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County's super-rich get richer - at £12.3bn
OXFORDSHIRE’S super-rich are growing richer despite the economic woes and talk of double-dip recessions, according to the latest statistics.
Individuals appearing on the Sunday Times Rich List and with strong county connections are now worth a staggering £12.3bn – £2.7bn more than than this time last year.
Sir Richard Branson, 61, who lives in Kidlington, is the county’s richest resident – with £3.4bn, £325m more than he had in 2011.
Just up the A44 at Woodstock the Duke of Marlborough, 86, features on the list as the county’s richest aristocrat, with the Blenheim estate and other wealth valued at £105m, or £5m more than last year.
And further west still, at Daylesford, Sir Anthony Bamford, 66, is reported as owning £3.15bn – up a massive £1.5bn on last year, thanks largely to booming exports of JCB diggers.
Sir Anthony and Lady Bamford own 1,500 acres around Daylesford and sell organic foods produced there and at their 4,200-acre Staffordshire estate from their Daylesford Farm Shop.
At the other end of the county is foreign exchange dealer Urs Schwarzenbach, 63.
He owns Culham Court, near Henley, and the village of Hambleden.
He has £850m – £30m more than a year ago.
David Harding, 50, opened a research office for his Winton Capital hedge fund at the Oxford Science Park in 2005 and owns a house nearby. He is listed as possessing £800m, up £390m on last year.
Fellow financier John Duffield,72, has £330m – no change from last year. The son of a Marcham doctor, he still owns several houses in the village. He also owns a wildlife reserve – a site of special scientific interest – near Abingdon.
Sir Martin Arbib, 72, who lives near Henley is yet another city financier. He made his £325m fortune from the Perpetual fund management group which he set up in Henley in 1974 and sold to Amvescap in 2000. Now he is an investor in the consortium that owns Swindon Football Club.
Syrian-born Wafic Said, 72, has £1bn. The international financier has completely rebuilt his Palladian home at Tusmore Park, near Bicester. He contributed £20m towards establishing Oxford University’s Said Business School.
Olivia and Dhani Harrison, the 64-year-old widow and 33-year-old son respectively, of the late Beatle George Harrison who died 11 years ago, live at Friar Park in Henley.
They have £180m – up £10m. George Harrison’s company Harrisongs is still making money for them.
Among the under 30s appearing on the richest young people list is Harry Potter film star Emma Watson, 22.
The former pupil of Headington School now has £26m (up £2m from last year).
Lord Rotherwick of Cornbury Park is a member of the Cayzer family, listed as possessing £478m – one of the few fortunes to have decreased last year, down by £47m.
Another banking fortune, that of the Fleming family, many of whom live in west Oxfordshire, is also down £50m to £1.5m.
On the list of Europe’s richest is Johanna Quandt, who has nearly six times as much money than even Sir Richard Branson.
She is the majority shareholder of carmaker BMW – and therefore the Cowley Mini Plant – with £22bn.
Anthony Harris, partner at Critchleys accountants in Oxford, said: “The people who are growing richer are those who have taken risks in the past and are benefiting now.
“They can now afford the best advice to help preserve their assets and by doing that they can continue to develop their wealth.
“And the opportunities are still there for anyone with a bit of capital to manage the risk.”