- Marjorie van Elven |
Jim Ratcliffe has become the richest man in the UK, making an impressive jump from the 18th to the 1st spot on the Sunday Times’ rich list. While his company Ineos is known for manufacturing chemicals and oil products, Ratcliffe has recently turned his eye to the fashion industry as well: last October, Ineos acquired the heritage British brand Belstaff from JAB Luxury. Rattcliffe’s fortune has increased from 15.3 billion pounds to 21.05 billion pounds last year, according to the newspaper.
The acquisition of Belstaff is not the sole factor behind Rattcliffe’s fortune growth, as his impressive performance on the list also reflects a revaluation of his assets. In addition to fashion, Ratcliffe is also investing in the tourism and automotive industries. He invested 10 million dollars in a sustainable safari project in Tanzania in December and created an automotive branch for Ineos in 2016. Rattcliffe is looking to fill a market gap after Land Rover’s Defender was discontinued in 2016, aiming to launch a similar vehicle by 2020.
Ratcliffe’s decision to invest in a fashion company makes all the more sense considering many fashion retailers also appear on the Sunday Times’ list. Guy, George and Galer Jr Weston are the wealthiest retailers on the list, with a net worth estimated in 10.05 million pounds. The Weston family owns Associated British Foods, which controls Primark and the Selfridges Group.
The Westons are followed by Sir Philip Green, chairman of the Arcadia Group, who is said to hold a fortune of 2 billion pounds. Although the sum is impressive, 2017 was not a good year for him. On the previous list, his fortune was estimated in 787 billion pounds. The vertiginous drop is due to Arcadia’s struggling brands, which include Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins.
Also on the list are Asos’ founder Nick Robertson, with 372 million pounds, and Missguided founder Nitin Passi, who is said to be worth 252 million pounds. Carol Kane, CEO of Boohoo, appears on the list for the first time, with a fortune of 120 million pounds. The growth was driven by Boohoo’s acquisition of US retailer Nasty Gal and the launch of its first in-house cosmetic line.