Di­a­mond deal­ers shine as prop­erty slumps for this year’s Rich Lis­ters

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY RACHEL FLETCHER

DAZ­ZLING EARN­INGS among Jews in the jew­ellery trade is high­lighted in the new Sun­day Times Rich List.

In a list of the wealth­i­est jew­ellers pub­lished along­side the over­all Rich List, five of the top 10 are Jewish. Nicky Op­pen­heimer, Lev Le­viev, Lau­rence Graff and Benny Stein­metz are the top four, with Danny Fisz­man at num­ber seven. Mr Op­pen­heimer and Mr Le­viev, new en­tries this year, are re­spec­tively es­ti­mated to be worth £2,870 mil­lion and £2,500 mil­lion.

Chelsea owner Ro­man Abramovich is the rich­est in the foot­ball ta­ble and sec­ond in the over­all list, with a cal­cu­lated wealth of £11,700 mil­lion. He is beaten only by Asian steel mag­nate Lak­shmi Mit­tal.

Fifth in the foot­ball list is for­mer Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur chair­man Sir Alan Sugar, the 92nd rich­est over­all with an es­ti­mated £830 mil­lion. Ex-Arse­nal vice-chair­man David Dein is 24th in the soc­cer ta­ble with £80 mil­lion, plac­ing 969th in the gen­eral list.

Re­tail­ers Sir Philip and Lady Green are ninth over­all at £4,330 mil­lion, one place ahead of prop­erty-de­vel­oper brothers David and Si­mon Reuben with £4,300 mil­lion.

Sammy Ofer and his son Eyal (ship­ping and prop­erty) are 15th with £3,336 mil­lion. Mr Op­pen­heimer, Joe Lewis (for­eign in­vest­ment), David Khalili (art and prop­erty) and Lev Le­viev are 18th, 19th and 21st equal.

Mr Graff, Si­mon Hal­abi (prop­erty and health clubs) and Bicom chair­man Poju Zablu­dow­icz (prop­erty and ho­tels) share 31st place, fol­lowed by Richard Des­mond (35th), prop­erty men Ian and Richard Liv­ing­stone (38th), Mr Stein­metz (39th) and River Is­land boss Bernard Lewis (43rd).

Prop­erty peo­ple Mark Pears and fam­ily and Ed­die and Sol Zakay are joint 47th. Lord Roth­schild and his son Nat are 53rd.

Stan­ley and Bar­bara Fink, Mathias Kraus, Lord Gavron and Sir Ron­ald Co­hen fea­ture in the givers’ list. Mr Kraus and Sir Ron­ald have Jewish char­i­ties listed among their ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

Mr Khalili, Vin­cent Tchen­guiz, Sir Philip and Lady Green and Robert Kauff­man are high on the “fall­ers” list, with reval­u­a­tion, the credit crunch, re­tail gloom and share losses cited as rea­sons for their drop.

Prop­erty in­vestor David Pearl, ranked 308th, told the JC that changes in the prop­erty mar­ket “af­fect ev­ery­body. Things are harder than they were six to nine months ago in the prop­erty world.”

He pointed out that in­ter­est rates were higher and the amounts that could be bor­rowed were lower.

Prop­erty de­vel­oper Ger­ald Ron­son, ranked 325th with his fam­ily at £250 mil­lion, told the JC: “I don’t think you can gen­er­alise with the prop­erty busi­ness. Out­side Lon­don, new sales are 50 per cent down and inside Lon­don it’s 25 to 30 per cent.”

Nick Les­lau, a prop­erty busi­ness­man ranked joint 397th, said: “The com­mer­cial prop­erty busi­ness has, for big­ger lot sizes, prac­ti­cally dried up. Liq­uid­ity is as bad as I’ve ever seen it.

“House-price re­duc­tions are a short­term phe­nom­e­non. We need one mil­lion homes in this coun­try and are build­ing 80,000 at best this year. Plan­ning is a dis­as­ter for new homes as lo­cal au­thor­i­ties try to outdo each other with more af­ford­able hous­ing and bet­ter green cre­den­tials, dra­mat­i­cally in­creas­ing the cost of con­struc­tion, fur­ther re­strict­ing sup­ply.

“I fear the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of the global credit is­sues will be felt for some con­sid­er­able time.”

None­the­less, Rich List com­piler Philip Beres­ford saw it as “a very good year for Jewish money, both new and old. What we are see­ing is the pri­macy of Lon­don, par­tic­u­larly as a global fi­nance cen­tre. Is­raeli ty­coons such as Benny Stein­metz or Nicky Op­pen­heimer are com­ing here be­cause it is the best place for them to run their op­er­a­tions.

“The rise of the di­a­mon­doc­racy is serv­ing the needs of the new BRIC econ­omy, such as In­dia, China and Rus­sia.

“Plus, there are the old prop­erty ty­coons — your Nick Les­laus and Ger­ald Ron­sons, who are as smart as ever.”


Nick Les­lau: credit-crunch warn­ing


David Dein, 24th in the soc­cer list


Stan­ley and Bar­bara Fink, donors


Sir Philip Green, ninth on the list


Bicom’s Poju Zablu­dow­icz, 31st


David and Mar­ion Khalili, 21st

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