Property tycoon John Whittaker is nursing a drop of £350m in his wealth but he and his family are still worth £1.6bn, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

The businessman has had the biggest fall in fortune of the island’s super-rich who include four billionaires.

Mr Whittaker and his family are now in 90th position in the 2020 list. It’s the second decrease in two years after a fall of £300m in 2019.

His Peel Group owns shopping centres, ports, airports and MediaCityUK in the north west of England.

He got involved in the family business in the 1960s and began buying up land around Manchester Ship Canal before building the Trafford Centre near Manchester.

According to the Rich List Mr Whittaker, aged 78, sold a stake last year in Liverpool Airport and is shedding 25% of Peel Ports. The value of his 27% holding in the troubled shopping centre group Intu has shrunk to £25.2m, down £368.2m in a year.

It’s a different story for gambling pioneer Mark Scheinberg, 46, who is the island’s wealthiest person.

He is at 44th spot with wealth listed at £3.555bn.

That’s an increase of £11m on last year’s list.

He and his father Isai, 73, co-founded PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker site, selling it for £3.3bn in 2014.

Meanwhile in 138th spot is property and finance tycoon Jim Mellon. He has seen his wealth fall by £50m and he is now worth £1.05bn.

The Edinburgh-born Oxford graduate, 63, is the owner of properties through the Burnbrae Group.


Starting out as a fund manager in Hong Kong, Mr Mellon made his first million at 28.

He made his money in property and finance and has made no secret about using science and technology to advance human life and has written a book about it.

He has said in interviews that in the future it will be common for people to live well beyond 100.

Businessman and racehorse owner Trevor Hemmings has seen no change in his wealth and he is still worth £1.025bn.

Born in Woolwich, London, most of Mr Hemmings’s business interests remain in the north west of England.

He has won the Aintree Grand National three times with Hedgehunter, Ballabriggs and Many Clouds.

Hedgehunter and Ballabriggs live in retirement at his Ballaseyr stud near Andreas, where Mr Hemmings has his home.

Mr Hemmings’s business career began when he started to build post-war homes in Lancashire and his foundation supports charities. In the island his business interests include the Ramsey Park Hotel.

Technology and finance tycoon Dan Craddock has also seen his wealth remain the same as last year and the Rich List estimates he has £500m to his name, putting him in 269th place.

Mr Craddock is chief executive of business communications provider which was named in a UK newspaper’s best small companies to work for list for the third year running earlier this year.

Sharing the 269th spot with £500m is another man with island connections. Mark Shuttleworth has also seen no change in his wealth. Last summer island-based Canonical, Shuttleworth’s internet-of-things business won a BT contract to support the rollout of the UK’s 5G network. South African born Shuttleworth was once dubbed the world’s first ’Afronaut’ after he once spent millions on a Russian space flight during which he spoke to Thabo Mbeki, South Africa’s then president.

Caravan parks and leisure tycoon John Morphet’s wealth is put at £150m, down £5m. Earlier this year we reported that he has put his home Bishopscourt, one of the island’s most historic buildings, at Kirk Michael up for sale. Cowley Groves still has it listed for sale. It is understood Mr Morphet wants to continue having a residential presence in the island.

According to the Sunday Times more than half of Britain’s billionaires have losses as high as £6bn, with the combined wealth of the 1,000 wealthiest individuals and families plunging for the first time since 2009, in the wake of the financial crisis.

Sir James Dyson is at the top of the list overall. Despite the economic carnage of the coronavirus the 73-year-old investor’s wealth has increased £3.6bn in the past year to £16.2bn. It is the first time he has topped the Rich List.