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The billionaire 100 club: Peter Hargreaves' inexorable rise

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The billionaire 100 club: Peter Hargreaves' inexorable rise

The number of billionaires living in the UK has exceeded 100 for the first time in history with Peter Hargreaves' relentless rise up the wealth charts continuing.

The Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) founder saw his wealth rise by £867 million in 2013, according to the Sunday Times Super Rich list.

This rise is largely thanks to the doubling of HL's share price in 2013 from £6.81 to £13.54. Shares in the firm closed at £12.09 last week.   

The increase propelled Hargreaves up eight places in the UK wealth list to 40th place with a £2.39 billion fortune, not a bad return on business which was famously built in a spare bedroom in his Bristol flat in 1981.

Hargreaves (pictured), who shuns public displays of wealth, netted £80 million when his firm floated with an £800 million market capitalisation in 2007. The company is now worth £5.7 billion and Hargreaves, who donated £1 million worth of shares to charity last year, holds a £2.24 billion interest.

Fellow HL founder Stephen Lansdown (pictured) has also had a decent year, although his wealth has risen at a slower pace following the disposal of significant stakes in recent years, which was reinvested in a number of personal projects, including Bristol City football club.

Lansdown is the UK’s 64th richest individual after a £550 million rise in his wealth in 2013 to £1.45 billion.

According to the Rich List, the 102 billionaires living in Britain have a combined wealth of around £300 billion.

The number of billionaires has more than tripled over the last decade and London contains more billionaires than any other city in the world with 72. While more than 50% (39) of these London super rich were born abroad, nationally the percentage falls with 44 born overseas.  

The Indian-born Hinduja brothers, Sri and Gopi, top the list with an £11.9 billion. The pair’s conglomerate, Hinduja Group, covers banking, oil, media and electricity.

The brothers stole Alisher Usmanov’s crown, who dropped to second spot after a £2.65 billion slump in his fortune in 2013, leaving it standing on £10.65 billion. The Russian, who owns a 30% stake in Arsenal football club, was hurt by the crisis in Ukraine which triggered a tumble in the rouble.

Fellow Russian and Chelsea football club owner Roman Ambramovich was also impacted by Ukraine, with his wealth declining by £780 million to £8.52 billion. 

The list contains three billionaires from the hedge fund world; Brevan Howard founder Alan Howard saw his wealth rise by £100 million to £1.6 billion and Blue Crest fund manager Michael Platt earned £550 million to lift his fortune to £1.5 billion. CQS owner Sir Michael Hintze completes the trio with a £155 million rise to £1.055 billion.

Elsewhere, it was good year for Bruno Schroder and family, who enjoyed a £1 billion rise to increase its total to £2.87 billion.

Meanwhile, Ashmore boss Mark Coombs is sitting on £1.19 billion, although his wealth depleted by £46 million on poor sentiment in emerging markets.

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