Wealthy South Africans bask in their billions: Nicky Oppenheimer, Christo Wiese on Britain’s rich list

EDINBURGH: Brexit jitters have failed to knock the wealth of rich people who have put down roots in Britain. The annual Sunday Times Rich List reveals that there are more billionaires in the UK than ever. Sky News reports that the wealth of the richest 1 000 people and their families has jumped 14% over one year. In order to make the list, you need to be worth at least £110m. South Africans who make an appearance on the wealth ranking include Nicky Oppenheimer and family, who are best known for their past connections with the De Beers diamond business. Oppenheimer reportedly has a farm in the UK but retains various investments elsewhere. Also noticeable on the list is Christo Wiese, South African retail entrepreneur who has been rapidly expanding the Steinhoff empire across Europe. In the UK, Steinhoff has been opening Pep & Co, discount fashion stores, in towns that do not feature a Primark. Oppenheimer and Wiese rub shoulders with European and Asian business magnates as well as a number of people who have inherited wealth in this year’s line-up of billionaires in the UK. – Jackie Cameron

Staff Writer

There are more billionaires in the UK than ever, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

So says Sky News, which points out that the wealthiest 1,000 people and families have a total wealth of £658bn, which is up 14% on last year’s £575bn.

“But it is no longer good enough to be a plain millionaire, with £110m now required to make the list – a sharp climb from the £15m required two decades ago,” says the broadcaster.

Business Insider notes that South African entrepreneur Christo Wiese is at 24 on the 2017 Sunday Times Rich List. The 75-year-old retailer has a net worth estimated at £4.62 billion, which is almost as much as 66-year-old Sir Richard Branson’s fortune – believed to be about £4.865bn.

South African entrepreneur Christo Wiese

Wiese’s “active-property portfolio is alone worth £80 million and he has large stakes in seven publicly traded companies. He is also the largest single shareholder in Africa’s biggest retailer, Shoprite, and in 2015 he bought the New Look fashion chain in Britain,” says Business Insider.

“Branson is Britain’s poster child for entrepreneurship. He built his Virgin empire, which comprises 400 companies, from the age of 16. His group now does everything from mobiles to banking to aviation and even, potentially, space travel,” says the website.

Nicky Oppenheimer

Nicky Oppenheimer and family join the ranks of the richest 20 families in Britain. At 19 on the wealth ranking, the Oppenheimer fortunes are estimated at £5.5bn.

The 2017 Sunday Times Rich List

1: Sri and Gopi Hinduja (Industry, Finance) £16.2bn

2: Len Blavatnik (Investment, Music, Media) £15.9bn

3: David and Simon Reuben (Property, Internet) £14bn

4: Lakshmi Mittal and family (Steel) £13.2bn

5: Alisher Usmanov (Mining, Investment) £11.8bn

6: Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli (Pharmaceuticals) £11.5bn

7: Guy, George and Galen Jr Weston and family (Retailing) £10.5bn

8: Kirsten and Jorn Rausing (Inheritance, Investment) £9.6bn

9: The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family (Property) £9.5bn

10: Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho (Inheritance, Brewing, Banking) £9.3bn

11: Hans Rausing and family (Packaging) £9.25bn

12: John Fredriksen and family (Shipping, Oil services) £8bn

13: Roman Abramovich (Industry, Oil) £8bn

14: Sir James Dyson and family (Household goods, Technology) £7.8bn

15: Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay (Property, Media, Internet retailing) £7.2bn

16: Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber and family (Hotels, Food, Industry) £6.7bn

17: Earl Cadogan and family (Property) £6.5bn

18: Jim Ratcliffe (Chemicals) £5.75bn

19: Nicky Oppenheimer and family (Mining, Diamonds) £5.5bn

20: Carrie and Francois Perrodo and family (Oil, Gas, Wine) £5.17bn