Natie Kirsh of Jetro, worth R91bn, top of 8 SAs on UK’s 2015 Rich List

Richer than Rupert - self-made industrialist Natie Kirsh is worth R91bn according to the London Sunday Times newspaper's  latest Rich List.
Richer than Rupert – self-made industrialist Natie Kirsh is worth R91bn according to the London Sunday Times newspaper’s latest Rich List.

By Alec Hogg

Natie Kirsh (83), is one of two South Africans to feature in this year’s Top 20 in the annual Rich List compiled by the London Sunday Times (see table below). In all there are eight South Africans on the table of the official 2015 Rich List of 1 000 wealthiest people who live in the UK.

Kirsh, an industrialist who owns the New York-based food services group Jetro, spends much of his time in his modest offices in SA. The only obvious indulgence on display when I visited his Johannesburg office a few years back were some superb pieces by top South African artists. Translated into Rand, the newspaper values Kirsh as being worth R91bn. This puts Kirsh ahead of tobacco and luxury goods mogul Johann Rupert whose asset base of $6.9bn (as assessed by Forbes) is worth R84bn.

Third generation mining scion Nicky Oppenheimer (69) is the other UK-based South African to make the Top 20 on the 2015 Rich List. The Oppenheimer, family sold their 40% of diamond group De Beers £3.2bn three years ago. The Sunday Times notes that Oppenheimer held onto his kept landing rights to the roof of the firm’s London HQ – the only person allowed to land a helicopter within London’s Square Mile. Oppenheimer has an estate and organic farm near Maidenhead just outside London.

Donald Gordon (84), founder of insurance business Liberty Life and the UK-based property group Capital & Counties, is the next highest rated of the wealthiest South African expats on the 2015 Rich List with his £900m squeezing him into the Top 125. He is closely followed by insurance entrepreneur Douw Steyn (62) whose UK business interest include comparethemarket.com whose TV ad campaign features a meerkat. The newspaper says Steyn owns a £63m home in London – which puts his R250m Steyn City mansion into some perspective.

Mark Shuttleworth
Mark Shuttleworth – swapped Cape Town for Isle of Man. Tax breaks come at a price.

Those four plus Manfred Gorvy (76), founder of London-headquartered Hanover Acceptances and the former CEO of Del Monte, Vivian Imerman (59), all rank higher than the Queen of England n the 2015 Rich List. The Queen’s £340m fortune puts her in position 302 this year.

Two more South Africans feature in the bottom half of the 2015 Rich List of the 1 000 wealthiest Britons – internet entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth (41) who is based on the Isle of Man (a tax haven with little else to recommend) and banker Richard Gnodde (55) the co-CEO of Goldman Sachs International.

2015 2014 Worth in £ Source of wealth
17 28 Natie Kirsh 5 060 Property, investment, cash and carry
19 18 Nicky Oppenheimer 4 550 Mining, diamonds
123 155 Donald Gordon 900 Propery
160 170 Douw Steyn 700 Insurance
262 330 Manfred Gorvy 400 Property, food
286 269 Vivian Imerman 355 Food, spirits
608 571 Mark Shuttleworth 160 Internet
707 691 Richard Gnodde 135 Finance

 From Agence France-Presse:

Ukrainian businessman Len Blavatnik has been named the wealthiest man in Britain in a rich list being released Sunday studded with members of the international jet set living in London.

Blavatnik, an investor in a range of industries including oil, petrochemicals and media, is worth £13.17 billion (18 billion euros, $20 billion), according to the respected Sunday Times Rich List.

The index found that the combined wealth of Britain’s 1,000 richest people had more than doubled in the last ten years to over £547 billion.

Blavatnik knocked Indian-born brothers Sri and Gopi Hinduja, who run the multinational conglomerate of the same name, off the top spot.

They are now in second place, worth a reported £13 billion, followed in third by the owners of retail giants Primark and Selfridges, Galen and George Weston and family, who are said to be worth £11 billion.

Other famous names who feature on the list include Roman Abramovich, the Russian oligarch who owns Chelsea Football Club, in tenth position.

The list said he was worth £7.29 billion, down £1.23 billion since last year.

Richard Branson, the British entrepreneur behind the Virgin brand, and his family are in 20th position and are said to be worth £4.1 billion.

The Sunday Times said that rich people now need to be worth at least £100 million to make it into the top 1,000.

That is £15 million more than last year and up from £15 million in 1997.

Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton was named Britain’s richest sportsman in the separate Sunday Times Sport Rich List and is said to be worth £88 million.

He was followed by Manchester United and England footballer Wayne Rooney on £72 million and fellow racing driver Jenson Button on £71 million. – AFP

2015(2014)
Name Worth Source of wealth
1 (4) Len Blavatnik £13,170m Investment, Music, Media
2 (1) Sri and Gopi Hinduja £13,000m Industry, Finance
3 (11) Galen and George Weston and family £11,000m Retailing
4 (2) Alisher Usmanov £9,800m Mining, Investment
5 (7) David and Simon Reuben £9,700m Property, Internet
6 (5) Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli £9,450m Pharmaceuticals, Investment
7 (3) Lakshmi Mittal and family £9,200m Steel
8 (8) Kirsten and Jorn Rausing £8,700m Inheritance, Investment
9 (10) The Duke of Westminster £8,560m Property
10 (9) Roman Abramovich £7,290m Industry, Oil
11 (6) John Fredriksen and family £7,240m Shipping, Oil services
12 (12) Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho £7,145m Inheritance, Brewing, Banking
13 (16) Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay £6,500m Property, Media, Internet retailing
14 (17) Hans Rausing and family £6,400m Packaging
15 (13) Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber and family £5,935m Hotels, Food, Industry
16 (14) Carrie and Francois Perrodo and family £5,800m Oil, Gas, Wine
17 (28) Nathan Kirsh £5,060m Property, Investment, Cash and carry
18 (19) Earl Cadogan and family £4,800m Property
19 (18) Nicky Oppenheimer and family £4,550m Mining, Diamonds
20 (23) Sir Richard Branson and family £4,100m Transport, Finance, Fitness clubs
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