Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

De­spite be­ing £1.841bn worse off com­pared to 2017, Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli top the West Mid­lands Rich List again this year, with a for­tune just shy of £10bn, at £9.659bn.

Kirsty Bertarelli, the Stafford­shire­born song­writer and for­mer Miss UK who co-wrote the track Black Cof­fee, a hit for the girl band All Saints, is Bri­tain’s third wealth­i­est woman. Ernesto Bertarelli’s fam­ily sold their biotech busi­ness Serono for $13.3bn in 2006, net­ting the fam­ily $8.6bn. Mr Bertarelli has fur­thered the fam­ily for­tune by in­vest­ing in the Swiss pharma busi­nesses, San­thera and Stal­ler­genes Greer. He has also di­ver­si­fied into other sec­tors.

Robert Watts, com­piler of The Sun­day Times Rich List, said: “The Mid­lands is the en­gine room of Bri­tain’s econ­omy so it’s no sur­prise to see ty­coons like Lord Ed­mis­ton from the car in­dus­try and Lord Bam­ford from the man­u­fac­tur­ing world fea­ture promi­nently in the re­gion’s Rich List. Many of these en­trepreneurs en­joyed a ‘Brexit div­i­dend’ with the weaker pound mak­ing their prod­ucts cheaper to ex­porters.

“But over our 30 edi­tions we’ve seen more and more di­ver­sity in how these en­trepreneurs make their money and our Mid­lands Rich List epit­o­mises that change, with vast for­tunes now be­ing made from mo­bile phones, on­line gam­bling and even sell­ing chick­ens.”

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