Monday 11 December 2017

Wealth of Ireland’s top 300 inches above €100bn

Stock photo
Stock photo
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Things have never been better for Ireland's super-rich, with their total worth heading for a record high of just over €100bn, following a bumper year for property, bonds, stocks and other assets.

The 300 richest people in Ireland have grown their wealth to €100.03bn, an increase of more than €12bn. While estimates for some very wealthy people, have fallen over the past 12 months or so, including some in the top 10, they have comfortably been outstripped by gainers across the board.

We now count 18 individual billionaires on Rich List 2017, compared with 14 last year.

One of the most spectacular performances came from Limerick brothers John (26) and Patrick (28) Collison, the founders of payments company Stripe. Last year they were counted as billionaires based on their joint wealth, estimated to be €1.38bn at the time. But both brothers became billionaires in their own right last year when Stripe's latest fundraising gave the company a $9bn valuation. The Collisons are believed to now hold at least 12pc each, making John the youngest self-made billionaire in the world.

While fundraisings place a value on many companies, we used a range of sources to estimate the wealth of people included in Rich List 2017.

We spoke to advisors of some of the country's wealthiest people, as well as several financial experts. We also examined the latest publicly available company accounts, shareholding allocations, filings to the Irish Stock Exchange and other markets, as well as deals news from the past year to establish the approximate wealth of each entry. In some cases, we spoke to the people themselves.

Rich List 2017 contains an extremely diverse group of people, with entrants ranging from musicians and entertainers, to financiers and hedge fund managers.

According to estimates, well-invested portfolios of wealthy individuals were up by 8pc or more last year, with the MSCI World Index, a global measure of stock exchanges, up 8.15pc by the end of 2016. Several asset classes grew more than this, particularly some hot tech sectors.

While 2017 got off to a good start, concerns are emerging about the impact US President Donald Trump's policies will have on the world economy. Many believe that a stock market bull run, which has seen shares soar, cannot be sustained for much longer. Closer to home, Brexit, which was officially triggered last week, could spell bad news for some sectors and investors.

The wealthy have benefited richly from the recovery. But with so many uncertainties on the horizon, can the financial boon of recent years continue?

Sunday Independent

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