Fortunes of UK online billionaires soar by a FIFTH during lockdown: Sunday Times Rich List reveals record 171 billionaires in Britain despite lockdown as Sir Leonard Blavatnik comes out top with £23bn wealth
- Warner Music’s Sir Leonard Blavatnik topped the Rich List with a £23bn fortune
- UK billionaires saw their fortunes soar from £106.5billion to £597.2billion in 2021
- Losses noted for Philip Green, Duke of Westminster and Andrew Lloyd Webber
A record 171 billionaires in the UK saw their fortunes soar by more than a fifth as they shook off the financial toll of the pandemic, the Sunday Times Rich List reveals.
Ukrainian-born Sir Leonard Blavatnik, 63, has topped the Rich List for the second time with his £23billion fortune following a £7.219billion leap in his wealth.
Overall, the number of UK-based billionaires has jumped by 24 per cent compared to 2020 in a stark contrast with the economic turmoil of a global crisis which saw millions enter furlough.
But this had little impact on the very wealthiest, with the fortunes of billionaires increasing by 21.7 per cent over the year – from £106.5 billion to £597.2 billion.
Blavatnik, 63, saw his personal wealth leap by £7.219billion, placing him at the top of the Rich List for the second time since 2015 – when he was worth £13.17billion.
The Ukrainian-born businessman made his fortune in the music industry, having cashed in a £1.377billion stake in Warner Music when it listed in the US last year.
Despite his wealth, Blavatnik is understood to have furloughed a member of staff at the global sports subscription service DAZN during the pandemic.
He took the title of UK’s richest man from Sir James Dyson, who slipped back to fourth in the table after his wealth only increased by £100million to £16.3billion.
The electricals entrepreneur was also beaten by property investors David and Simon Reuben, who reached the second spot after their wealth increased by £5.46billion to £21.46billion.
Meanwhile, Sri and Gopi Hinduja, who run the Mumbai-based conglomerate Hinduja Group, saw their fortune rise by £1billion to clinch the third spot.
Other notable billionaires to feature in the top 10 include Alisher Usmanov, who saw his wealth rise by £1.7billion after selling his 30 per cent stake in Arsenal football club.
Chelsea owner and fellow Russian Roman Abramovich also saw his fortune climb, rising by £1.9 billion to £12.1 billion for the year.
Further down the list, fashion magnate Sir Philip Green saw his fortune drop by £20million to £910million after his Arcadia fashion empire collapsed into administration in November.
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