Sacha Baron Cohen joins Roman Abramovich on Rich List

By Sandy Rashty, April 25, 2013
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich

It is turning out to be an unhappy year for Roman Abramovich. His football club, Chelsea, have failed to win the Premier League, his yacht is no longer the world’s biggest, and now he is not even the UK’s richest Jew from the former Soviet Union.

According to the Sunday Times Rich List, the annual charting of Britain’s wealthy, Abramovich has a fortune of £9.3 billion, making him the country’s fifth richest individual.

Sounds good, except his wealth is down £200 million on 2012, and that leaves him lagging behind Odessa-born music and media tycoon Len Blavatnik, who occupies the number two slot with a very respectable bank balance of £11 billion.

Mr Blavatnik, 55, bought the world’s third-largest record label, Warner Music, for more than £2 billion in 2011.

At least 85 Jewish millionaires and billionaires feature among the 1,000 entrants on the list. They include retail tycoon Sir Philip Green in 16th place with £3.88 billion, and Lord Sugar and Richard Desmond in joint 98th place with fortunes worth £860 million.

Mr Desmond, who owns the Express stable of newspapers and Channel 5, and BBC Apprentice host Lord Sugar shared joint first place on the Rich List’s Film and TV catagory.

Joining them are former X-Factor judge Sharon Osbourne, who is worth £100 million, actress Helena Bonham Carter with her film director husband Tim Burton at £80 million and Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe, who at 23-years-old is worth £60 million — and that really is magic.

Entertainers making their first appearance on the list include actor and writer Sacha Baron Cohen with his actress wife Isla Fisher, and actress Rachel Weisz with 007 husband Daniel Craig.

Mr Baron Cohen, who is famed for his role as Borat, is worth an estimated £68 million. His wife, known for her roles in comedies such as The Wedding Crashers, took on the Hebrew name “Ayala” on converting to Judaism before marrying in 2010.

In the catagory of richest women, Anita Zabludowicz (wife of businessman Poju Zabludowicz) and Nancy Shevell (wife of musician Paul McCartney) both make an appearance.

This year, Mrs Zabludowicz, an art patron and gallery owner, judged the Jewish Identity art contest supported by the JC.

Sally Fiszman, the widow of former diamond dealer and director of the Arsenal football club Danny, was ranked in 319th place on the main list with an estimated fortune of £250 million.

Property remains as lucrative as ever, with millionaire brothers Simon and David Reuben, seventh on the list with a 17 per cent rise in their wealth to £8.281 billion.

Brothers Eddie and Sol Zakay are 25th on the list with £2.52 billion, while Ian and Richard Livingstone rank at 31st with a property development empire worth £2.3 billion.

The top political donors provided backing for both the Conservative and Labour parties. Labour supporter Andrew Rosenfeld donated £440,000 last year, followed by East End-born Lord Sugar who gave £51,089 to the party.

Supporting the Tories were Charles Wigoder and Jeremy Isaacs who gave David Cameron a reason to smile with a combined total donation of £118,500.

Philanthropic figures from the community are prominent on the giving list, proving that along with fabulous wealth comes considerable generosity. Venture capitalist Michael Moritz and his wife Harriet
Heyman made a £75 million donation to education, while Richard Desmond gave £32.7 million to Jewish, medical and children’s organisations.

Property investor Benzion Freshwater gave £23.3 million to Jewish groups, while businessman Sir Ronnie Cohen and his wife Sharon Harel handed over £4.2 million to education, Jewish and social causes.

Last updated: 4:05pm, April 25 2013