see you top the pile of the UK’s mega-rich.
With the publishing of the 2017 Rich List fast approaching, projections estimate a ‘mere’ £113m will be required to feature in this year’s edition, which details the 1,000 richest people in Britain.
The research from online start-up magazine TechRound also found the combined worth of Britain’s top 250 wealthiest individuals and families is likely to reach £467bn this year, before surpassing the half a trillion mark (£507bn) in 2018.
Is it a man’s world?
Perhaps suggesting a lack of gender equality, there has been no marked increase in the total number of women within the top 250 over the last five years and at the current rate, there would not be an even split until the year 2224. There only, just over one in 10 are female (12 per cent), of which just two in five (40 per cent) are not listed alongside a male relative or spouse.
Continuing this theme, the very top entries each year are also predominantly men the highest placed woman, such as Kirsty Bertarelli, averages a sixth-place ranking.
However, the former Miss UK’s £9.8bn fortune is combined with her husband, pharmaceutical billionaire Ernesto, and so the highest-ranked individual woman over the last five years has been Baroness Howard de Walden, whose role controlling the Howard de Walden London property empire places her at an average 29th place, worth just £3.6bn in 2016.
Sources of wealth
The most popular source of wealth over the last five years has been from property, with almost a quarter of the top 250 entries in each year (23 per cent) making at least some of their fortune within the property industry. This is a rising trend that has seen 21 per cent more members on the list citing bricks and mortar as their main source of wealth last year, compared with 2012.
Other popular industries for Britain’s super-rich include finance (9 per cent in 2016), with pharmaceuticals and hedge funds on 3 per cent each. The latter industries have grown in popularity over the last five years, overtaking oil, which was half as popular in 2016 than three years previous.
Not everyone on the list has obtained their wealth through these traditional avenues though. Bernie Ecclestone’s ex-wife Slavica (worth £740m) features in each of the last five editions, despite her source of wealth being listed simply as “divorce” and an average of seven of the top 250 individuals (3 per cent) in each Rich List inherited their fortune.
Location, location, location
Despite being a catalogue of Britain’s richest people, the upper echelons of the list are dominated by those born outside the UK. Over the last five years, just 8 per cent of the top 10 has been made up of Brits and no native Briton has made it higher than the third-place than the Weston family did in 2015, having made their fortune in retailing.
However, the research found that English entrepreneurs still make up the bulk of the top 250, with the most popular birthplaces being:
- England (52 per cent of the top 250)
- Scotland (4 per cent)
- India (4 per cent)
- USA (3 per cent)
- Sweden (3 per cent)
In fact, with less than a third of a per cent of members across the last five years, Northern Ireland is beaten by the likes of Syria (1 per cent), Kenya (0.9 per cent) and Tanzania (0.4 per cent). Wales (1.2 per cent) does not fare a great deal better, with 11 non-British countries home to more entries on the list, including Russia, Pakistan and Norway.
Strength in numbers
The number of entries from individuals has decreased by 17 per cent between 2012-2016, which does suggest that going into business with family helps grab a place on the list. In fact, an average of 91 out of the top 250 are families, rather than wealthy individuals.
Daniel Tannenbaum, Founder of TechRound said, “It is fascinating to dive so deeply into what it takes to be listed among Britain’s wealthiest individuals. We have seen an explosion in the tech industry in recent years, so it is perhaps surprising to see that property endures and still takes top spot among Britain’s wealthiest individuals.
“It will be interesting to see what this year’s list throws up and whether some of these trends continue in 2017.”