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Warner owner is top music industry player in latest rich list

By | Published on Monday 22 April 2013

Len Blavatnik

Mr Len Blavatnik is the highest ranking music industry bod in the latest Sunday Times Rich List of Britain’s wealthiest residents, on account of him [a] being worth £11 billion, [b] now owning Warner Music and the Parlophone label, plus stakes in the Deezer and Beats streaming services, via his Access Industries conglom, and [c] dividing his time between homes in New York and London.

Blavatnik is the second richest (part time) Brit overall, according to the latest wealth survey, being a couple of billion poorer than another Russian born businessman Alisher Usmanov. The highest ranking British born bod in the Rich List is the good old Duke Of Westminster at number eight, while the wealthiest British born businessman with (albeit mainly legacy) links to the music and entertainment industries is Richard Branson, whose family sit at number nineteen in the list with a combined fortune of £3.5 billion.

The next highest ranking music type appears at number 58 in the form of Clive Calder, whose record industry earned fortune was secured thanks to three clever moves: one, building his Zomba recorded music and publishing company into one of the world’s biggest independent music firms with a roster including some of America’s biggest pop acts; two, selling the Zomba company for silly money to BMG in 2002 (about £1.2 billion); and three resisting the temptation to reinvest any of those winnings back into the flagging record industry in the subsequent decade.

Paul McCartney, whose fortune is now combined with that of wife Nancy Shevell, appears at 133 in the list, making him the highest ranking artist – this we already knew though, because the Times revealed its rock star rich list a couple of weeks back. Elsewhere amongst the usual suspects is Spotify chief Daniel Ek, valued at a neat £250 million, though most of that is based on the current valuation of the streaming music platform, and his sizable stake in it.

Anyway, here’s the top ten Rich List listees with links to the music industry (in it’s widest sense), with their 2013 position, their 2012 position in brackets, and their fortune as estimated by the Times…

2 (5) Len Blavatnik – £11,000m
19 (16) Richard Branson and family – £3,514m
58 (51) Clive Calder – £1,350m
108 (108) Cameron Mackintosh – £825m
133 (124) Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell – £680m
145 (143) Andrew Lloyd-Webber – £620m
238 (233) Simon Fuller – £375m
319 (339) Simon Cowell -£250m
319 (395) Daniel Ek – £250m
338 (345) Elton John – £240m

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