Top five lose over ?1bn between them, but retail and media dominate channel entrants in this year's Sunday Times Rich List

Channel rich battered by downturn

Over 25 figures from the channel have been named as some of the UK’s richest people in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List, but it has been far from immune from the downturn with the top five alone losing over £1bn between them.

Topping the list is John Caudwell (pictured), with over £1.4bn to his name whose firm, Caudwell Group – which owns Phones4U and distributors 20:20 and Dextra – puts him at 25 in the list of the UK’s top 2,000 richest people.

High profile entrants include Sir Richard Branson, whose stake in the Virgin Group puts him at joint 32nd in the list with £1.2bn to his name, and Sir Alan Sugar, who made his money with Amstrad in the ’80s and now has £730m to his name thanks to other investments and his current company Amshold, placing him at 59th in the list. Dragons Den star and owner of Phones International’s Peter Jones, comes ranked at 359th with £157m.

Owner of Dennis Publishing – which publishes the likes of PC Pro, iGizmo and Maxim – Felix Dennis is ranked joint 88th with £500m to his name. Fellow media-mogul and Conservative Peer Lord Michael Heseltine, who founded publisher Haymarket (Stuff, What Hi-Fi) and rejoined it in 1997 on leaving Government, is ranked at 362nd with £150m, down by £100m.

Current chief executive of Carphone Warehouse Charles Dunstone is ranked at joint 173rd, with £300m to his name thanks to his stake in the retail giant. However, it has been far from a great year for Dunstone, who saw two thirds of his wealth wiped out during the year, due to plunging consumer confidence and the impact it had on Carphone’s share price.

Fellow Carphone co-founder Guy Johnson, who sold his stake in the firm, is ranked 438th, with £120m to his name.

TomTom founders Harold Goddijn and his wife Corrine Goddijn-Vigreux are ranked at 222nd, with £250m to their names. However, they two have also seen almost two thirds of their worth wiped out by the stock market, down by £418m.

Sage co-founder Graham Wylie is ranked as the 362nd, with over £150m to his name. He sold a £116m stake in the company and set up Technology Services Group in 2003.

Logitech’s largest shareholder Daniel Borel is ranked 471st, with £119m to his name, though this is down by around £101 from last year. His stake in Logitech is worth £68m. owners Richard Goulding and Simon Perrée both rank in at 694th with £80m each to their names. Meanwhile, fellow retail guru Christina Ong runs Asia’s largest Apple reseller iShop, and is ranked at 841st, with £69m to her name. Computacentre’s co-founder Philip Hulme was also hit by falling share values. He is ranked at 921st, with £61m to his name.

Amongst the other names in the channel are Sir Peter Rigby (SCH) at joint 156th with £330m – down 180m; Peter Wilkinson (InTechnology) at 177th with £301m – down £2m; Niklas Zennstrom (Skype founder) at 218 with £260m – down £20m; David Hood (Pace Electronics co-founder) at 251st with £220m – down £30m; Dr Jan Hruska (Sophos) at joint 575th with £95m; Dr Peter Lammer (Sophos) joins him at 575th with £95m.

Further down the list, Ben and Jos White (RBR Networks, Star Internet and MessageLabs) have £90m between them, placing them at joint 600 in the list. John McAfee (McAfee) comes in at joint 751st with £75m to his name; Rory Sweet (Simian Group) is 778th, with £74m; Michael McComb (Mobile Phone Store founder) is 924th with £60m.

The full Sunday Times Rich List will be published online tomorrow and can be found by clicking here.

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