Britain's richest revealed, but how did they make their billions?

The ranking of the 250 richest people revealed a record 177 billionaires in the UK this year, worth an eye-watering £710.72 billion between them. Credit: Michael Stephens/PA

Britain's wealthiest were revealed on Friday as the Sunday Times Rich List was published, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty making it onto the list for the first time thanks to their £730 million fortune. The ranking of the 250 richest people revealed a record 177 billionaires in the UK this year, worth an eye-watering £710.72 billion between them.

But who are Britain's most affluent, and how did they make their money?

Sri and Gopi Hinduja and family – £28.47 billion

Billionaire brothers Sri, 86, and Gopi, 82, are the wealthiest people in the UK.

They are two of four brothers who took over the family business, Mumbai-based conglomerate Hinduja Group.

The empire, which was founded in 1914, has a range of businesses across banking, transport, and technology.

It was started by the brothers' father, Parmanand Deepchand Hinduja, who traded goods in the Sindh region of India (now Pakistan), before moving to Iran in 1919.

The brothers also own valuable properties in London, including the Old War Office building in Whitehall, which is to house a Raffles hotel.

Gopi Hinduja and his brother topped this year's list. Credit: Michael Stephens/PA

Sir James Dyson and family – £23 billion

Sir James is best known for inventing the world's first bagless vacuum cleaner and founding his own company Dyson.

The 74-year-old was born in Norfolk in 1947 and studied at art school, before going on to work in Bath to help create a flat-bottomed fibglass landing craft called the 'Sea Truck.'

He later produced the Ballbarrow in 1974; a plastic bin shaped like a wheelbarrow which moved by rolling on a ball.

James Dyson. Credit: PA

A few years later, after observing the industrial dust extractor in his factory, he thought about scaling it down into a domestic product.

He then started to design his concept using just cardboard and sticky tape – an idea which eventually spawned into the Dyson vacuum.

Sir James eventually opened a plant in Wiltshire in 1993 and his Dual Cyclone became the top-selling vacuum-cleaner within two years.

Dyson products were made in Wiltshire until 2002 before moving to Malaysia. The company has also made hairdryers, fans, and lights and has 14,000 employees worldwide.

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David and Simon Reuben and family – £22.26 billion

Another set of billionaire brothers, David and Simon Reuben made their money in technology and real estate.

They made almost £2.4 billion in one go in 2016 when they sold a 49% stake in their data centre business, GlobalSwitch, to Chinese investors.

The brothers, who were born in Mumbai, India, started off trading metals and carpets, before going into property trading.

They joined their businesses together with the creation of Transworld, a company trading in aluminium and other metals, and sought their fortune in Russia.

By 1996, TransWorld was the world's third-largest aluminium producer. The brothers eventually sold it to former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

Then they began to dedicate themselves to the real estate market, acquiring several of London's most emblematic buildings, including Millbank Tower and the John Lewis headquarters on Victoria Street.

The Reuben brothers - Simon, left, and David. Credit: Getty

Sir Leonard Blavatnik – £20 billion

Another billionaire who made his money in Russia is oil and media magnate Sir Leonard Blavatnik.

The Ukrainian-born businessman was raised in Russia but emigrated to the US in 1978, going on to study computer science at Columbia University. He holds US and UK citizenship.

He owned stakes worth billions in Russian companies selling oil and metal, but added to his fortune by purchasing Warner Music for £1.37 billion in 2011, Forbes reported.

He took the company public on the stock market in 2020 at quadruple the value, according to Forbes.

Mr Blavatnik claims he has given or pledged millions to philanthropy, mostly to universities, including Oxford, Harvard, and Stanford.

Len Blavatnik with the Duke of Cambridge. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

Guillaume Pousaz – £19.26 billion

The youngest billionaire in the top five at 40, Guillaume Pousaz created a payment system many of us use all the time without realising.

The Swiss-born entrepreneur, who dropped out of university, founded in 2012 to solve online payment problems for companies.

It processes digital payments for companies including Netflix, Deliveroo and Klarna.

The company has said it benefitted from the pandemic, with its payment processing volume tripling in 2020 compared to the year before.

In his free time, the father-of-three is a keen surfer.

Guillaume Pousaz. Credit: Getty