24 Aug 2015 03:15pm

The Accountancy Rich List 2015

We have launched the economia Accountancy Rich List 2015, the second annual run down of the 100 wealthiest UK accountants

So what has changed since last year, and what do those changes and trends tell us?

Firstly we can reveal that top spot has changed hands. The top ten are worth more than £14bn combined, an increase of over £1bn since 2014.

Almost a third of the list (31) are chartered accountants, compared to a quarter last year.

As with the complete Sunday Times Rich List the overwhelming majority of the entrants are male. Only six (compared to two in 2014) women make the top 100, although one of them does make it into the top five.

Unsurprisingly, industry and finance are the most represented sectors for the wealthy in the profession to work in.

This year there are eight new entries on the list while there are six non-movers. Overall, 16 have improved on their position since last year, while 70 have dropped.

There are considerably more significant moves downwards (50) than significant moves upwards (11). Eight of these significant jumps in the top 50 compared with three in the rest of the table, which suggests the richest people are getting richer.

The new entries on the 2015 list are surprisingly spread out (with new entrants at 5, 11, 39, 40, 47 51, 74 and 85).

The list also reflects the stability or instability of some sectors. Mass market sectors providing goods and services for the public like mobile phones, hotels and taxis seem to have offered greater stability in the table for the wealthiest individuals, as have retailing, property, aviation.

By contrast, industry was the most prevalent single sector among the people who had moved either up or down by 10+ places in the list since 2014, including one who fell from 47 last year to 62 this year.

These are just the statistics. So who made the top 100? The list will be published, in full, throughout next week on our website and through our social media channels, with the top ten revealed on Friday.

Compiled by Philip Beresford since 1989, The Sunday Times Rich List has been described as an important part of social history and the data continues to prove compelling reading – after all, people like to read about other people’s money. Last year, economia asked Beresford to apply his tried and tested formula on the accountancy profession and he created the inaugural Accountancy Rich List, detailing the 100 wealthiest accountants around the world.

In the September 2014 issue of the magazine, economia focused on 10 successful and philanthropic accountants from the list who had used their wealth to contribute more widely to the economy in terms of creating wealth, jobs and a strong community spirit. This year, the September issue highlights the entrepreneurial chartered accountants: those who have created growth and value in industries as diverse as aviation, football, financial services and motoring.

Beresford has included only those who trained as an accountant or have an accountancy qualification. To qualify, the 100 have also had to build up businesses or hold stakes in businesses worth £30m or more. Stakes in quoted companies were valued as at the end of June 2015 and Beresford also took note of share sales and dividends.

Private companies were valued on the basis of the valuations pertaining to the nearest quoted company. If no such direct comparison was available, he valued the private company by a multiple of the sector average price/earnings ration as quoted in the Financial Times at the end of June 2015.

The sale prices achieved for companies were taken from reports in the quality financial press and these were used, less a notional tax charge. Also, if a company was reported to be for sale with a price tag attached in the quality press, that figure was used.

Every effort has been made to avoid any personal information about the 100 and the list concentrates solely on their business acumen, how they built a business, what it did and occasional quotes from the 100 about their experience in business. No one has had any access at all to any personal financial data such as bank accounts in the compilation of the list.

economia editor Amy Duff

Raymond Doherty


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