Kent businessman whose wealth increased by £9 billion named richest person in south east

A pile of coins may be of no use in a shop
The Sunday Times Rich List for 2024 has been revealed -Credit:PA

A Kent-based businessman whose personal fortune increased by nearly £9 billion in the past year has been named the richest person in the south east in the Sunday Times Rich List 2024.

Barnaby Swire, along with his brother and family, now have a wealth of £17.2 billion. This makes them the richest people in the south east and the within the top 10 richest people in the whole of the UK.

Mr Swire is chairman of the parent company of the multinational corporation The Swire Group which operates in a range of industries including being a major bottling partner of Coca-Cola and the majority shareholder of Cathay Pacific Airways.

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The ranking comes courtesy of this year's edition of The Sunday Times Rich List which was published online on Friday (May 17) and can be found in full at:

This year’s edition lists 350 individuals and families that together hold a combined wealth of £795.361 billion, a sum larger than the annual GDP of Poland. However, this year does mark the largest fall in the billionaire count in the guide’s 36-year history from a peak of 177 in 2022 down to 165 this year.

Elsewhere in the south east Surrey-based Jorn Rausing and family, who along with his sister Kirsten owns a third of the packaging company Tetra Laval, rank second with a fortune of £12.634 billion while other members of the Rausing family- Marit, Lisbet, Sigrid and Hans, rank third with a wealth of just over £9 billion.

Marit and family donated four per cent of their wealth, amounting to £67.3 million to charity over the past year.

Sir Elton John, Lord Lloyd-Webber and David and Victoria Beckham all appear in the annual survey. The minimum entry for the list of 350 this year is £350 million.

Robert Watts, compiler of the Sunday Times Rich List, said: “This year’s Sunday Times Rich List suggests Britain’s billionaire boom has come to an end. Many of our home-grown entrepreneurs have seen their fortunes fall and some of the global super rich who came here are moving away.

“Thousands of British livelihoods rely on the super-rich to some extent. We’ll have to wait and see whether we have now reached peak billionaire, and what that means for our economy.

“These may be harder times to create wealth, but The Sunday Times Rich List continues to unearth entrepreneurs building fortunes in diverse and often surprising ways. This year’s new entries include people who have made money from artificial intelligence and virtual worlds as well as plumbing supplies and teaching aides.

“We know many of our readers find such people — especially those from humbler backgrounds — very inspiring.”

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