The Birmingham Post have had their annual “Top 50 Rich List” for the richest people in the Midlands every year since 2010. However, has the 2016 Top 50 Rich List become posher or less posh since the 2011 Rich List?
Which business leader has topped the 2016 Birmingham Post Top 50 Rich List and who?
JCB Chairman Lord Bamford, who was privately-educated at Ampleforth College, came out top out of the 50 richest people in the Midlands this year with an estimated wealth of £3 billion, which is £3 million less than what he was listed in 2015, and a further £2 billion more than he was estimated to be worth in the 2011 Rich List.
If you compare that with the 2011 Birmingham Post Top 50 Rich List, the business leader who topped the list that year was Kirsty Bertarelli. Bertarelli had an estimated wealth of £5.5 billion, which is more than £2.5 billion of Lord Bamford’s £3 billion table-topping figure for 2016.
John Caudwell, who was then the founder of Phones4u before it went out of business in September 2014 was second with an estimated £1.5 billion, which is £3m more than what Lord Paul of Marylebone’s wealth was in this year’s rich list with £1.2 billion.
Where’s the orders of chivalry business leaders in the Rich List?
From first glance at the Sirs in the Birmingham Post Rich List for 2011, there are six business leaders who have been knighted by the Queen. In 2016, the number of Sirs has been reduced by half to three out of fifty.
In comparison with the other orders of chivalry (Lords, Viscounts etc.), the number is slightly lower than Sirs. The 2011 Birmingham Post Top 50 Rich List had three Lords, one Viscount and Duke. However, in the 2016 Rich List, there were no Dukes or Lords, instead they were the same number of Lords five years ago. Anthony Bamford was the only new business leader entrant that became a Lord in this year’s Rich List.
The 2016 Birmingham Post Rich List was significant for one reason, the combined wealth of the 50 richest people in the Midlands dropped from £17.4 billion to under £17 billion, over £4 million less than 2015.
Paul Faulkner, Chief Executive of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce said in the Birmingham Post “Our recent Quarterly Economic Survey revealed that manufacturers were citing a slowdown in the economy as a chief business concern.
“Figures for both UK sales and exports were down for manufacturers. Other concerns included low oil prices and the exchange rate.
“There are also worries about the slowdown in the Chinese economy, which will further hit business confidence in the West Midlands.”
In comparison with the 2011 and 2016 lists, there are signs that the Rich List is becoming less posh due to with the Chinese economy slowing down, as well as there is less order of chivalry business leaders in the list, the Birmingham Post Rich List is becoming less posh.