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Owners of Warren James defy retail gloom with Rich List rise

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The owners of Warren James have once again been named in The Sunday Times’ annual Rich List, with the publication citing a rise in wealth despite challenging times on the UK high street.

John Coulter and Ann Jones, owners of the Warren James chain of jewellers, have seen their fortunes rise by £60 million to £537 million over the last 12 months, according the iconic guide on the richest people in the UK.

Warren James Holdings, the parent company of the jewellery retail business, notched sales of £117.9m in the year ended March 2018, with operating profit over £40.3m.

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The brother and sisters fortunes don’t fully rely on the jewellery retail business. The Sunday Times reports that the duo previously had a 26% stake in the film studio giant Pinewood Group, which was sold for £323m in 2016, while Coulter was also involved in a £103m deal to buy the UK division of the Bank of Cyprus last year.

Alongside the owners of Warren James, the directors of British jeweller, Boodles, London-based Graff, and family-run Mousaieff Jewellers appear in the Rich List, representing the wealth of the UK jewellery industry.

At £4bn Laurence Graff has the largest wealth of the jewellery trade.

The Sunday Times writes: “Graff has come a long way since dropping out of school age 14. During more than 50 years in the diamond world, Graff has sold gems to celebrities ranging from Elizabeth Taylor to Donald Trump.”

According to the Rich List, Graff owns an extensive modern art collection estimated to be worth £430m.

International store openings bolstered business for Graff Diamonds during the last financial year, with turnover increasing to £407m, and profit more than tripling to £47.8m.

In total, Graff’s wealth has grown by £238m over the last 12 months.

Elsewhere, Alisa Moussaieff and family are worth £349 million – no change from last year – with Alisa Mousssaieff owning all of the £300m jewellery firm.

Boodles directors, Nicholas and Michael Wainwright and family, have also seen no change to their wealth, which remains at £120m.

Tags : BoodlesGraffMoussaieffRich ListThe Sunday Timeswarren james
Stacey Hailes

The author Stacey Hailes

Editor, Professional Jeweller

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