The 20 biggest global property tycoons operating in Britain

Date Published 21 September 2017

Commercial real estate website Bisnow recently published a rundown of the richest 100 players in global property. 20 of the 100 – including an inventor, a Duke, a President, and a felon – hold direct property investments in the UK worth a combined £438bn…
Here's who they are, ranked by how deep they've gone with UK property investments (according to Bisnow's research):
1. Amancio Ortega
• NET WORTH: $82.5bn
• The Spanish Inditex (Zara) co-founder has built a portfolio of more than £1b of prime assets in London, including the £600m home of Primark on Oxford Street
2. Li Ka-shing
• NET WORTH: $30.5bn
• The man behind Hutchison Whampoa is Hong Kong's richest man. His UK projects include the development of the Lots Road Power Station into Chelsea Waterfront.
3. Wang Jianlin
• NET WORTH: $30.5bn
• China-based Dalian Wanda Group, run by Jianlin, is making vast moves in the UK, including developing swathes of Nine Elms (despite recently – and dramatically – backing out of an acquisition of the New Covent Garden resi development site). Forbes ranked Jianlin as the world's No.1 real estate billionaire this year.
4. Stefan Persson
• NET WORTH: $19.9bn
• The Swedish retail magnate (founder of H&M) acquired the Debenhams store on Oxford Street for c.£400m last year (via his Ramsbury Invest real estate operation), and also owns a chunky block on Regent Street.
5. Thomas & Raymond Kwok
• NET WORTH: $18.2B
• Hong Kong's Kwok family have JVs in London and European projects, including with Capco and M7.
6. Simon & David Reuben
• NET WORTH: $18bn
• The Reuben brothers are the biggest UK-based players on this list. Their portfolio includes hefty schemes in Paddington, Millbank Tower, the resi development of Mayfair's Carrington Street carpark, and the old In & Out Club on Piccadilly.
7. The Waltons
• NET WORTH: $130bn
• The Walton family owns an awful lot of property via their supermarket business, Walmart – which owns Asda.
8. Philip Anschutz
• NET WORTH: $12.6bn
• Philip Anschutz is the 22nd-biggest landowner in the USA. He runs entertainment giant AEG – and as such owns the O2 Arena in London.
9. Stephen Schwarzman
• NET WORTH: $12.4bn
• Stephen Schwarzman started private equity giant Blackstone Group with $400,000 capital. It's now the world's biggest property investor, owning stakes in an awful lot of London property.
10. Peter Woo
• NET WORTH: $12.3bn
• Woo's family runs Hong Kong-based real estate business Wheelock, which has been pretty active in London since the Brexit vote, acquiring 23 King Street for £120m last Summer, and the Hilton Doubletree in Ealing this July for £40m.
11. Donald Trump
• NET WORTH: $3.5bn
• The American President still owns golf courses in Scotland.
12. Stephen Ross
• NET WORTH: $7.4bn
• Ross's Related Cos owns sports team the Miami Dolphins and lots of New York property. In Britain, it's working with Argent on a big resi-led project in Tottenham, and is also pitching for the redevelopment of Euston Station.
13. Charles Cadogan, The 8th Earl of Cadogan
• NET WORTH: $6.2bn
• The Cadogan family own much of Chelsea and Knightsbridge. The Cadogan Estate is the second biggest great estate in London, after the Duke of Westminster's patch.
14. David & Frederick Barclay
• NET WORTH: $6.2bn
• The Barclay Brothers own the Ritz and have dabbled in many household name media and hotel holdings. They also own Brecqhou, in the Channel Islands.
15. Frank Lowy
• NET WORTH: $5.4bn
• Australian owner of Westfield shopping centres
16. Hugh Grosvenor, The 7th Duke of Westminster
• NET WORTH: $12.2bn
• The 7th Duke of Westminster is the ultimate owner of much of Mayfair and Belgravia, operated by the family business.
17. Jerry Speyer & Katherine Farley
• NET WORTH: $3.9bn
• The husband-and-wife team run US-based firm Tishman Speyer, which holds a London portfolio including Sainsbury's Holborn HQ and the Verde building in Victoria.
18. Sir James Dyson
• NET WORTH: $4.5bn
• The Gloucestershire-based vacuum cleaner inventor is now the largest landowner in Britain, according to Bisnow, owning more than 25,000 acres.
19. Joseph Lau
• NET WORTH: $15.2bn
• Macau-based Lau, with his former partner Yvonne Lui Lau, have invested in trophy London office blocks including Goldman Sachs' Fleet Street HQ (bought for £280m in 2010) and 14 George Street in Mayfair (acquired for £120m).
20. Leon Black
• NET WORTH: $6.3bn
• Black co-founded private equity firm Apollo, which is a big commercial property player in both Britain and Ireland.

Reference: Prime Resi