The Sunday Times has released its 2021 rich list.
Despite the pandemic placing a financial strain on many sectors, a number of companies and individuals have found a way to capitalise on business during the most uncertain of times.
A record number of 171 billionaires have been made in Britain within the last 12 months – 24 more than a year ago – the biggest jump in the 33 years since the newspaper started ranking the super-rich.
Taking the lead at the top of the list is Sir Leonard Blavatnik who has found success in investing in the Warner Music record label and other media sources. He has a net worth of £23 billion.
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Sir James Dyson of vacuum fame has dropped down from the number one spot despite still making £100 million during the pandemic.
But who are the richest people in and around Herts? Below we have listed the six people or groups who made this year’s rich list.
1. Mike Ashley
Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley, 56, has a net worth of £2.718 billion, which is up by £769 million from 2020.
The former squash coach, who is believed to own property in Barnet – on the Hertfordshire border – started Sports Direct in 1982 with a £10,000 loan from his parents.
He announced the opening last year of three giant stores – in Sheffield, Leicester and Liverpool – under the Flannels name where he sells designer brands.
The Herts billionaire pocketed £929m in one day when he floated Sports Direct on the stock market in 2007.
2. Peter Harris and Family
Peter Harris is best known for Bourne Leisure, which he founded in 1964 with David Allen.
He liked the look of the figures he saw when he was sent to audit a caravan park. He decided to go into the business himself.
Every year more than four million families visit a Butlin’s, Warner Leisure or another holiday destination owned by the Hemel Hempstead-based group.
The family’s net worth is £1.534 billion.
3. Sir Cameron Mackintosh
Sir Cameron Mackintosh, now worth £1.2 billion, became successful by sprucing up his collection of London theatres.
His skills as a producer of Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, Miss Saigon and countless other hit shows has put him in a great place financially.
The billionaire was raised in Cuffley, near Welwyn, Hertfordshire.
He has also been stage manager on several touring productions, becoming a London-based producer in the 1970s.
4. Luke and Brian Cromer
The Comer brothers found success from the property development industry.
Their projects include Royal Connaught Park, a former private school that served as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.
The pair transformed the Hertfordshire site into 380 luxury homes priced at up to £2.8m.
Both siblings started by initially building a British property portfolio, and then went into the German market buying assets cheaply during a downturn.
Their net worth is £906 million.
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5. Charles Gallagher and Family
One of the family’s property operations is Matthew Homes, based in St Albans, Hertfordshire.
This made nearly £13m profit on £74m sales in 2017. With £107m net assets, it is now a £140m operation.
The family’s other operation is Dublin-based house building group Abbey which Gallagher’s father founded and is worth around £268m on the stock market.
Charles Gallagher and Family’s net worth is £640 million.
6. Tim Steiner and Family
Tim Steiner had the idea of setting up Ocado after reading about a grocery delivery service that went bankrupt in the United States.
He believed the idea could take off in the UK, and launched the Hatfield-based company in 2000 with two ex-Goldman Sachs bank colleagues
As of 2020, Ocado had a market capitalisation of nearly £14 billion.
Steiner’s net worth is £625 million.