Gordon family claim top spot on Scotland’s Rich List for sixth year

The Gordon family of distillers, who own the Glenfiddich brand among others, have topped Scotland's Rich List again. Picture: REX/Shutterstock
The Gordon family of distillers, who own the Glenfiddich brand among others, have topped Scotland's Rich List again. Picture: REX/Shutterstock
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The distilling family responsible for Glenfiddich whisky have consolidated their position at the top of Scotland’s rich list after their total wealth grew by over £300 million in the last year.

Rising profits for William Grant & Sons has seen the Gordon family maintain their top spot on the Scottish Rich List, compiled by the Sunday Times, for the sixth year in a row.

Sir Ian Wood takes second place on the Scottish Rich List

Sir Ian Wood takes second place on the Scottish Rich List

Company chairman Glenn Gordon, the great-grandson of founder William Grant, has seen his family’s wealth increase by an estimated £330 million in the previous 12 months to reach £2.882 billion.

The distilling empire, headquartered at the Strathclyde Business Park in North Lanarkshire, is one of the few Scotch whisky producers to remain in family ownership.

Mr Gordon, who is registered as a resident of Jersey, and his family have more than doubled their wealth in six years, up from £1.4 billion in 2013 to £2.9 billion, according to the newspaper.

READ MORE: The 20 richest people in Scotland revealed

The family of oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood take second place in the Scottish rich list thanks to an estimated £51m increase in their wealth in the last 12 months to a total of £1.763 billion.

Sir Ian, 76, transformed a family-owned fishing business in Aberdeen into the Wood Group, a multinational oil services company.

He now focuses much of his time on the Wood Foundation, which has committed around £65 million to support worthwhile projects at both home and abroad.

The fund has also channelled £25 million of the family fortune into enterprise group One North East (ONE) which aims to diversify the economy of Aberdeen beyond the oil and gas.

Retail magnate Mohamed Al-Fayed, whose connection to Scotland dates back to 1972 when he bought the Balnagown estate in Easter Ross, takes third place with an estimated total wealth of £1.7 billion - unchanged in the last year.

Fourth place goes to University of Glasgow graduate John Shaw and his wife Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, who built up the Bangalore-based Biocon pharmaceuticals empire.

The couple now have an estimated personal wealth of £1.689 billion, a decrease of £67 million on 2018.

The top five is completed by Mahdi al-Tajir, who owns the Blackford Estate next door to Gleneagles and has a personal wealth of £1.66 billion.

His son Maher manages the family’s estate and businesses in Scotland, including Highland Spring, one of the UK’s biggest selling bottled water brands which the al-Tajirs founded in 1979.

People with Scottish connections account for 82 of the 1,000 richest people in Britain, the paper’s analysis found, including 11 billionaires worth a combined £17.245 billion - a rise of £1.038 billion in the last year.

Robert Watts, compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List, said: “Many Rich Listers are this year nursing big losses due to the uncertainty over Brexit, turbulence on the stock market and the enormous change sweeping through our high streets.

“But more than half of our Scottish Rich List have seen their fortunes rise over the past 12 months - that’s a higher proportion than other parts of the UK.”

The Thomson family, who were originally in shipping but now run the Dundee-based publishing empire DC Thomson, which produces the iconic Beano comic among others, have grown their wealth by £49 million to £1.401 billion and sit seventh on the list.

The Sunday Times Rich List is published on May 12.