With their wealth up almost one-third on last year, Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli once again top the West Midlands Rich List, according to The Sunday Times Rich List 2014. Their fortune of £9,750m makes the Bertarellis the fifth richest in the UK and among 104 British billionaires included in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List.
Kirsty, who is from Staffordshire, is a singer-songwriter who has written for All Saints in the past. Her husband, Ernesto, ran the family’s Geneva-based Serono pharmaceuticals company, which was sold to Merck for $13.3billion.
The total wealth of the richest 20 in the West Midlands amounts to £21.728billion. While billionaires Lord Bamford’s and John Caudwell’s fortunes are steady at £3,150m and £1,500m respectively, two other families in the region become billionaires for the first time.
Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli - £9,750m
Lord Bamford and family - £3,150m
John Caudwell - £1,500m
Peter, Denise and John Coates - £1,200m
Tony Murray and family - £1,013m
Peter, Denise and John Coates have seen their wealth rise £275m in the past year, taking them to £1.2billion.
Peter, 76, is chairman of Stoke City, the Premier League football club, but the family’s wealth is derived from its gambling business.
Tony Murray and family also made billionaire status this year with a fortune put at £1.013billion after a gain of £163m in the past 12 months. Murray, 94, is the oldest person in the Rich List but still actively involved in Andrew Sykes, his Wolverhampton-based hirer of heating and air-conditioning equipment.