The price of fish has helped net an Aberdeenshire family a place in an annual list of the UK’s richest people for the first time.
With the soaring value of mackerel boosting earnings for their Peterhead-based Lunar Fishing business, Alexander Buchan and his relatives made their debut in the Sunday Times Rich List with an estimated fortune of £147 million.
Also appearing for the first time were the founders of Ellon-headquartered international brewery and pub chain Brewdog. James Watt and Martin Dickie are said to be worth £262 million and £228 million respectively.
The pair’s appearance in the 1,000-strong list was among factors which led its compiler Robert Watts to claim Britain is changing, with an army of self-made entrepreneurs edging out old money and industries. Moray-born textile mill owners’ son Lord Laidlaw, head of Highland Group Holdings with £795 million, was ranked 171st in the league table, published yesterday.
Among north-east entries is pet food producer Tony Quinn and his wife Christina, who are worth £270 million.
The ranks of the Granite City’s wealthiest individuals and families continued to hail mainly from the oil and gas sector and included Steven Ferguson (£250 million), Alastair Locke (£230 million), Balmoral Group founder Jim Milne (£162 million) and Douglas Craig, chairman of the Craig Group (£155 million).
Tommy Dreelan of oil service company QServe, is on the list, also with estimated wealth of £155 million, as is fellow industry figure Michal Freeman (£150 million).
House builder and Aberdeen FC chairman Stewart Milne’s £115 million also secured him a place.
Shortbread and bakery products are said to have amassed Aberlour-based Joseph Walker and his family £182 million.
Earlier it was revealed that, with an estimated £2.57 billion, Glenn Gordon and his family, whose Dufftown-based business William Grant and Sons makes Glenfiddich single malt whisky, had topped Scotland’s annual list of billionaires for the fifth consecutive year.
North Sea oil doyen Sir Ian Wood and his family, said to be worth £1.71billion, were placed third in that ranking.
This year’s Rich List was topped by “publicity shy” chemicals entrepreneur Jim Ratcliffe.
The 65-year-old Ineos chief executive’s fortune leapt £15.3 billion in a single year, to £21.05 billion.
List compiler Robert Watts said: “Britain is changing. Gone are the days when old money and a small band of industries dominated the Sunday Times Rich List.
“Aristocrats and inherited wealth has been elbowed out of the list and replaced by an army of self-made entrepreneurs.
“Today’s super rich include people who have set up businesses selling chocolate, sushi, pet food and eggs.”
“We’re seeing more people from humble backgrounds, who struggled at school or who didn’t even start their businesses until well into middle age.”