LONDON — The Weston family, whose holdings include Selfridges, Holt Renfrew and Fortnum & Mason saw their wealth rise by 470 million pounds to 11 billion pounds over the past year, making them the 10th richest family in the U.K., according to an annual ranking by The Sunday Times of London.
The ranking was published one month after the death of one of the family’s patriarchs W. Galen Weston. Weston died in April, aged 80, after a long illness.
He sat at the helm of Selfridges Group, comprising Selfridges in the U.K., Brown Thomas and Arnotts in Ireland, De Bijenkorf in the Netherlands and Holt Renfrew in Canada.
Although the family’s wealth increased in 2021, the Westons, who also own Associated British Foods, parent of Primark, actually slipped down the ranking over the past year with a host of other business magnates muscling into the top slots.
The Ukranian-born multibillionaire Leonard Blavatnik, ranked at number one for the second, non-consecutive year after taking the top slot in 2015. The music, media and industry tycoon who holds dual U.S. and U.K. citizenship, saw his fortune increase over the past year following the Warner Music IPO. His fortune rose to 23 billion pounds, up 7.22 billion pounds compared with 2020.
The name Blavatnik will be familiar to art lovers in the U.K. and internationally: Tate Modern has a new Blavatnik building where fashion shows and presentations are frequently held. The billionaire has also donated 10 million pounds to the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, bankrolling one-fifth of the school and galleries renovation project. The six new galleries will be known as the Blavatinik Fine Rooms at the institute’s historic site on The Strand in London.
While the Westons were the only retail family to land in the top 10 this year, some others made it into the top 25 of the annual list, which is an estimation of individuals’ and families’ minimum net worth based on public documents and filings.
Kering chief executive officer Francois-Henri Pinault and his wife, actress Salma Hayek, saw their joint wealth climb by 2.08 billion pounds to 8.68 billion pounds, while Stephen Rubin and his family, who own Pentland, parent of Speedo, Kickers brands and have a majority stake in JD Sports, climbed up the list with a fortune that rose by 2.17 billion pounds to 6.39 billion pounds.
Meanwhile, Jim Ratcliffe, the founder and owner of the chemicals company Ineos and the owner of Belstaff, saw his fortune shrink by 5.82 billion pounds compared with last year. His wealth is now estimated at 6.33 billion pounds due to falling profits and a Moody’s downgrade of the Ineos bonds, according to the newspaper.
Ratcliffe had topped The Sunday Times list in 2018 with a fortune of 21.05 billion pounds.