Business tycoons from the West Midlands worth more than a combined 28 billion have been named among the richest people in the UK.
Some of the region’s best known business people and the families behind major employers appear in The Sunday Times Rich List 2021, including online gambling firm bet365 and digger-maker JCB and fitness clothing brand Gymshark.
The Sunday Times Rich List is an annual index which ranks the country’s 250 wealthiest residents.
And despite the pandemic, most of this year’s participants saw their wealth soar – meaning there are now a record 171 billionaires in the UK.
Here we take a look at the entries from the West Midlands.
14th place – Staffordshire-born singer/songwriter and former Miss UK Kirsty Bertarelli and her Swiss entrepreneur husband Ernesto who are worth £9.2 billion.
17th place – bet365 and Stoke City Football Club owners Denise, John and Peter Coates. The family may have dropped by one place on last year’s ranking but their fortune rose by £1.2 billion. It means the trio are now worth a combined £8.4 billion.
38th place – Lord Bamford, chairman of Staffordshire digger-maker JCB, saw his fortune drop by more than £105 million. He is now worth £4.5 billion.
103rd place – Down from 91 in 2020, Stoke-on-Trent-born entrepreneur, business leader and philanthropist John Caudwell saw no change to his fortune this year and is still worth £1.5 billion.
157th place – Tony Gallagher, of Warwick-based retail and property investment business Gallagher Developments, has seen his fortune grow by £50 million and is now worth £1.1 billion.
178th place – Property guru Caspar MacDonald-Hall, who owns 40 per cent of Black Country-based development company London & Cambridge Properties, has seen his fortune jump by £67 million. Together with his family he is worth £909 million.
181th place – Lord Edmiston took a £150 million hit during the pandemic – falling from 141st place in last year’s rankings. The owner of Coleshill-based IM Group is now worth £897 million.
182nd place – Roy Richardson and family – best known for creating the Merry Hill Shopping Centre in Brierley Hill – saw fortunes climb by £150 million this year, meaning they climbed to 182nd place up from 190 in 2020. Their combined wealth is now £895 million.
209th place – The fortunes of Sir Peter, James and Steve Rigby, who are behind the Stratford-upon-Avon based Rigby Group, rose slightly last year – by £5 million – to £775 million. The trio dropped from 183rd place last year.
226th place – The co-founder of fitness clothing brand Gymshark Ben Francis made his debut in the Rich List this year after seeing his wealth surge by £562 million to £700 million.
Topping this year’s Rich List is Ukranian-born oil and media investor Sir Leonard Blavatnik who saw his fortune surge by £7.2 billion to around £23 billion during the pandemic-hit year.
Robert Watts, compiler of the rich list, said: “The global pandemic created lucrative opportunities for many online retailers, social networking apps and computer games tycoons.
“The fact many of the super-rich grew so much wealthier at a time when thousands of us have buried loved ones and millions of us worried for our livelihoods makes this a very unsettling boom.”
Other notable billionaires who feature in the list include electricals entrepreneur Sir James Dyson, whose wealth increased to £16.3 billion and Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich whose fortune climbed to £12.1bn for the year.