If the coalition government is looking to the private sector to take up the employment slack of public sector cuts, then the Birmingham Post Rich List is probably as good a barometer as any with which to predict how successful that aspiration will be.
And the indications are that it could just work.
Many of our multi-millionaires have successfully turned their business interests around and fought their way back from the brink of last year’s list which saw £3.63 billion wiped off personal fortunes.
The 2011 Rich List has recovered £1 billion of those losses and the price of entry has increased by £10 million to £75 million. Those in manufacturing are seeing green shoots flourish as world markets start to grow again. This is good news for the likes of Sir Anthony Bamford’s JCB, John Bloor’s Triumph Motorcycles and Lord Paul’s Caparo, not to mention for jobs in the region.
Property and construction haven’t recovered to the dizzy heights of 2008, but those who bought at the bottom of the market are reaping the benefits. Tony Gallagher, Steve Morgan, Charles Clowes and David Wilson have all seen a turnaround in fortunes and are back to growth.
Things have remained stable at the top of our list, with the jack, queen, king of wealth retaining their positions, and we can still boast four billionaires, with Randy Lerner knocking at the door to bring that number to five.
The number one slot continues to be held by Staffordshire songwriter, jewellery designer and former beauty queen Kirsty Bertarelli. Her husband’s pharmaceutical fortune has recovered from a slight (well, just half a billion pounds) drop in value last year.
Number two is still mobile phones billionaire John Caudwell, while number three is Sir Anthony Bamford, whose JCB is showing healthy signs of recovery with big orders and new markets.
One of the biggest success stories is Stoke City owner and founder of online gambling site Bet365, Peter Coates.
He and his family have raced up our chart with a 25 per cent increase in wealth, thanks to the success of their internet gambling operation.
Richard Harpin, founder of Walsall-based Homeserve, has also made a significant improvement in his position, thanks to the success of his business.
Two of our list’s stalwarts have been ennobled, with Bob Edmiston at number 15 and Michael Bishop at 25 both receiving peerages. Ginsters pasty king David Samworth becomes a knight and Chinese supermarket emperor Woon Wing Yip was presented with an OBE.
The entertainment sector continues to make a significant contribution to the list, with Brum’s favourite rocker Ozzy Osbourne, ex-Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant and a resurgent Robbie Williams, reunited with his Take That bandmates, all improving their positions.
Sporting interests are represented by Randy Lerner, Steve Morgan, Peter Coates and Sir Jack Hayward.
New entries this year include Dutch supermarket magnet Albert Heijn who has made Hereford his home, William Parente who has inherited a sizeable chunk of the West Midlands, the Duke of Rutland who owns both the Belvoir and Haddon Hall estates, and Telford wine entrepreneur Roger Gabb – the man behind Kumala.
Charitable giving and philanthropy continue to feature prominently in our list. Our richest-of-the-rich still give a hefty lump of their fortunes to charities and good causes, almost without exception.
* A brief word about the rules of engagement for the Birmingham Post Rich List: In assessing who goes into the list and who stays out there is inevitably some subjectivity involved, and we can only work from publicly available information.
We looked at the personal wealth, property interests, shareholdings, company valuations, asset valuations, liabilities, and other known wealth of people who either live and/or work in the Midlands, or who have major business interests in the region or have spent most of their lives here.
We took longevity and commitment to the Midlands into account.
RICH LIST FACTFILE:
* Three musicians make the list – Robbie Williams, Robert Plant and Ozzy Osborne.
* £21.7 billion is the combined wealth of Rich List members.
* A total of 46 people retained their place on the list – the only new faces were Albert Heijn, William Parente, the Duke of Rutland and Roger Gabb.
* Three current football club-owners are listed – Aston Villa’s Randy Lerner, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Steve Morgan and Stoke City’s Peter Coates.
* £500 million was the biggest jump in fortunes – Kirsty Bertarelli – while Will Adderley’s fortune rose by £285 million and Peter Coates’ rose by £100 million.
* There are six Sirs, three Lords, a Viscount and a Duke.
* Only three people who made this year’s Rich List earned their money from manufacturing.
* £75 million is the minimum needed to make the list – up from £65 million last year.
The 2011 Birmingham Post Rich List
1 Kirsty Bertarelli (£5.5billion) Pharmaceuticals
2 John Caudwell (£1.5billion) Telecommunications
3= Sir Anthony Bamford (£1billion) Manufacturing
3= Viscount Portman (£1billion) Property
5 Randy Lerner (£950million) Finance/Sport
6 Will Adderley and family (£650million) Retailing
7 Lord Paul of Marylebone (£600million) Manufacturing
8 Felix Dennis (£550million) Publishing
9 Peter Coates (£500million) Gambling
10 John Bloor (£480million) Construction
11= Jacques Gaston Murray (£475million) Manufacturing
11= Tony Gallagher (£475million) Construction
13 Freddie Linnett and Murphy family (£440million) Construction
14 Sir Peter Rigby (£400million) Computers
15= Roy Richardson and family (£380million) Construction
15= Lord Edmiston (£380million) Prop/Auto
17= Steve Morgan (£350million) Property
17= The Mackie Family (£350million) Electrical
19 Sir David Samworth (£345million) Food
20= Caspar MacDonald-Hall (£340million) Property
20= David Wilson (£340million) Property
22 Albert Heijn (£335million) Leisure/Retail
23 Jonathan Kendrick (£330million) Telecoms
24 Paul Ruddock (£280million) Finance
25 Lord Michael Bishop (£265million) Aviation
26 Tony Wilkinson (£255million) Retailing
27 Sir Paul Smith (£250million) Fashion
28 Richard Harpin (£235million) Insurance
29 Paul Newey (£230million) Finance
30= Ranjit & Baljinder Boparan Singh (£190million) Food
30= William Parente (£190million) Property
32 Peter Horton and family (£185million) Property
33 Sir Euan Anstruther Gough-Calthorpe (£165million) Property
34 Charles Clowes (£150million) Construction
35 Simon Clarke and family (£140million) Construction
36 Duke of Rutland (£135million) Prop/Leisure
37 Shiraz Dharamshi Tejani (£130million) Paper
38= Keith Bradshaw (£120million) Automotive
38= Sir Jack Hayward (£120million) Property
40 Eric Grove (£110million) Property
41 Alan Jackson (£105million) Telecoms
42= Ozzy Osbourne (£95million) Music
42= Robbie Williams (£95million) Music
42= Andrew Cohen (£95million) Retailing
45= Constantine Folkes (£85million) Prop/Manufacturing
45= Jim Leavesley (£85million) Military
45= Roger Gabb (£85million) Wine
48= Robert Plant (£80million) Music
48= Woon Wing Yip (£80million) Food
50 Abdul Majid Alimohamed (£75million) Packaging