The 2013 Sunday Times Rich List celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Since its first publication, it seems that self-made wealth is becoming more and more prominent. Around two-thirds of the people on the first list were individuals who had acquired their wealth from inheritance. Today, around 80 per cent of them are the ‘new rich’, who made their money by their own efforts.
The 2013 Rich List has revealed that East Anglia represents a ‘microcosm of British economy’. This is based on the fact that East Anglia has foreign billionaires, lottery winners, the high-tech centre at Cambridge and many wealthy individuals and businesses.
The wealthiest person from East Anglia on the Rich List is Kirsten Rausing, who together with her sibling Jorn is worth £5.1 billion. The Rausings owe their wealth to their massive inheritance from their father Gad, the owner of Tetra Pak. They are also owners of Tetra Laval, a multinational packaging corporation based in Switzerland, with their other brother Finn. Kirsten has a stud farm in Newmarket, Suffolk.
The Earl of Iveagh and the Guinness family are at number 102 on the Rich List, with a fortune of £850 million from brewing and property. He lives near Thetford on the Elveden Estate. Marcus Evans, the 143rd richest man in the UK, is the chairman and owner of Ipswich Town Football Club.
Next is Douw Steyn, at 158 on the list and with a fortune of £550 million. He is the founder of ‘Compare the Market’, which is now a household name due to the ‘meerkat’ television advertising campaign. Following on at number five among East Anglia’s wealthiest is Dr Mike Lynch, the chief executive and co-founder of software company Autonomy. He has £480 million and is number 192 on the Rich List.
David and Richard Thompson are at number 201, with a fortune of £460 million from food and horseracing.
They are the sixth wealthiest people in East Anglia. Ewan Kirk is the seventh richest with his hedge-fund fortune of £280 million and he is at 201 in the rich list. Richard Higham has a £270-million fortune acquired from oil and gas services and appears at number 305 on the list. He is followed by Edward Atkin, whose baby care products have put him at number 309 with assets worth £267 million. The tenth wealthiest East Anglian is Gregory Darling, with a position at number 354 on the Rich List and a £267 million fortune from marine services.
Despite the difficult economic climate in the last year, none of the top 20 richest people in East Anglia have seen a decline in their fortune. Indeed, a recent report has highlighted that the region’s output has increased for a fifth month in a row, with numbers of new orders rising faster than at any time since January 2012. Employment levels have also seen a rise every month for the last five months. The Lloyds TSB East of England Business Activity Index, which measures output from the service and manufacturing sectors in East Anglia, rose to 51.5 in April 2013, from 50.4 in March 2013. This rise has been attributed to an improvement in weather conditions after a harsh and long winter and also the fact that companies are finding new customers.
There are good indications from businesses in the region that despite the economic circumstances, they are doing well in East Anglia. The East of England Co-operative Society has reported annual profits that are better than expected after difficult trading conditions. The business, which has over 200 outlets in Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk, reported a £335.1 million turnover for 2013, with a £3 million fall in profits to £9.7 million, which was significantly less than expected. The food business reported a £1.8 million like-for-like increase in sales, with a 5.3% rise in forecourt sales. Both travel and funeral divisions reported a 10 per cent rise in turnover.
Meanwhile, AKD Engineering, an energy company based in Lowestoft, has reported a significant new contract that will involve the creation of 40 new jobs and expansion of their headquarters. The £5 million deal with Shell, the energy company, is to deliver a revamp of the Baction gas terminal and will see AKD manufacture eight packages to improve the process of cleaning the gas and transferring it from offshore facilities. The focus of the 40 new jobs will be in manufacturing and engineering and the firm will be concentrating on the local area to fill the roles. This deal follows other new contracts, such as a £1 million deal with GE, the oil and gas firm. It will help the company to achieve an increase in revenue in 2013.
Businesses in the region are also keen on a taxpayer-funded loans scheme. This is part of a reform by David Cameron’s advisor Lord Young to ‘fire up’ business in the UK. The scheme hands out loans of around 2500 to businesses whose plans are seen as ‘robust’ and they come with a low interest rate. John Dugmore, the chief executive of the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, has welcomed this news and believes Lord Young is right to focus on developing smaller businesses as they need the most support.
In summary, whilst at times, it may seem to be “doom and gloom” – if we are to believe the newspapers, the country is on the verge of spiralling out of control – once the facts are stacked up, there is still success in Britain and our East Anglia region. At Cooper Lomaz, we believe we have plenty of things to smile about.
September 4, 2013 in Cooper Lomaz Latest News