Former West Bromwich Albion owner Jeremy Peace has enjoyed a £30 million increase in his wealth, according to the 2017 Sunday Times Rich List.

Mr Peace, who sold his stake in the club last summer to Chinese firm Yunyi Guokai Sports for a rumoured £175 million, is now worth £180 million.

His counterpart at Wolverhampton Wanderers Steve Morgan, who sold that club last year to Chinese investors as well, saw his wealth dip by £49 million to £831 million although some of this can be attributed to a £226 million charitable donation.

Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli are again the richest in the West Midlands, with the wealth of the Swiss pharmaceuticals giant and his Staffordshire wife increasing by £1.72 billion to £11.5 billion.

Mr Bertarelli's family sold its biotech business Serono for $13.3bn in 2006, netting the family $8.6bn, since when he has furthered the family fortune by investing in the Swiss pharma business Santhera.

His wife Kirsty is a former Miss UK turned singer-songwriter and a member of the Roper family, which controls the Staffordshire-based Churchill China company.

The combined wealth of the top 20 in the West Midlands Rich List has risen by over £4 billion this year with the region now boasting six billionaires.

Jeremy Peace sold West Brom last year for a reported £175m
Jeremy Peace sold West Brom last year for a reported £175m

Among these are Phones4U founder John Caudwell and air-conditioning supplier Tony Murray, who at 97 is also the oldest person in The Sunday Times Rich List, published this weekend.

Rich List compiler Robert Watts said: "This year's Rich List lays bare how the fortunes of Britain's richest 1,000 people have fared amid the astonishing events of the past 12 months.

"The Midlands has long been regarded as the engine room of the UK's economy but there's a lot more to this part of the country's economy than manufacturing now with billionaires who have built their fortune from telecoms, online betting and selling cars.

"Look further down our West Midlands list and you will see fortunes made from pharmaceuticals, animal feed and poultry.

"This echoes what we're seeing across the country, with fortunes made from a wider and wider range of goods and services.

"That diversity of wealth creation gives reason for optimism about the future of the West Midlands economy."

The West Midlands' top ten richest



2017 Wealth

Increase/Decrease on 2016

Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli Santhera, Churchill China £11.5bn +£1.72bn
Denise, John and Peter Coates Bet365 £5bn +£1.23bn
Lord Bamford and family JCB £3.3bn -£200m
John Caudwell Founded and sold Phones4U £1.51bn +£14m
Tony Murray and family Andrew Sykes Group £1.17bn +£120m
Lord Edmiston IM Group £1.02bn +£480m
Tony Gallagher Gallagher Estates/Developments £850m +£250m
Steve Morgan Redrow, ex-Wolves owner £831m -£49m
Sir Peter Rigby Rigby Group £600m +£50m
Ranjit and Baljinder Boparan 2 Sisters Food Group £544m +£114m