The Sunday Times released its 2012 UK Rich List, it reveals that the 1,000 wealthiest people in the country are now worth a combined £414.260 billion, equivalent to more than a third of the national debt. The combined wealth of the 1,000 richest men and women in Britain has risen to record levels in the past year, despite the country’s continuing economic slump. Indian steel magnate, Lakshmi Mittal remains richest person in UK despite seeing 27% (£4.8bn) wiped off of his wealth.
The Sunday Times Rich List 2012 is compiled by Philip Beresford, the leading authority on British wealth. The list is based on identifiable wealth, land, property, other assets such as art and racehorses, or significant shares in publicly quoted companies, and does not include the cash in their bank accounts, meaning the true level of their wealth could be even higher.
Top 20 Richest People In UK as of 2012
25 #1. Lakshmi Mittal & family
Net Worth: £12.7 Billion - As of April 2012Source of Wealth: Steel
Britain’s best-known Bollygarch is the biggest faller in The Sunday Times Rich List for the second consecutive year but Mittal and his family extend their run at No 1, which started in 2005, thanks to their enormous fortune made from steel. Although he has topped the Sunday Times Rich List for eight consecutive years, last year was a comparatively bad one for the Indian-born steel magnate. Falling stock markets wiped several billions off his personal fortune. He owns a stake in, Queens Park Rangers.
24 #2. Alisher Usmanov
Net Worth: £12.3 Billion - As of April 2012Source of Wealth: Steel
Russian steel and mining magnate, is well known to fans of Arsenal, as he owns a 27% stake in the club, which began in 2007 and has not abated even since the American Stan Kroenke took control in 2011. He can console himself with the fact that his personal fortune increased grown by a whopping £7.7 billion in 2010. That's easily the biggest increase of anyone on the Rich List.Usmanov's portfolio of business interests now includes timber, telecoms and internet companies.
23 #3. Roman Abramovich
Net Worth: £9.5 Billion - As of April 2012Source of Wealth: Industry, Oil
The oil tycoon and Chelsea football club owner has presided over another season of turmoil, hiring Andre Villas-Boas, then firing him eight months later. Even after a costly divorce from his second wife, Irina, in 2007, Abramovich has a string of property, art and yachting assets. He now lives with Dasha Zhukova, 30, an oligarch’s daughter who gave birth to his sixth child, a boy, in 2009.
22 #4. Sri and Gopi Hinduja
Net Worth: £8.6 Billion - As of April 2012Source of Wealth: Industry, Finance
The Hinduja brothers inherited their father's conglomerate, which has interests in the power, automotive and defence industries in India and worldwide. Gopichand and Srichand are now based in Britain and the company has bought British outsourcing business Careline as well as a stake in bus manufacturer Optare.
21 #5. Leonard Blavatnik
Net Worth: £7.5 Billion - As of April 2012Source of Wealth: Industry
Moscow-born Blavatnik is based in both New York and London (he paid £41 million for his home in Kensington). In 2009, the US arm of his Lyondell Chemical operation had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy but it has since emerged back into profit. His stakes in the aluminium, oil and chemical industries netted him £3.2 billion in 2010, says the Sunday Times.
20 #6. Ernesto & Kirsty Bertarelli
Net Worth: £7.4Billion - As of April 2012Source of Wealth: Pharmaceuticals
Ernesto Bertarelli has made his fortune from pharmaceuticals and biotechnology companies. His wife Kirsty Bertarelli, a former Miss UK, is officially the richest woman on this year's Rich List. Their wealth grew by £530 million in 2011.
19 #7. Duke of Westminster
Net Worth: £7.3 Billion - As of April 2012Source of Wealth: Property
The Duke of Westminster is the highest British-born billionaire on the Sunday Times list. His giant Grosvenor property group weathered the economic storm, with his empire once again rising in value by £350 million over the past year.
18 #8. David & Simon Reuben
Net Worth: £7 Billion - As of April 2012Source of Wealth: Property, Internet
Brothers David and Simon Reuben have seen their combined fortune rise by £907 million in the past year. If that's not enough, they're planning on floating their company, Global Switch, which runs data centres across the world and is valued at over £4 billion.
They have been active in the British property market for 10 years and in June last year paid £130m for a 1.3-acre Mayfair estate. They also own properties including London's iconic Millbank Tower a third of the UK's racecourses and 'London' Oxford airport. They originally made their fortunes in the Russian aluminium industry.
9. John Fredriksen
Net Worth: £6.6 Billion - As of April 2012Source of Wealth: Shipping, Oil services
John Fredriksen is Norway's richest man. He built his fortune in the shipping industry and owns homes in London, Cyprus, Oslo and Marbella. He also has a stake in travel and shipping group TUI, which owns well-known travel brands including First Choice and Thomson. The family fortune has grown by a huge £400 million since the 2011 Rich List, which the Sunday Times attributes to shrewd investments in oil exploration and seafood companies.
17 #10. Galen & George Weston
Net Worth: £5.9 Billion - As of April 2012Source of Wealth: Retailing
In 2010, the Westons jumped forty places up the Rich List after the wealth of two sides of their family was merged. The family has amassed their fortune in retail, including the Loblaw supermarket chain in Canada, and their UK interests include a stake in Primark owner Associated British Foods. They also own a 200-acre estate in Henley-on-Thames. The Westons' wealth dropped by £100 million over the past year, according to the Sunday Times.
16 #11. Charlene & Michel de Carvalho
Net Worth: £5.4 Billion - As of April 2012Source of Wealth: Inheritance, Brewing, Banking
Known as Britain's 'queen of brewing', Charlene de Carvalho is the only child of the late Freddy Heineken. If that wasn't enough, her banker husband Michel is vice-chairman of US banking firm Citigroup. The Sunday Times estimates that their joint fortune has grown by £90 million over the past year, as Heineken's share price has increased.
