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Sunday Times Rich List – an entrepreneurs' who's-who

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Entrepreneurs have a strong presence in this year's Sunday Times Rich List. We break it down for you.

The 2011 Sunday Times Rich List, published yesterday, was a veritable who's-who of Britain's entrepreneurial class. 

The statistics are encouraging: 762 of the richest 1,000 entries are self-made millionaires. 

Lakshmi Mittal and family continues to top the Sunday Times Rich List ranks, for the seventh year running, despite seeing his wealth fall by an eye watering £5bn in the last year. This was largely due to plunging share prices. 

Others in the top ten include Russian oligarchs Alisher Usmanov (£12.4bn, steel) and Roman Abramovich (£10.3bn, oil and industry); The Duke of Westminster (£7bn, property); the Bertarellis (£6.9bn, pharmaceuticals); Leonard Blavatnik (£6.2bn, industry); the Reuben brothers (£6.2bn, property and internet); the Hindujas (£6bn, industry and finance); and the Westons (£6bn, retailing – owners of Primark).

Outside of the top ten, Britain's entrepreneurs have a strong presence, and most have had a good year. 

Some highlights:

  • Richard Branson had a good year, seeing his fortune grow by 19 per cent in the last year, or by £485m, to £3.1bn.
  • The Oppenheimer family, owners of diamond miners De Beers, saw their wealth climb by £1.4bn to £2.9bn.
  • JCB owner Sir Anthony Bamford saw his net worth increase by £700m to £1.7bn, led by strong sales in India.
  • Phones 4U founder John Caudwell also had a good year, seeing a £100m rise in his fortune to £1.5bn.
  • Sir James Dyson was also up by £530m, to £1.5bn.
  • Lord Ashcroft, too, saw his £1.3bn fortune grow by £50m.
  • With a rise of £378m in fortune last year, Mike Ashley's fortune – which he largely made when he floated his company Sports Direct in 2007 – rose to £1.3bn.
  • Dame Mary Perkins had a fantastic year, seeing her wealth grow by 42 per cent to £1.2bn, led by strong sales in the Specsavers chain.
  • It wasn't a good year for Sir Ken Morrison, however, who saw his net worth fall by £506m last year, to £1bn, as he divests his investments.
  • Charles Dunstone, the founder of Carphone Warehouse, meanwhile, has finally reached the billionaires' club. Since demerging Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk, Dunstone has seen his fortune grow by £396m – making him a £1bn man.
  • Selling DFS, the nation's largest sofa retailer, last year, saw Lord Kirkham net £570m, bringing his total worth to £1bn.

What do you think of the Rich List? Leave your comments below.

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