Whisky Family Tops Scotland's Rich List

5 May 2017, 06:53


The 10 richest individuals or families in Scotland have seen their collective fortunes increase by 9% in the past year, taking their combined wealth to £14.71 billion, according to a new study.

The 2017 Sunday Times Rich List reveals the latest picture of the wealth of billionaires living in Scotland, or with substantial business interests north of the border.

Compilers said the list, which highlights growing fortunes for the country's richest in fields such as distilling, retail and pharmaceuticals, ''shatters the myth'' that Scotland's economy runs on oil alone.

The Grant-Gordon whisky family is the richest in Scotland with a fortune of £2.37 billion, up £210 million since last year.

The Banffshire whisky distiller posted record profits in 2015 amid booming overseas demand for premium spirits and surging sales of the flagship Glenfiddich single malt and Hendrick's gin, the rich list said.

Second on the Scottish list is former Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed and family, who own an estate in Scotland and whose fortune has held steady at £1.7 billion.

Mahdi al-Tajir, who owns Highland Spring, saw his wealth fall by £65 million in the past year, but he sits in third place on the list with an overall fortune of £1.67 billion.

Fourth on the Scottish list is Trond Mohn, the founder of a Norwegian pump firm, and his sister Marit Mohn Westlake, who are worth £1.62 billion.

Others in the Scottish top 10 include oil industry leader Sir Ian Wood and family with wealth of £1.6 billion, and the Thomson family, owners of publisher DC Thomson, who are worth £1.285 billion.

With the largest increase in wealth this year, John Shaw and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw have now entered the realm of the billionaires as a result of their Bangalore-based biopharmaceutical firm Biocon.

They boast £1.15 billion to their names, earning a wealth increase of £530 million in the last 12 months alone, largely off the back of the surging value of Biocon, and rank joint seventh position in Scotland alongside retail chief Philip Day.

The Clark family, of the Arnold Clark car dealership, and Jim McColl, of Clyde Blowers, take ninth and 10th spot, with fortunes of £1.1 billion and £1.07 billion respectively.

Robert Watts, the compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List 2017, 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.

''Our Scottish list of 10 billionaires shatters the myth this country's economy runs on oil alone. Scotland is a place where 10-figure fortunes can be built from whisky, car dealing or even bottled water.

''This reflects the changing nature of wealth in 21st-century Britain.

''Gone are the days when the rich list would be dominated by finance, property or manufacturing. Greater diversity of entrepreneurial success is good news for the wider economy, and ultimately us all.''

The 160-page special edition of The Sunday Times Magazine reveals the wealth of the 1,000 richest people in Britain and will be published this Sunday, May 7.