Our wealthiest neighbours

John Morphet at his Bishops Court home

John Morphet at his Bishops Court home

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AS the Sunday Times Rich List reaches its 25th year at least seven Manx residents are featured in it this year.

When it started in 1989, the top 200 in the list were worth a collective 38 billion; the top 200 now are worth 317.7 billion.

Topping the list for the Isle of Man is businessman John Whittaker, who comes in at joint 31st on the full list.

The 71-year-old property magnate spent £70m last year buying the Lowry shoppping and entertainment complex in Manchester from Peter Jones. According to the Times he plans to make it part of his Media City which accommodates the BBC, ITV and Salford University, which are next door to the site.

He also has business interests in ports, airports and Pinewood and Shepperton Studios and 75 per cent of Peel Holdings, said to be worth £3 billion.

In last year’s list he was ranked 29th but the value of his assets over the past year has risen by £125m.

Jim Mellon’s business interests are in property and finance and a large part of his wealth is tied up in 40,000 flats in in Germany. The 56-year-old is a former Hong Kong fund manager and has investments in the US biotech industry which have risen 50 per cent in the past year. His assets overall are estimated to have risen by £100m since last year’s list was published and his ranking on it has risen from 112 to 110.

Racehorse owner Trevor Hemmings is at 148 on the list, down three from last year despite a £35m increase in his assets.

Mr Hemmings’ horse Hedgehunter won the Grand National in 2005 and his horse Ballabriggs won it again in 2011. Zara Phillips was riding one of his horses, High Kingdom when she won a silver medal in the team three-day event in the 2012 Olympics.

The former bricklayer’s apprentice from Leyland in Lancashire is said to be worth £610m.

John Morphet made his money in caravan sites and the leisure industry. The 58-year-old founder of South South Lakeland Caravans sold the business he started in 1988 for £100m.

Born in Preston, he began life as a sheep farmer in Cumbria and now heads Pure Leisure Group which operates eight caravan holiday sites and a luxury timber lodge development called South Lakeland Leisure village. He also has golf and leisure estates in Cambridgeshire, and North Yorkshire and the five star retreat Royal Westmoreland in Barbados. He also owns Bishopscourt in the West of the island. He is 590 on the list with assets of £135m.

Internet tycoon Mark Shuttleworth sold his internet security company Thawte Consulting for £400m and pledged half to charity.

The 39-year-old South African is ranked at 485 on the list, down from last year’s 462 ranking. He founded Ubuntu which is a free computer software operating system.

Two island residents are among the 25 who share 824th spot on the list with assets of £95m each.

They are Raj Chatha, 43, and Leonard Polonsky, 86.

Mr Chatha made his money in the cash and carry business and owns Walsall-based EFB Holdings, a drinks destributor.

He was 785 in last year’s list.

Leonard Polonsky is in the finance business and has a £65m stake in the tax efficient savings firm Hansard Global. He was ranked 677 last year.

In 1989 the Queen and the Duke of Westminster topped the full list but in 2013 they come in at 268 and eight respectively.

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