Grey-haired men qualifying for a bus pass are Britain's millionaires

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Forget about pony-tailed dot.com high rollers or City traders with bank accounts swelled by fat bonuses. The typical super-rich Briton is grey-haired, male and likely to qualify for a free bus pass.

Forget about pony-tailed dot.com high rollers or City traders with bank accounts swelled by fat bonuses. The typical super-rich Briton is grey-haired, male and likely to qualify for a free bus pass.

A survey of the UK's 150,000 millionaires has found that rather than being thrusting twentysomething entrepren-eurs, they remain distinctly "old money" males who have passed retirement age.

The study, published yesterday by the London-based consultancy Tulip Financial Research, found that just 13 per cent of millionaires are women and 2 per cent are aged under 45. Some 40 per cent are aged 65 or over.

Far from resting back in their leather armchairs or heading for the golf course to enjoy their fortunes, most of the very wealthy are concentrating on adding to their fortunes.

More than 60 per cent of Britain's millionaires are still working, with some 39 per cent of that total acting as directors of their own company and 25 per cent being self-employed.

The average bank balance of the membership of this most exclusive of clubs is £4m – underlining the fact that although they form just 0.3 per cent of the population, the super-rich hold 20 per cent of Britons' personal wealth of about £600bn.

John Clemens, managing partner at Tulip, said: "The image of London, for example, being filled with young millionaires from the City and elsewhere driving expensive fast cars is simply not accurate. The average millionaire is going to be an older male who has built up his own company or in some cases inherited one and who is coming toward the end of his working life."

The survey found that more than half of millionaires live in the South of England, with 14 per cent in London and 43 per cent in the South-east and South-west.

Typical of the establishment millionaires is the 49-year-old Duke of Westminster, Britain's wealthiest person with a fortune estimated at £4.4bn based on an inherited 300 acres in Mayfair and Belgravia.

Among the brash, young arrivals is Charles Dunstone, 36, who is worth an estimated £670m after the flotation of the Carphone Warehouse, which he had founded in 1989 with a friend from school.

The Midlands and East Anglia accounted for 18 per cent, the North 17 per cent while Scotland and Wales played host to just 8 per cent.

Tycoons were also revealed as among the most ruthless consumers when it comes to managing their wealth. About a third have switched banks in the past five years in search of better deals.

While most of the élite were self-made magnates in charge of their own businesses, some 15 per cent described themselves as professionals and 14 per cent were directors or top executives in public companies.

It also seems that the ranks of the Civil Service are quietly harbouring some of the nation's richest people. Some 5 per cent of millionaires say they work in the public sector.

Comments