Fashion tycoon tops Scotland’s rich list

Fashion tycoon tops Scotland’s rich list


A Danish fashion tycoon who is Scotland’s biggest private landowner has gone straight to number one in Scotland’s rich list.

Anders Povlsen tops Scotland’s version of the 2020 Sunday Times Rich List as a new entry to the rundown with a wealth of £4.73bn.

Spirits family businessman Glenn Gordon saw the biggest rise in wealth with an extra £304m on his fortune.

Well-known faces including JK Rowling and Sir Tom Hunter made the top 20.

Mr Povlsen, 47, was captivated by the Highlands when he visited with his parents in the 1980s.

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Povlsen is the mastermind behind fashion giant Asos
Since 2006, he has amassed 221,000 acres in total and has vowed to restore some of the landscapes, playing an active part in running his estates.

In addition to a 26.4% stake in fashion retailer Asos, worth £253.4m, he owns Danish clothing firm Bestseller as well as part of the independent Bestseller Fashion Group China.

Rich get richer
According to The Sunday Times, the number of Rich Listers born, based or whose wealth is largely tied up in Scotland has remained the same this year, but their combined worth is up by 13% to £39.504bn from £34.957bn.

Although the inclusion of Mr Povlsen and his vast £4.73bn fortune for the first time skews the data, even when his wealth is stripped out, the 2020 Scottish Rich List is just 0.5% down on 2019.

Who owns Scotland?
Overall, the wealth of the richest 1,000 across the whole of the UK is down much more – 3.7% – from last year.

Among the 82 names in the Scottish Rich List, the fortunes of 40 have increased in the past year, while just 25 have gone down.

Scotland’s rich list
Name Sector 2020 wealth increase/decrease
Anders Povlsen Fashion £4.73bn New entry
Glenn Gordon and family Spirits £3.186bn Up £304m
John Shaw, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw Pharmaceuticals £1.808bn Up £119m
Sir Ian Wood and family Oil services and fishing £1.700bn Down £63m
Mohamed Al-Fayed and family Retailing £1.675bn Down £25m
Mahdi al-Tajir Metals, oil, water £1.669bn Up £9m
The Thomson family Media £1.407bn Up £6m
Trond Mohn, Marit Mohn Westlake Industry £1.325bn Down £277m
Philip Day Fashion £1.140bn Down £60m
Lady Philomena Clark and family Car sales £1.131bn Down £47m
Jim Mellon Property, finance £1.05bn Down £50m
Jim McColl Engineering £1bn Down £70m
Joanne Rowling Novels, films £795m Up £45m
Lord Laidlaw Conferences £787m Down £4m
Sir Brian Souter, Dame Ann Gloag Transport £730m Down £145m
Ian Taylor Commodities, fashion £700m Down £50m
Sir Tom Hunter Retailing, property £625m Up £18m
The Duke of Sutherland Art, land £585m No change
Rick Smith and family Food distribution £538m Down £23m
Alastair Salvesen and family Transport, plant hire, fisheries £472m Down £28m
Source: The Sunday Times Rich List 2020
Glenn Gordon, the chairman of William Grant & Sons, the Moray-based distiller, has been knocked from the top spot, but still added more than £300m to the family fortune in the past year.

The company, famed for drinks including Glenfiddich and Hendrick’s Gin, is worth £3bn and other interests add an additional £186m to the worth of the family.

John Shaw and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw have also seen a rise in wealth in the last year by £119m to £1.808bn.

Scotland’s 12 billionaires
Mrs Mazumdar-Shaw is considered to be India’s wealthiest self-made woman. Her Bangalore biopharmaceutical firm Biocon was sold to ICI in 1997, but it was Glaswegian John Shaw, then her fiance, who arranged for $2m of finance to buy it back.

Their stake in the business is now worth about £1.759bn, up £125m since last year.

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Sir Arnold Clark and Lady Philomena
Lady Philomena Clark now chairs Arnold Clark Automobiles and the family firm is doing well, despite a fall in UK car sales.

Profits rose to £113.5m as revenue passed the £4bn mark for the first time in 2018.

Her husband, Sir Arnold Clark, who died in 2017, founded the business in 1954 and the Glasgow-based dealership now has more than 200 branches.

However, its value has been clipped by £47m to reflect the impact of the coronavirus shutdown and the collapse in car sales in the past two months.

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D C Thomson has added to its worth in the past year
Also featuring highly in the list is family publisher D C Thomson with an increased wealth of £1.4bm, up £6m in the past year.

And author JK Rowling had a good year, upping her fortune by £45m to £795m.

In all, there are 12 billionaires in Scotland, worth £21.821bn between them and accounting for 55.24% of the wealth in the Scottish Rich List.

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JK Rowling is in Scotland’s wealthiest top 20
Robert Watts, compiler of the Sunday Times Rich List, said: “The super-rich are of course better placed to endure the financial impact of coronavirus than any of us.

“But the pandemic is already hitting Scotland’s leading entrepreneurs and business leaders in the pocket, with more than half of those on our Scottish Rich List seeing their wealth fall in this year’s list.

He added: “This has profound implications for us all. While some of Britain’s super-rich have not behaved admirably during this crisis, our economic recovery will need many of these people to create jobs and growth if we are to escape a prolonged recession.”