Record number of Scots billionaires on rich list

Sir Brian Souter and Ann Gloag, who founded the Stagecoach transport empire, share a 1.04bn fortune. Picture: David Moir

Sir Brian Souter and Ann Gloag, who founded the Stagecoach transport empire, share a 1.04bn fortune. Picture: David Moir

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Scotland now has a record nine billionaires, according to a new study.

The number of billionaires living in Scotland or with substantial business interests here has gone up from seven last year, The Sunday Times Rich List 2015 found.

One of the new entrants this year is Trond Mohn, the founder of a Norwegian pump firm.

Mohn, born in Buckie, Moray, and his sister Marit are worth £1.2 billion.

The other new entrant is Alastair Salvesen, of the Christian Salvesen shipping empire, who is worth £1bn.

The Grant-Gordon whisky family tops the Scottish element of the list with a fortune of £2.15bn.

Mahdi al-Tajir, who owns Highland Spring, is in second place with £1.67bn, while oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood, who is worth £1.385bn, is in third place.

Others in the Scottish top ten include former Harrods owner Mohammed Al-Fayed, who owns an estate in Scotland and is worth £1.3bn, and the Thomson family, owners of publisher DC Thomson, who are worth £1.27bn.

Jim McColl, of Clyde Blowers, is worth £1.06bn while Sir Brian Souter and Ann Gloag, the siblings who founded the Stagecoach transport empire, share a £1.04bn fortune.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling is 14th equal with a £580 million fortune, according to the list.

The UK-wide list includes 117 billionaires, up from 104 last year.

They account for a total wealth of £325.131bn and 80 of them are based in London.

London-based Ukrainian businessman Len Blavatnik, whose empire includes the Warner Music Group, was No1 this year, with an estimated fortune of £13.17bn.

Mr Blavatnik took over top spot from brothers Sri and Gopi Hinduja, who were nudged into second despite their fortune rising by £1.1bn to £13bn.

Galen and George Weston and family, who run a retail empire including Selfridges and Primark, enjoyed a particularly prosperous year, with their wealth soaring by £3.7bn to £11bn.

This year’s list found the wealthiest 1,000 individuals and families now have a combined fortune of £547.126bn.

The figure has more than doubled since a total of £249.615bn was recorded in 2005, despite the world economy being gripped by a punishing recession over much of the last decade.

Millionaires increasingly struggle to count themselves among the mega-rich, with a fortune of £100m now required to make it into the top 1,000.

That is £15m higher than last year’s minimum, while in 1997 it took a personal wealth of “just” £15m to make the grade.

Not all those in the top 25 have seen their bank balances bulge, however.

Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal and Chelsea Football Club chairman Roman Abramovich saw their fortunes fall by £1.05bn and £1.23bn respectively, according to the list.

Old money appears to be struggling to keep pace – the Queen dropped out of the richest 300 for the first time, despite seeing her wealth increase by £10m to an estimated £340m.

Among the new entries to this year’s chart are George and Amal Clooney, who are valued at £121m.

RICHEST SCOTS

1 The Grant-Gordon family (£2.15 billion)

2 Mahdi al-Tajir (£1.67 billion)

3 Sir Ian Wood (£1.385 billion)

4 Mohamed al-Fayed (£1.3 billion)

5 The Thomson family (£1.27 billion)

UK’S RICHEST

1 Len Blavatnik (£13.17 billion)

2 Sri and Gopi Hinduja (£13 billion)

3 Galen and George Weston and family (£11 billion)

4 Alisher Usmanov (£9.8 billion)

5 David and Simon Reuben (£9.7 billion)

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