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Gloucestershire Business News

Who's made the 2023 Rich List from Gloucestershire?

The Sunday Times has revealed its latest list of the 250 wealthiest people in Britain – and the chart features many prominent people in Punchline's business patch.

Despite economic headwinds, the richest 350 in the UK this year are worth £796.459 billion, with 250 of these lucky people making the list.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, who founded energy giant Ovo and lives in the Cotswolds near Cirencester, is a rising notable. With a wealth of £2.212bn, up from a meagre £1.34bn last year, he has climbed from 132nd to 79th in the lucre league.

Also from Cirencester, Dewhurst butchers and Vestey Foods boss Lord William Vestey has dropped from 226th in the rankings to 235th, although his personal fortune rose by a meaty £719m.

As the new head of the Gloucestershire-based meat empire, William Vestey, 39, inherited his family's 6,000-acre Cotswolds estate and the title Lord Vestey on the death of his father, Samuel. He is a close friend of the Prince of Wales, the report notes, having played polo with the future king.

With a comparatively vast family fortune of £23bn, a number which rose by £6.7bn from 2021 to 2022, inventor Sir James Dyson this year sees no change in his fortune – but competition from people making even more money has relegated him from being the second richest person in 2022 to the position of fifth.

The Dyson Group had a flat financial year that the newspaper says can be attributed to "lockdowns in China, steep commodity prices, the global microchip shortage and high shipping costs", profits falling slightly from £1.5 billion to £1.3 billion.

Other notables include Cotswolds construction tycoon Lord Bamford and family, whose £1.58bn rise in wealth has led to a ten-position jump in the list, now up to 32nd position. By comparison Sir David McMurtry, the boss of Wotton-under-Edge's engineering and metrology giant Renishaw has seen his wealth virtually unchanged, with a drop of just £6m – though he has risen five places to 157th. His long-time partner, John Deer, makes the top 350 at 285th with a wealth of £6m.

There is also an interesting footnote in the fortunes of a Tetbury man who recently garnered a few headlines on his new job as His Majesty the King. 

The Sunday Times reports:: "Charles has outstripped the late Queen — rebuilding his finances after his divorce and enhancing vast royal property holdings". 

The late Queen had a personal fortune of £300m, but the King's is put at £600m, ranking him at 263rd.

In analysis of his rise in wealth, the paper says he is "meticulous about switching off lights".

And if top-ranking wealth is not your business goal, there may be some cheer for those aiming at a more modest level of success: Britain now has 171 billionaires, which is six fewer billionaires than last year.

Wealth shared by UK billionaires climbed to £683.856 billion, the paper calculates, which is £30.734 more than in last year's Rich List. But at a time of double-digit inflation, it reckons on that 4.5 per cent rise spelling a fall in real terms.

"The Rich List has laid bare a golden era for Britain's most minted for more than a decade. Each year the billionaire count rose. Each year their fortunes soared ever higher. The question was not whether the boom would end, but when — and what it would mean for the rest of us. That time has come. The party is over and it's time to sober up."

As a vivid indicator, the overall wealth of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty, who debuted in the list last year because of to the stake Murty owns in Indian IT giant Infosys, has dropped by £201m, Infosys shares having fallen by 25%. The loss, says the paper, spells a daily fortune debit for the couple of £500,000.

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