Sir Jim Ratcliffe hailed as North West’s wealthiest entrepreneur, despite losing £6bn

Manchester United co-owner, Sir Jim Ratcliffe lost more than £6bn of his personal wealth last year, but is still the richest person in the North West.

The latest annual edition of The Sunday Times Rich List – published today (May 17) online at and in the print edition on Sunday, May 19 – reveals the largest fall in the billionaire count in the guide’s 36-year history, from a peak of 177 in 2022 to 165 this year.

This year’s list of 350 individuals and families together hold combined wealth of £795.361bn, a sum larger than the annual GDP of Poland.

The minimum entry for the list of 350 this year is £350m.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who owns chemicals giant Ineos, acquired 27.7% of United’s shares in February this year, in a deal valued at around £1.3bn.

Despite losing more than £6bn, he still remains the richest in the North West, with nearly double the wealth of runner up, Michael Platt.

Sir Jim grew up on a council estate near Manchester, but didn’t start Ineos until his 40s.

He was placed at fourth spot in the overall UK Rich List.

The Duke of Westminster, who recently announced his move to Cheshire, retains his position as the richest person under 40 in the UK, after he inherited his title and a vast land and property portfolio when he was 25.

At the age of 33 the billionaire’s fortune now stands at £10.127bn.

Coined as the ‘UK’s most eligible bachelor’ the Duke will marry Olivia Henson, 31, at Chester Cathedral next month. The Duke is one of the few young people who also appear on the full Rich List.

Robert Watts, compiler of the Sunday Times Rich List, said: “This year’s Sunday Times Rich List suggests Britain’s billionaire boom has come to an end. Many of our home-grown entrepreneurs have seen their fortunes fall and some of the global super rich who came here are moving away.

“Thousands of British livelihoods rely on the super-rich to some extent. We’ll have to wait and see whether we have now reached peak billionaire, and what that means for our economy.”

He added: “These may be harder times to create wealth, but The Sunday Times Rich List continues to unearth entrepreneurs building fortunes in diverse and often surprising ways. This year’s new entries include people who have made money from artificial intelligence and virtual worlds as well as plumbing supplies and teaching aides.”

The latest list reveals the five wealthiest people in the North West are:

1 Sir Jim Ratcliffe (Chemicals) worth £23.519bn, down £6.169bn on the previous year.

2 Michael Platt (Hedge Funds) co-founder and chief executive of BlueCrest Capital Management, worth £12bn, a £500m increase.

3 Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor Family (Property) head of the Grosvenor Group, worth £10.127bn, up £249m.

4 Tom Morris and Family (Retail) head of the Liverpool-based Home Bargains store chain, worth £6.673bn, an increase of £540m.

5 Mohin and Zuber Issa (Fuel distribution and supermarkets), the brothers behind Blackburn-based EG Group, worth £5bn, down £50m.

The latest rankings also reveal the region’s four richest people aged under 40:

1 The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor Family on £10.127bn.

2 Tom and Phil Beahon (Fashion and clothing) the Liverpool brothers who founded the Castore sportswear brand, worth £334m.

3 Reece Wabara (Fashion and clothing), former Manchester City and England U20 footballer behind Manière de Voir which he launched in 2013, worth £83m.

4 Mike and George Heaton (Fashion and clothing), Horwich brothers behind the Represent brand which began as a £150 venture printing T-shirts, worth £81m.

The overall UK list for 2024 was topped by British-Indian businessman Gopi Hinduja and his family, whose wealth of £37.2bn is the largest fortune in the ranking’s history.

And joining the list of billionaires is Liverpool’s Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney, who has become the first UK musician to achieve billionaire status after boosting his wealth by £50m.

Castore founders Tom, left, and Phil Beahon

The 2024 Sunday Times Rich 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.