Sunday Times Rich List: UK's 10 richest couples revealed

Cumulatively, the 10 richest husbands and wives in the UK have seen their fortune increase by £3.4bn in the past 12 months

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The Independent Online

Former BHS boss Sir Philip Green and his wife have been ranked among the richest couples in the UK, even though their wealth is said to have taken a £433m hit over the last year.

The couple, who has a combined fortune of £2.7bn, were identified as the fifth richest couple in the new edition of The Sunday Times’s Rich List, to be published on 7 May, which ranks the top 1,000 richest people in Britain.

Sir Philip and Lady Green were the only couple on the list whose wealth was said to have decreased over the last year. Their fall came after a difficult 12 months in which Sir Philip, 65, was largely blamed for the collapse of retail giant BHS last year, which put 11,000 people out of work, 22,000 pensions at risk and unleashed a major investigation by the pensions regulator.

The billionaire has since paid £363m to help plug the massive hole in BHS’s pension scheme. 

Ernesto Bertarelli and former Miss UK Kirsty Bertarelli topped the list of the richest husbands and wives, with their wealth put at £11.5bn. The couple’s fortune is said to be largely derived from the sale of the family biotech business Serono and the soaring share value in Santher, a pharma business.

They were followed by Charlene Carvalho-Heineken, the daughter of late Heineken boss and her husband Michel de Carvalho, with a fortune estimated at £9.3bn.

Overall, the 10 richest couples in the UK have seen their fortune increase by £3.4bn in the last 12 months, and are worth a combined £39.9bn, according to the latest figures.

A separate analysis by The Equality Trust, published in March, found that bosses of the UK’s biggest 100 companies now take home an average of £5.3m each year, a staggering 386 times higher than what a worker earning the national living wage pockets.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, with a net worth of $87bn (£67bn), is the richest man in the world, and is currently in pole position in the race to become the first trillionaire.


The top 10 richest husbands and wives according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2017:

1. Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli, £11.5bn, up £1.72bn

2. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho, £9.3bn, up £150m

3. Alejandro Santo Domingo and Lady Charlotte Wellesley, £3.86bn (new entry)

4. Francois-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek, £3.44bn, up £1.09bn

5. Sir Philip and Lady Green, £2.79bn, down £433m

6. Sir Michael Moritz and Harriet Heyman, £2.63bn, up £679m

7. Chris and Sarah Dawson, £1.9bn, up £150m

8. Douglas and Dame Mary Perkins, £1.6bn, up £50m

9. Poju and Anita Zabludowicz, £1.5bn, no change

10. Georg and Emily von Opel, £1.42bn, up £16m

Additional reporting by PA