October 20th, 2016.
The Wealthiest Property Investors in the World
Many people dream of riches beyond compare, but sadly not everyone can win the lottery. However, some of the country’s richest people have something in common – property investment.
According to the 2015 Estates Gazette Rich List the ten richest real estate investors in the UK are as follows:
1. Amancio Ortega – £45.76billion
Back in October 2015, when the last list was released, Amancio Ortega had just bought a £400m development on Oxford Street to add to his vast selection of real estate held in his investment company Ponte Gadea. Other British properties in his portfolio include Devonshire House (£400m) and 100 Wood Street, EC2 (£140m).
Since then, the billionaire founder of retail chain Zara is also said to have purchased a £225million St James’ office block bringing the London part of his property empire alone to £1.6billion. He has also overtaken Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, to become the world’s richest man with an estimated fortune of $80billion (£65billion).
2. Wang Jianlin – £22.66billion
Take a stroll through Vauxhall, SW8, and you will notice the site where One Nine Elms, an exclusive 56-storey apartment building should stand completed by 2018. This £700m project is being bankrolled by the Dalian Wanda Group, founded and run by Wang Jianlin.
This is the first development for Dalian Wanda in the UK, but due to its sheer size and cost, Asia’s richest man has earned his place on this list.
3. Thomas & Raymond Kwok – £11.5billion
The two brothers have worked with Capital & Counties which has seen an £8b transformation of Earls Court, SW5. However, in December 2014, Thomas was convicted of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, jailed for five years and resigned from their company Sun Hung Kai. Raymond now runs the world’s second biggest property firm alone.
4. Ernesto Bertarelli – £10.19billion
Ernesto Bertarelli and family own Crosstree Real Estate which has quickly made them some of the richest property investors in the world in its short 5 years of business.
Crosstree spent £300m on a site in Mayfair back in 2013, that it believes will double its worth to £600m on completion.
5. Joseph Safra – £9.8billion
The Safra Group owns an iconic part of the London skyline – the Gherkin. Bought in November 2014 for £726m, the company owned by Brazilian Joseph Safra also has properties in upmarket areas of London including on New Bond Street.
6. David & Simon Reuben – £9.7billion
Owners of the iconic Grosvenor House in London, as well as three developments at the Merchant Square near Paddington Square, including the 42-storey Cucumber Tower, the Reuben brothers made last year’s list thanks to their vast and varied portfolio. The family also owns London Oxford Airport and 5 Hertford Street Nightclub.
7. Duke of Westminster – £8.83billion (deceased August 2016)
The Duke of Wellington topped the Estates Gazette Rich List for ten years until 2013 and, before his death a few months ago, was an investor in a £500m Belgravia hotel set to open in 2021. The Grosvenor Group also owned a number of Mayfair properties.
His vast estate, including 165,000 acres of rural land and a dairy farm will now be managed by his 25-year-old son, the 7th Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor.
8. Henry Cheng Kar-Shun – £7.39billion
Owner of Knight Dragon and New World Development, Henry Cheng Kar-Shun has taken over the regeneration scheme in place at the Greenwich Peninsula, SE10. Kar-Shun’s 60% ownership reportedly cost £175m back in 2012 and an additional £230m in 2013 to acquire the remaining 40%.
Plans for this regeneration include five new neighbourhoods of mid-rise apartment buildings, restaurants and leisure amenities.
Kar-Shun has a vast development here in the UK already, including The Knightsbridge.
9. John Elkann – £5.86billion
The family that founded the Fiat car also own an investment company called Exor. Exor is a major investor in London property developer Almacantar which owns Oxford Street’s landmark Centre Point. Almacantar has spent £550m on two buildings in Waterloo’s Shell Centre.
10. Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen – £5.61billion
The Kristiansen family own Kirkbi, the investment company that manages the world’s largest toymaker, Lego. Kirkbi has bought a building on New Fetter Place, near Holborn Viaduct, and another on Plough Place for £55m, as well as two estates in Scotland.
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