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Five Icelanders among Britain’s wealthiest

Five Icelanders made The Sunday Times “Rich List 2006” published yesterday. The list is a survey of the 1,000 richest people living in Britain and Ireland. Both Morgunbladid and RÚV covered the list this weekend.

Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson (Thor Bjorgolfsson) placed number 32 on the list.The paper estimates Björgólfur’s net worth to be 1,549 million pounds (ISK 215 billion). According to The Times, Bjorgolfsson began his career with a brewery in St. Petersburg and is now in pharmaceuticals, banking, and telecommunications. He is also number six on the “biggest risers” list, his assets having increased by 1,149 million pounds in one year. Leonard Blavatnik and Roman Abramovich who, according to The Times, also made their fortunes in Russia, top the list of the “biggest risers” .

The Bakkavör brothers, Ágúst and Lýdur Gudmundsson, are number 103 on the list with assets estimated at 598 million pounds (ISK 83.2 billion). Their net worth is up 498 million pounds from 2005 placing them number 20 on the year’s “biggest risers”.

Chelsea soccer player Eidur Smári Gudjohnsen and the captain of Iceland’s national team, a newcomer on the list, placed number 74 in the “100 richest young people aged 30 or younger” category. His wealth is said to come from “high wages from Chelsea” and endorsements.

Linda Bennett, born in Britain to an Icelandic mother, is number 78 on the 100 wealthiest women list. According to The Times, Bennett, 43, “saw a niche for well-made shoes that were smart and chic”. She is the founder of fashion Group L.K. Bennett worth 50 million pounds and is said to have other wealth.

The combined wealth of the the top 1,000 listed has risen nearly 21% in the last year one of the biggest rises in a single since 1989. The Rich List is made up of 1,012 men and 77 women. 767 of the richest 1,000 listed are self-made millionaires while 233 inherited their money. The top three money making categories are: 1) land and property (211of Rich List listed); 2) banking, insurance, stockbroking and finance (152 listed); 3) industry, metal bashing, engineering, steel making (106 listed). According to The Times most of the millionaires on the list are Geminis (116).

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