Sunday, April 11, 1999 Published at 10:24 GMT 11:24 UK
Britain's richest top 20
In the money: Richard Branson heads a complex business empire
Young entrepreneurs, women and Asians are joining the ranks of the super-rich in Britain at the expense of old money, the Sunday Times' latest annual survey of the country's wealth elite shows.
1 Hans Rausing (food packaging) - £3.4bn
The British-based Swedish industrialist is the son of Ruben Rausing, who invented the cardboard milk carton.
2 Lord Sainsbury and family (retailing) - £3.1bn
Lord Sainsbury quit the family supermarket company, J Sainsbury, last year after 35 years and has joined the government as science minister.
3 George Soros (finance) - £2bn
The Hungarian-born financier was made famous for his role in knocking Britain out of the European exchange-rate mechanism in 1992.
4= Joseph Lewis (finance) - £1.75bn
The fortune of the London-born financier, who lives in the Bahamas, includes proceeds from foreign exchange dealing and an art collection.
The Duke's Grosvenor Estates property empire includes the 300 "golden acres" of London's Mayfair.
6= Lady Grantchester and the Moores family (stores, mail order and football pools) - £1.5bn
Lady Grantchester leads the family which owns the Littlewoods empire.
6= Garfield Weston and family (food) - £1.5bn
Mr Weston is chairman and chief executive of Associated British Foods, which he has turned from a troubled food group into a multinational business producing staples such as bread and sugar.
8= Sri and Gopi Hinduja (trading and finance) - £1.3bn The brothers control a global business empire, Hinduja Group, started by their late father, a Bombay trader. Last year they agreed to underwrite the Millennium Dome's troubled £6m spirit zone.
8= Bruno Schroder and family (banking) - £1.3bn
Schroders is Britain's last independent quoted investment bank of any size. The Schroder family, led by Bruno Schroder, holds 48% of the shares.
10= Richard Branson (travel, retailing and entertainment) - £1.2bn
The well-known head of the Virgin empire, the flagship of which is the Virgin Atlantic airline.
10= Lakshmi Mittal (steel) - £1.2bn
Mr Mittal is the son of an Indian steel magnate. He built his Ispat International steel group, which floated in New York in 1997, by acquiring unwanted assets and turning them round through investment and cost-cutting.
12= Terry Matthews (electronics) - £1.1bn
The electronics engineer is the first Welsh-born billionaire. He set up the Mitel Corporation in 1971, selling out to BT in 1986. His company Newbridge Networks, based in Ontario, Canada, specialises in advanced telecoms equipment.
Mr O'Reilly is Ireland's best-known businessman, who is now in a non-executive capacity as chairman of American food giant Heinz. His international newspaper group, Independent Newspapers, had a tough year last year. His wife Ms Goulandris inherited a Greek shipping fortune.
14= Mohamed al-Fayed (retailing) - £1bn
The Egyptian-born Harrods boss, who is revelling in his new role as owner of Fulham Football Club.
14= Viscount Rothermere and family (newspapers) - £1bn
Jonathan Harmsworth, the 4th Viscount Rothermere since the death of his father in September, faces then responsibility of taking the Associated Newspapers group forward.
14= Sir Adrian and John Swire (shipping and aviation) - £1bn
The Swire family, headed by Sir Adrian and his nephew John, own 63% of the Hong Kong-based conglomerate John Swire & Sons.
18 Robert Miller (retailing) - £975m
Mr Miller made his fortune from the Duty Free shoppers chain he co-founded in Hong Kong in 1960. He spent £5m last year securing the monohull transatlantic sailing record.
Lord Bamford's father founded the Staffordshire-based company JCB in 1945.
20= Bernie and Slavica Ecclestone (motor racing) - £900m
Mr Ecclestone's fortune comes from his Formula One racing empire. His £1m donation to the Labour party caused controversy last year.
20= Ken Morrison and family (food retailing) - £900m
Mr Morrison is chairman of the Yorkshire-based William Morrison supermarket chain, which is experiencing record trading.