Advertising and media moguls’ fortunes soar

Some of the wealthiest individuals from media and advertising, including WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell, have seen their fortunes soar in the past year, says The Sunday Times Rich List.

Sir Martin Sorrell
Sir Martin Sorrell

Sorrell, who was ranked 523 on the 1,000 Rich List, is reported to have a personal fortune of £125m, up 51% from £83m last year. He described 2009 as a “brutal” year for WPP with profits sliding by 21.4% to £662.6m and revenues down by 8.1%.

The list, which is based on identifiable wealth such as land, property and other assets such as shares in publicly quoted companies, saw a number of other media moguls reporting soaring fortunes (or unchanged) as the world recovers from the economic crisis.

Among them are brothers Lord Saatchi and Charles Saatchi have also a combined fortune of £125m, up from £120m last year.

The owners of the Telegraph Media Group, Sir David and Frederick Barclay wealth has gone up by by £800m, taking their fortune to £1.8bn.

Meanwhile, Richard Desmond, the Northern & Shell owner, whose assets include Express newspapers and OK! magazine, has a wealth of £950m, unchanged from last year. The fortunes of Felix Dennis, the owner of Dennis publishing, also remain unchanged at £500m. Viscount Cowdray and the Pearson Family, who have a stake in the Financial Times’ owner Pearson, now have an estimated wealth of £850m, up by £350m from last year.

The collective wealth of the 1,000 multimillionaires in the 2010 Sunday Times Rich List has climbed to £335.5bn, up £77.265bn on 2009. This is a 29.9% increase, easily the biggest annual rise in the 22 years of the Rich List.

This story first appeared on pitch


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