May 19, 2023
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Primark, Belstaff, River Island, Gymshark owners all on new Sunday Times Rich List

May 19, 2023

The latest Sunday Times Rich List has been published and fashion continues to have a high profile. For a start, number two spot on the list is taken by Sir Jim Ratcliffe. His fortune of almost £30 billion grew by over £23 billion last year (propelling him from 27th place last time) and comes from his chemicals company Ineos. But importantly, he owns Belstaff.


The Sunday Times has been publishing its Rich List since 1989 and winning a place on it has become tougher over the years as the fortunes of the biggest names have generally got bigger and easily outstripped inflation.

So for this year, the newspaper said that also in the top 10 at number 7 are Guy, George, Alannah and Galen Weston and their family. They may no longer own Selfridges after selling it recently, but the family controls Primark, as well as Holt Renfrew in Canada, Fortnum & Mason and Heal’s. Their fortune adds up to £14.5 billion, which is £1 billion higher than a year ago and pushed them up a single place on the list. 

At number 11, up from number 10 a year earlier, is the Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family. They're worth close to £10 billion through their property holdings. They control Grosvenor, which is one of the major retail landlords in Britain, as well as having property beyond these shores. They own large amounts of central London, particularly the luxury fashion enclave of Mayfair and Belgravia, and are a part owner of and operators of the successful Liverpool One mall.

Meanwhile, at number 17, Bestseller owner Anders Holch Povlsen jumped six places with a fortune of £8.5 billion. That doesn’t only come from Bestseller, as he also owns a quarter of ASOS and has major property interests (including retail property) in the UK.

Kering boss François-Henri Pinault and his wife Salma Hayek are next at number 21, rising one place due to their fortune of just over £8 billion. Their net worth rose by almost a billion in the latest year.

At number 27, the famously private Sir Frederick Barclay and family are worth £6.4 billion, derived both from their ownership of The Daily Telegraph as well as retail via The Very Group. Their wealth rose by £2 billion in the last 12 months but they’re two places lower on the list.

Just below them at number 28 are Stephen Rubin and family, also down two places, but probably not too worried about that because they have a fortune of more than £6 billion, which has risen by £100 million in the last year. Their wealth comes from Pentland Group and also investments in JD Sports.


Frasers Group cotrolling shareholder Mike Ashley is on the list again this year, rising one place to 49 and worth £3.8 billion, over £800 million higher than a year ago. The owner of Sports Direct and Flannels remains a major name in British fashion retail, and one of the most active in opening new stores. However, he no longer runs the business on a day-to-day basis, having handed over the CEO position to his son-in-law, Michael Murray.

Baroness Howard de Walden and family are in 51st position on £3.5 billion through their Howard de Walden Estate that owns large parts of London — such as key retail area Marylebone.

Meanwhile, at 66, Bernard Lewis and family — owners of River Island — jumped from 122 last year via an almost £2.7 billion fortune that’s up £1.25 billion in 12 months.

At 78, Sunder Genomal and family, who own fashion manufacturer and retailer Page Industries, joined the list for the first time with £2.27bn.

Further down are Viscount Portman and family who own the Portman Estate that also takes in retail property; Christina Ong and family who control Mulberry; former Arcadia owners Philip and Tina Green; Boohoo Group’s Mahmud Kamani and family; THG majority owners Matt and Jodie Moulding; N Brown majority owner Lord Alliance and family; The White Company founder Chrissie Rucker and Nick Wheeler; and Matalan founder John Hargreaves and family.

Gymshark's flagship London store - Gymshark

While some names on this list might suggest that wealth remains concentrated in the hands of those who’ve had it for some time – whether that's for centuries or for decades – the list this time also shows plenty of movement among young entrepreneurs.

In the 35 Richest People Under 35 list is Ben Francis, the Gymshark founder. He has a 71% stake in the business and he's in fourth place on the youth rich list with a net worth of £900 million. 

His school friend and co-founder Lewis Morgan is lower down on the list at number 11, but has a fortune of £160 million.

It's interesting as well that three people who went to the same school as them also figure in the youth rankings. They are Reiss and Kris Edgerton (£60 million) who founded women’s sportswear operation Aybl, and Reece Wabara (£83 million) the footballer-turned-fashion mogul behind the Maniere De Voir brand. Cara Delevingne also figures on the youth list with a fortune of £50 million.

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