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Saturday, Jun 19, 2021

UK's youngest billionaires - from Prince George's godfather to £4bn app inventor

UK's youngest billionaires - from Prince George's godfather to £4bn app inventor

Their £15billion fortunes are followed by millionaire Gymshark boss Ben Francis, Ed Sheeran and Lingerie businesswoman Melanie Marsden

A man that started a virtual business at the height of the Covid pandemic is amongst Britain’s wealthiest individuals – and he’s just 26-years-old.

Johnny Boufarhat jons Prince George’s godfather, Hugh Grosvenor, Lady Charlotte Wellesley and footballer Jack Sullivan who all, combined, form the country’s youngest billionaires.

Their £15billion fortunes, revealed in the Sunday Times Young Rich List, are followed by millionaire Gymshark boss Ben Francis, Ed Sheeran and Lingerie businesswoman Melanie Marsden.

The overall rich list named entertainment magnate Sir Leonard Blavatnik as Britain’s wealthiest person.

His fortune is worth £23billion – a worth that has increased by more than £7billion since the start of the Covid crisis.

But who are the young people sitting on billions and where did their wealth come from?

We take a closer look below.

The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family - £10billion
Hugh Grosvenor inherited his property fortune when father, Gerald, passed away in 2016

Prince George’s godfather, Hugh Grosvenor, is Britain’s youngest billionaire thanks to a fortune he inherited at just 25, when his father, Gerald, passed away.

In 2016, the Newcastle University graduate, now 30, quit his job at Bio-Bean, a green energy company that recycles coffee beans into fuel, to oversee his family’s 340-year-old property portfolio.

The Grosvenor empire includes 300 acres of Mayfair and Belgravia as well as land in more than 60 cities around the world.

Hughie, as the duke is known to his friends, is the youngest of Prince George’s godparents, and his mother, Natalia, is godmother to the Duke of Cambridge.

Last year, the Grosvenor Group showed net assets of nearly £4.7billion.

Dividends of £47.5million were paid during 2020 and a final dividend of £32.2 million was taken in April 2021. The family’s estates include nearly 165,000 acres of rural land.

Lady Charlotte Wellesley - £2.4billion
Lady Charlotte Anne Santo Domingo is an English socialite and photography producer

Lady Charlotte Wellesley, a 30-year-old descendant of Queen Victoria, once worked as an assistant producer at Mario Testino’s studio in London.

After school at Wycombe Abbey, a high-performing girls’ boarding school in Buckinghamshire, Wellesley attended Oxford University to study archaeology and anthropology.

Her wedding to 43-year-old Colombian-American billionaire Alejandro Santo Domingo in 2016 was the undisputed wedding of the year – which placed her firmly on the young billionaires list.

She's maintained her space in the top five for the past four years.

Johnny Boufarhat - £1.4billion
In November 2019, Boufarhat told angel investors Hopin "would be the fastest growing company in the world"

Twenty-six-year-old Johnny Boufarhat is the country's fourth wealthiest person and the youngest self-made billionaire in Britain.

The Manchester University graduate made his fortune in just one year, after launching virtual conference app Hopin last March at the height of lockdown.

Boufarhat was born in Sydney after his parents - a mechanical engineer and an accountant - moved to Australia from Lebanon during the 1975-1990 civil war.

The family moved on to Los Angeles then Dubai before Boufarhat travelled to the UK to study mechanical engineering.

The company now employs 500 workers remotely

While studying, Boufarhat developed an app that gave students discounts at restaurants.

In 2018, he started coding virtual conference app Hopin while suffering from an auto-immune disease and being unable to work.

And since launching thanks to several angel investors last year, its user-base has rocketed to over five million, giving it a value of £4.1billion with American Express and Hewelett-Packard among clients.

The company’s soaring value has left Boufarhat with a net worth of £1.5billion and a client database of 80,000 companies.

The firm has no offices and its 500 staff are mostly in the US and UK.

Jack Sullivan and family - £1billion
Until this year, Jack Sullivan was the youngest executive in English football history

West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan and his family feature in the young list with son Jack sitting on a £1billion fortune.

His father is the chairmanof West Ham – but their family worth is mostly tied up in an extensive property portfolio.

When he was just 14, Jack was on holiday in Spain and turned to his mum and said "Mum, Mum will you buy me West Ham Ladies?".

At the age of 17, he was signed as the managing director of West Ham’s women’s football team, a position he has recently given up.

The Sunday Times lists the West Ham co-owner’s source of wealth as ‘Property and Football and Media’.

The list attributes the wealth to the ‘David and Jack Sullivan and family’.
Sunday Times Young Rich List

See the top 10 below.

The Duke of Westminster and the Grosvenor family - £10.054bn

Lady Charlotte Wellesley - £2.4bn

Johnny Boufarhat - £1.446bn

Jack Sullivan and family - £1.04bn

India Rose James and family - £721m

Ben Francis - £700m

Ed Sheeran - £220m

Melanie and Dan Marsden - £200m

Lewis Morgan - £147m

Harry Styles - £75m


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