The total wealth of the 50 names in the list has risen by 15.8 per cent to £11.3bn compared with a year ago, showing that the region’s wealthy are prospering even in these tough times.
The list reveals the diversity in the region, with industry the best represented sector with 14 names. There are also a total of eight retail magnates making this year’s list.
Social mobility in the South West has also been highlighted by the list with 38 of the 50 included in our list making their millions by starting their own businesses.
The 15.8 per cent increase in the 50’s combined wealth is the second highest rise recorded since the Rich List was launched six years ago.
The top four in the Rich List remain unchanged from last year, with design engineer Sir James Dyson again topping the list. Sir James’ wealth has been boosted to £2.6bn as Dyson’s sales topped £1bn in 2011.
Hargreaves Lansdown founders Peter Hargreaves and Stephen Lansdown are at numbers two and four respectively, with Prince Charles unmoved at number three with his income from the Duchy of Cornwall.
Sir David McMurtry, the founder and chairman of Wotton-under-edge-based Renishaw has jumped from ninth place last year up to fifth. His wealth has increased to £440m as his stake in Renishaw is now worth £403m.
Renishaw was founded in 1973 by Sir David, who was a former Roll-Royce apprentice. The business was floated ten years later and is now worth £1.12bn.
The new entrants on the list comprise are: Britain’s richest artist Damien Hirst; Scot Group Southern chairman Nigel Spokes; and Rockeagle founder Mark Kay.
The full Rich List is in October’s South West Business Insider, which is celebrating its five year anniversary, and is out now.