Bangladeshi millionaire improves fortune in 2019 UK Rich List
DOT Desk: Bangladesh-born food processing industry chief Iqbal Ahmed and his family had a good year as they improved their estimated fortunes to £213 million in 2019, up from £ 210 million last year. The Manchester-based Ahmed family came in at No. 563 in this year’s ‘The Sunday Times Rich List’ of the UK’s 1,000 wealthiest people.
Ahmed, a member of the board advising the UK’s Department for International Trade led by minister Liam Fox, and his brothers – Bilal and Kamal – have once again been recognised in the list for creating one of Europe’s leading frozen food businesses. The brothers transformed a simple Oldham grocery store into Seamark, a leading European processor, exporter and distributor of frozen food. Ahmed also owns glamorous Manchester restaurant Vermilion and adjoining nightclub Cinnabar.
Born in Balaganj, Sylhet district, Ahmed moved to the UK when he was 15 years old and began by importing shrimp and today his diversified group has interests across shipping, hotel and real estate development, hospitality, and food.
The 2019 Rich List was topped by Indian-origin Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja, who run the Hinduja Group of companies in the UK and registered a £1.35 billion jump in their fortunes over the previous year. Chemicals firm founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who topped last year’s list, has slipped to third place, with £18.15 billion.
The list, which estimates the 1,000 richest people in the UK, is based on identifiable wealth including land, property, other assets such as art, and shares in companies. It does not include the amount contained in people’s bank accounts.
“On the face of it this looks like a bumper year for the super-rich, with record wealth, more billionaires and the entry level rising to £ 120 million. But many of the rich are nursing big losses after a year of turbulence on the stock market and political deadlock in Westminster,” writes Robert Watts, the compiler of the list.
He adds: “After 12 months dominated by volatility on the high street, Brexit and a rollercoaster ride on the stock market, many of the 1,000 millionaires and billionaires who populate the Rich List are bruised by the experience and fearful of ‘Corbygeddon’.
“The performance of Theresa May’s zombie government has convinced many of Britain’s wealthy that an ardent Marxist is now within touching distance of Downing Street.”
Famous British inventor James Dyson, at fifth on the list and up from 12th last year, has already announced he would be relocating his company headquarters from the UK to Singapore.
Technology is seen as making and breaking fortunes in this year’s list, with young entrepreneurs making vast sums of money from online fashion retail, dating apps and creating YouTube videos.
Perhaps the biggest shake-up of the year has been for retail tycoon Philip Green, who is no longer a billionaire after he saw his Arcadia Group fortune plummet by a whopping £1.05 billion in 12 months and it now stands at GBP 950 million.