South African businessmen among the UK’s top 25 richest people

The UK’s Sunday Times has released its annual Rich List, naming three South African businessmen among the top 25 richest people in the United Kingdom.

According to the paper, the British super-rich have suffered their biggest crash in fortunes since the global economic crisis of 2008/09, with former list-topper, Lakshmi Mittal losing three-quarters of his wealth.

Mittal rose to the top of the rank in 2008 with £27.7 billion (R578 billion) – the biggest fortune achieved by anyone on the Rich List before or since, the paper said.

However, a global crisis in the steel industry in 2015/16 has sent Mittal’s finances plummeting and now he’s ‘only’ worth £7.12 billion (R149 billion) – ranked 11th in 2016 -suffering a £2.08 billion (R43 billion) loss last year alone.

In 2016, Mumbai-born brothers David and Simon Reuben topped the list, climbing from 5th place in 2015 with £9.7 billion to £13.1 billion (R273 billion), thanks to strong returns on their property investments.

Overall, the 1,000 wealthiest people in Britain are worth a combined £576 billion (R12 trillion) – an increase of £28.5 billion (R595 billion) on last year.

Nicky Oppenheimer
Nicky Oppenheimer

South Africans on the list

Three South Africans are named on the 2016 ranking – one more than in 2015.

Diamond magnate, Nicky Oppenheimer leads the other South Africans on the list, ranked at 18th, worth £4.83 billion (R100.9 billion).

Oppenheimer amassed the bulk of his fortune when he sold his 40% stake in the De Beers diamond operation for £3.2 billion in 2011. He now owns an estate and organic farm near Maidenhead but still retains “extensive investments” in South Africa and in mining group Anglo American

Former top SA-linked billionaire on the rank – SA-born Swazi businessman Nathan Kirsh was ranked 21st with a net worth of £4.37 billion (R91.3 billion).

Debuting on the list, retail mogul Christo Wiese was ranked at 22nd, worth £4.33 billion (R90.4 billion).

# Name 2015 wealth (GBP) 2016 wealth (GBP) Change (%)
18 Nicky Oppenheimer £4.55 billion £4.83 billion +6.2%
21 Nathan Kirsh £5.06 billion £4.37 billion -13.6%
22 Christo Wiese £4.33 billion

Top 25 richest people

# Name Wealth (GBP)
1 David and Simon Reuben £13.1 billion
2 Sri and Gopi Hinduja £13.0 billion
3 Len Blavatnik £11.59 billion
4 Galen and George Weston £11.0 billion
5 Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli £9.78 billion
6 The Duke of Westminster £9.35 billion
7 Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho £9.15 billion
8 Kirsten and Jorn Rausing £8.7 billion
9 Hans Rausing £8.6 billion
10 Alisher Usmanov £7.58 billion
11 Lakshmi Mittal £7.12 billion
12 Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay £7.0 billion
13 Roman Abramovich £6.4 billion
14 John Fredriksen £6.3 billion
15 Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber £5.84 billion
16 Earl Cadogan £5.7 billion
17 Sir James Dyson £5.0 billion
18 Nicky Oppenheimer £4.83 billion
19 Sir Richard Branson £4.52 billion
20 John Grayken £4.42 billion
21 Nathan Kirsh £4.37 billion
22 Christo Wiese £4.33 billion
23 Bruno Schroder £4.06 billion
24 Denise, John, and Peter Coates £3.77 billion
25 Baroness Howard de Walden £3.63 billion

Exchange rate: 1 GBP = 20.88 ZAR

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South African businessmen among the UK’s top 25 richest people