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Who's The Richest Of Them All?

Here's the top 10 of Wales richest people!

Sir Michael Moritz is the richest person in Wales, according to the new edition of The Sunday Times Rich List, to be published this Sunday, May 12. 

Cardiff-born private equity billionaire Moritz and his wife Harriet Heyman, both 64, are the new sponsors of the Booker prize, which they will fund for the next five years through their Crankstart Foundation. Book-lover Moritz is also an author, having written a biography of Apple’s Steve Jobs. He made his fortune in Silicon Valley, through his firm Sequoia Capital, which provided early funding to Yahoo!, PayPal and LinkedIn, among others. An £8m investment in Google grew to £6.3bn. Moritz also funded Alibaba, China’s answer to eBay and Amazon, which floated in 2014 valued at $168bn.

There are five billionaires with a connection to Wales with a combined fortune of £8.555bn. The total wealth of the region’s top 20 is £14.327bn, a 5.8% increase on last year’s £13.536bn.

The millionaire with the biggest increase in wealth in the Wales Rich List is Lawrence Jones who reached £700m this year, more than doubling his family’s wealth. Growing up in a council house in the Welsh town of Denbigh, his entrepreneurial career began at school when he started buying sweets and selling them to the other children for a profit. In 1999, Jones, 50, set up cloud hosting company UKFast, he and his family owned it all until they recently sold 31% to a private equity group for £205m. The family’s remaining holding is worth £463m.

Robert Watts, the Compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List, said: “Lawrence Jones appears to be the big winner of this year’s Wales Rich List. The Denbigh-raised tech entrepreneur is one of a new wave of self-made men and women who are coming to dominate the Sunday Times Rich List.

“But this has not been a golden year for many of Wales’ richest people. Seven of the top 20 in Wales have seen their wealth either fall or flat-line over the past year.

“The political deadlock in Westminster, stock market turbulence and the winds of change sweeping through the high street have hit the fortunes of many of the UK’s wealthiest people over the past year. The notion that the rich only ever get richer just doesn’t hold true anymore.”

Second in the region, Douglas Perkins and family, owners of Specsavers, increased their wealth by a further £100m this year. Turnover rose by 7% to £2.61bn in 2017-2018 during which period the company sold 20.5 million pairs of glasses. Despite their success, Dame Mary, 75, and Douglas, 76, have lived in the same house in Guernsey for nearly 40 years. The couple met while at university in Cardiff.

In third position, Simon Nixon boosted his coffers by £115m, reaching £1.365bn. Nixon co-founded Flintshire-based Moneysupermarket.com, but now dedicates most of his time to Simonescapes.com, a holiday company with properties in Cornwall, Mallorca, Cumbria and Barbados. Nixon, 51, sold his final shares in Moneysupermarket three years ago for £124m, having raised £724m from earlier stakes. Based in Jersey, he also has homes in Los Angeles, Barbados and London.

Housebuilder Steve Morgan edges £8m closer to the billionaire status he would have achieved by now had he not donated £215m of his personal shares in his company to charity in 2017. The founder of the Flintshire-based housebuilder Redrow stepped down from the board in March last year. The company made £380m in profit on turnover of £1.92bn in 2017-18. He retains a 21% holding in the £2.26bn business, even after giving his charitable foundation more than 42m company shares, one of the biggest single charitable donations in British history.

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