A few industry people are on the London Times’ 2009 “Rich List,” which tracks Britain’s super-rich — but it’s pretty striking how much their net worth has declined.
Nicky Oppenheimer’s net worth (this is all estimated, mind you) is said to have dropped some 48%. It’s 40% for Laurence Graff. Lev Leviev was number 18 last year; this year, he’s fallen off completely. And his empire is clearly having issues.
Not that industry people are alone. In fact, the Times says this has been “the worst performance in the list’s 21 year history.” It also notes that “the number of billionaires has fallen from last year’s record 75 to 43, a near 43% drop.”
Which bring up a point I’ve wanted to make: One of the unusual things about this recession is that it’s hurt the super-wealthy, people who were previously thought would be immune to downturns. It’s one of the reason our industry has also been hit so badly.