Richest person in East Anglia has a fortune of £9.66bn

Kirsten Rausing. Photo: Keith Heppell

Kirsten Rausing. Photo: Keith Heppell - Credit: Archant

The richest person in East Anglia has a fortune of £9.66bn, according to the new edition of The Sunday Times Rich List.

Jon Hunt, who is second on the East Anglian rich list. Photo: Chris Young/PA Wire

Jon Hunt, who is second on the East Anglian rich list. Photo: Chris Young/PA Wire - Credit: PA

It has been an excellent year for Kirsten Rausing, whose wealth has increased by £960m in the past year. Her fortune is more than seven times wealthier than her nearest challenger, Jon Hunt, who is worth £1.36bn in comparison.

Property-mogul Hunt, 63, is second on the East Anglian list. The founder and former owner of Foxtons Estate Agency is now worth £1.36bn, up £110m on last year.

Rausing is more than £1bn richer than all the other 19 entries in the East Anglia top 20 whose combined wealth comes to £8.369bn. Fellow East Anglia entries named in this year's new-look Sunday Times Rich List include the reality television king Mark Burnett, founder Douw Steyn and the Earl of Iveagh, Ned Guinness.

Robert Watts, the compiler of the list, said: 'This year's larger-than-ever rich list lays bare how the fortunes of Britain's 1,000 wealthiest individuals and families have fared amid the astonishing events of the past 12 months.

Lord Edward Iveagh of the Guiness family
on the Elveden estate.
Photo: Jerry Daws.

Lord Edward Iveagh of the Guiness family on the Elveden estate. Photo: Jerry Daws. - Credit: �Archant Photographic 2010

'Our analysis of East Anglia shows that wealth is being amassed in a variety of different sectors. The worlds of property, high finance and technology are all represented in our list, but it's fascinating to see how enormous wealth has been accrued by growing vegetables, running petrol stations and other more mundane walks of life.'

Swedish-born Kirsten Rausing's fortune derives from Tetra Laval packaging group, owned by her family, including brothers Jorn, 57, and Finn, 61. A strong performance by Tetra Laval, including sales of more than £10bn in 2015-16, underpins a valuation for Jorn and Kirsten of £9.66bn. Rausing, 64, was appointed deputy lieutenant of Suffolk by The Queen in January, a role that involves assisting with royal visits to the county. Like Her Majesty, she has a keen interest in horseracing, owning two Suffolk stud farms as well as Ireland's Staffordstown Stud in County Meath.

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Jon Hunt made his fortune in property, having sold the Foxtons estate agency chain for £375m. He holds a property portfolio worth at least £600m including homes in Kensington and Suffolk. He is currently keeping hold of assets amid the current market slowdown, and is set to earn well from two new 25-storey tower blocks on London's Embankment. Besides property he has a classic car collection and has just won a legal battle to build a three-storey basement beneath his Kensington mansion to include a 180ft Ferris wheel, rotating slowly to show his eight vintage Ferraris from every angle.

The Guinness family fortune continues to grow with Ned Guinness, the Earl of Iveagh, and family now worth £890m, up £36m on last year. He is a direct descendant of Arthur Guinness, the man who invented the world-famous black stout back in 1759. The County Kildare-born Earl moved to Britain in 1991, inheriting his title and about £62m in Guinness shares a year later. He is no longer listed on the share register of Diageo, the drinks giant that owns Guinness, but the family stake is worth £230m. The family also has £50m of net assets in two businesses: Elveden Farms and the Burhill Estates Company (up £6m in total). In Canada, its British Pacific Properties still owns about 2,400 acres of land. The family stake in the Canadian operation is worth approximately £400m, with another £100m generated from past sales.

Douw Steyn and family have seen the second greatest gain in wealth in East Anglia during the past 12 months. BGL Group, founded by Steyn, created in 2006 and its quirky meerkat television adverts have helped to make the price comparison website the leading online insurance service. Steyn, 64, made £70m profit on £507m of sales in 2014-15 and the Steyn family's holding in BGL's Guernsey parent company is currently worth £750m.

In fifth place, Marcus Evans's £765m fortune remains unchanged. The owner and chairman of Ipswich Town FC is known for maintaining a low public profile.

Sixth placed David Thompson, 81, and his wife Patricia, 77, saved Cheveley Park Stud from bankruptcy 40 years ago and now Newmarket's oldest horse breeding farm is thriving. Former Smithfield meat trader Thompson made his wealth through his food group Hillsdown, selling half his stake for £145m in 1987 and the rest for a similar sum later.

Mike Lynch, 51, raised $1bn for his venture capital fund Invoke Capital – while being sued for £3.4bn. He sold his software company Autonomy to HP for £6.5bn but the tech giant took legal action, claiming he 'engaged in fraudulent activities'. Lynch countersued for more than £100m. A Cambridge graduate who was born in Ilford, Essex, he had a stake in Autonomy worth £489m, but amid the legal uncertainty he's valued at £469m.

Also included in the list of East Anglia's richest is Essex-born Mark Burnett, 56, who devised the US reality television show The Apprentice that, in part, helped to increase Donald Trump's fame. Burnett showed up in Hollywood over 30 years ago with just $200 to his name but is now regarded America's king of reality television, having also dreamt up Survivor, Shark Tank and The Voice.

Burnett is now president of MGM Television and alongside actress wife Roma Downey is worth £390m, up £15m on last year.

Founded in 1973, Essex's Rainham Steel has a turnover of more than £100m. The business is chaired by former boxer Bill Ives, 73, who has a fortune of £368m.

In tenth place is County Mayo-born Ray O'Rourke, 70, with a fortune of £306m. He launched the Grays-based Laing O-Rourke civil engineering firm with his brother Des.

The 2017 Sunday Times Rich List- the definitive guide to wealth in the United Kingdom - is published on Sunday, May 7. The 160-page special edition of The Sunday Times Magazine is the biggest issue of the Rich List ever published since it first appeared in 1989. It charts the wealth of the 1,000 richest people in the UK. The list is based on identifiable wealth, including land, property, other assets such as art and racehorses, or significant shares in publicly quoted companies. It excludes bank accounts, to which the paper has no access.

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