Fashion tycoon tops Scotland's rich list

  • Published
Anders Povlsen and his wife AnnImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Anders Povlsen and his wife Ann

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.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
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.

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. .  .

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.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
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.

Image source, DCTmedia
Image caption,
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.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
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."

Around the BBC