15 #12. Hans Rausing & family
Net Worth: £4.3 Billion - As of April 2012Source of Wealth: Packaging
Hans Rausing owes much of his wealth to packaging firm Tetra Laval, which was founded by his father. In 1995, he sold his stake in the firm to his brother Gad (father of Jorn and Kirsten) for an estimated £4.4 billion. His current investments include a stake in Ecoclean, an environmentally friendly packaging material.The Sunday Times estimates that this branch of the Rausing family's fortune grew by £100 million in the past year.
14 #13. Joseph Lau
Net Worth: £4.1 Billion - As of April 2012Source of Wealth: Property
In 2010, Joseph Lau was the highest new entrant in the Rich List. His business interests are based mostly in Hong Kong but he owns a house in London's exclusive Eaton Square, bought for £33 million. According to the Sunday Times, Lau owns one of the world's finest wine collections, with at least 10,000 bottles, and is an avid art collector. His various assets increased by £203 million over the past year.
13 #14. Nicky Oppenheimer
Net Worth: £4 Billion - As of April 2012Source of Wealth: Mining, Diamonds
The grandson of the founder of mining behemoth Anglo American, which now owns the world famous De Beers diamond group, Oppenheimer has benefitted from a surge in the company's share price. He sold £64 million of stock in the company in December 2010 and is estimated to have earned a massive £1.4 billion in 2010. His fortune grew by £1,150 million in the past year.
12 #15. Kirsten & Jorn Rausing
Net Worth: £3.9 Billion - As of April 2012Source of Wealth: Inheritance, Investment
The Rausings' late father Gad developed the Tetra Pak packaging system. Today, Jorn is based in Surrey and heads the mergers and acquisitions division of packaging firm Tetra Laval (which Tetra Pak became part of). His sister Kirsten is also on the board. Jorn also has a stake in online retailer Ocado, while Kirsten is a successful breeder of racehorses. In 2010, Tetra Laval has enjoyed strong growth in the Far East.
11 #16. Sir Richard Branson
Net Worth: £3.4 Billion - As of April 2012Source of Wealth: Internet, Transport, Finance
Sir Richard's well known for his diverse business ventures, but perhaps the most ambitious of all will soon take flight with the launch of Virgin Galactic. Nearly 500 people are paying $200,000 a head to travel on Virgin Galactic, the world's first commercial spaceliner, with the inaugural flight due later this year or early in 2013. In the past 12 months his wealth has increased by £325 million.
10 #17= Sir Philip and Lady Green
Net Worth: £3.3 Billion - As of April 2012Source of Wealth: Retailing
The Greens' retail empire, which includes Topshop and Bhs, fortune dropped by £900m. Topshop has stores in the US and Australia, while China will soon get its first Topshop and Topman. Green's daughter Chloe, 21, is about to launch a shoe collection.
9 #17= Laurence and Francois Graff
Net Worth: £3.3 Billion - As of April 2012Source of Wealth: Diamonds
Graff Diamonds, retailer of some of the world's most expensive jewellery, plans a stock market float in Hong Kong that will value the family-owned business at more than £3 billion. One of the highest gainers on the list, in the past 12 months their wealth has increased by £1.3 billion.
8 #19. Earl Cadogan and family
7 #20. Sir Anthony Bamford and family
Net Worth: £3.1 Billion - As of April 2012Source of Wealth: Construction equipment
JCB, the yellow-digger maker that is a bellwether for UK industry, saw profits surge by 51% to £355m on £2.75 billion sales in 2011. This was good news for the company and great news for the Bamford family, led by Sir Anthony, 66, as the Staffordshire business is now valued at £3,000m. Socially and politically, the JCB chairman and his wife are one of Britain’s most influential couples.
6 Britain's Top 15 Richest Women:
1.Kirsty Bertarelli - £7.4 billion
Mrs Bertarelli is a former Miss UK and has worked as a song writer, including writing the hit song Black Coffee for the band All Saints. Her husband was the owner of biotech giant Serono until 2007 and winner of the America’s Cup, the yacht race, in 2003 and 2007. The couple have seen their wealth increase by £530 million over the past year, according to the list, and jointly, they are ranked fifth.
2.Charlene de Carvalho - £5.4 billion
With an increase of £90 million on last year. The 57-year-old is the daughter of Freddy Heineken, the former boss of Heineken, and inherited her father’s wealth when he died in 2002.
4. Kirsten Rausing - £3.9 billion
Tetra Laval, the Swiss-based packaging group, turned in sales of £7.6 billion in 2009. Kirsten owns two Suffolk stud farms and is a passionate racing enthusiast. With strong growth in the Far East, Tetra Laval is worth £7.6 billion.
3. Lady Green - £3.3 billion
Lady Green, the wife of Sir Philip Green, the retail tycoon, is fourth on the list, with a shared fortune of around £3.3 billion.
5. Baroness Howard de Walden and family- £2.2 billion
Howard de Walden Estates acquired 14 period buildings on Harley Street from the Crown Estate in 2010 for £34m. The properties, set in the middle of the de Waldens' 90-acre London estate, had not been traded in more than 470 years.
6. Anita Zabludowicz - £1.5 billion
Anita and her husband have commissioned a £60m pair of “his” and “hers” mansions with an art gallery and one of the biggest basement developments dug in Britain. The couple bought neighbouring plots on a north London street nicknamed Billionaires’ Row. One new home was built there in the 1990s and last year they gained permission to replace a 1930s house with the multimillion-pound development, which includes a sculpture corridor. Their contemporary art collection — with more than 5,000 works — is now so vast that they employ a team of staff to exhibit, promote and care for it.