Hedge fund manager is North West’s richest person with a £10bn fortune

Michael Platt is the richest person in the North West, according to the new edition of The Sunday Times Rich List, published today (May 20) online at thesundaytimes.co.uk/richlist and in the print edition of the newspaper on Sunday, May 22.

The special edition reveals the wealth of the 250 richest people in Britain in its 34th annual edition.

There are a record 177 billionaires in the UK this year, up six from 2021. The combined wealth of the UK billionaires is £653.122bn, up £55.853bn – 9.4%, on the total wealth of the billionaires in last year’s Rich List.

At the top of the North West Rich List, Preston-born hedge fund manager Michael Platt, 53, who lives in Switzerland, has seen his fortune rise by £2bn in the past year.

The co-founder and chief executive of BlueCrest Capital Management is now worth £10bn, ranking him equal 11th with Alisher Usmanov – the government-sanctioned oligarch and former Everton FC benefactor – among the wealthiest people in the UK.

Cheshire-based Hugh Grosvenor, 31, The seventh Duke of Westminster, has lost the No 1 spot on the regional Rich List after a fall in the asset value of his family’s vast property operation Grosvenor Group, which includes the Liverpool One retail centre. Westminster’s family fortune is now £9.726bn, down £328m from last year.

Tom Morris, 68, the founder of flourishing Liverpool-based retailer Home Bargains, is £766m richer with a family fortune which now stands at £5.127bn.

Brothers Fred, 79, and Peter, 75, Done, who own the Warrington-based betting business Betfred and Manchester-based human resources outfit Peninsula, are now jointly worth £1.476bn, an increase of £241m on last year.

Two of the 10 wealthiest people in the North West in 2021 have lost their billionaire status.

Matt Moulding, 50, founder of the Manchester-based online retailer THG, and his wife Jodie have seen their fortune plummet to £700m from £2.1bn a year ago.

THG has seen its value plummet over the past few months. It was valued at £1.88bn when it completed its flotation in 2020, and its market capitalisation soared to £9bn soon after the IPO. But criticism around corporate governance, a lack of transparency and a squeeze on margins has seen its value plunge to around £1.8bn.

Manchester-based Mahmud Kamani, 57, who controls the internet fashion retailer Boohoo, has seen his family wealth cut by almost half to £720m from £1.42bn in 2021.

This followed pressure on the share price following a labour supply scandal in 2020 which sparked governance changes at the e-commerce retailer.

The 10 richest people in the North West are:

1 Michael Platt (hedge fund), with a total wealth value of £10bn, up £2bn from the previous year.

2 The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor Family (property), £9.726bn, down £328m.

3 Jime Ratcliffe (Ineos chemical group) £6.075bn, down £255m.

4 Tom Morris and family (discount stores: Home Bargains), £5.127bn, up £766m.

5 Mohsin and Zuber Issa (fuel distribution and supermarkets: EG Group),£4.73bn, up 50m.

6 Simon, Bobby and Robin Arora (discount stores: B&M), £2.543bn, up £19m.

7 John Gore (entertainment), £1.681bn, up £102m.

8 John Whittaker and family (property: The Peel Group), £1.6bn, up £200m.

9 Henry Moser and family (finance: Together), £1.565bn, up £463m.

10 Fred and Peter Done (gambling: Betfred), £1.476bn, up £241m.

The overall UK Rich List for 2022 shows that the wealthiest person in the UK is British-American business magnate and philanthropist, Sir Leonard Blavatnik, who made his fortune after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the tumultuous privatisation of state-owned aluminum and oil assets. He owns most of Warner Music Group and has stakes in several publicly traded assets via his company Access Industries Holdings.

Uzbek-born Alisher Usmanov is the sixth most wealthy person, with a £13.406bn fortune. He is behind the Russian-based telecoms company Megafon and holding entity USM, which have sponsorship deals with Everton FC, but the club suspended its commercial sponsorship arrangements with him after he was sanctioned, among a range of business figures and organisations, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

The 2022 Sunday Times Rich List is the definitive guide to wealth in the United Kingdom. It charts the wealth of the 250 richest people in the UK.

The list is based on identifiable wealth, including land, property, other assets such as art and racehorses, or significant shares in publicly quoted companies.

It excludes bank accounts, to which the paper has no access.