The Less Rich List


The chief executive of the Swiss-based commodities trader saw his stake of almost 16% valued at just under £6bn at flotation in May.

Ivan Glasenberg, Glencore

The listing was priced at 530p. Today the price is: 396p. Glasenberg has picked up a $54m dividend along the way, which he used to buy more Glencore shares, but the 25% price plunge represents a loss of about £1.4bn in the value of his holding.

Tim Steiner, Ocado

The online grocer's shares briefly touched 285p in February. They are now 57p following a profits warning this month. Steiner's trust sold 2m shares in February at 254p, banking £5.1m, but still owns 27.7m shares. At the top, that holding was worth £79m; now it's valued at £16m.

Julian Dunkerton, SuperGroup

In stock market terms, the retailer of pseudo Japanese T-shirts and other kit has gone out of fashion. The share price was fallen from £13 in January to 531p. The founder's 32% holding is still worth £138m – nice, but not as nice as the £340m at last new year, or the £475m when the shares peaked at £18.20 in February.

John Paulson, Paulson & Co

The hedge fund manager emerged from obscurity in 2007 with a spectacular winning bet against US sub-prime mortgages. Betting on a US recovery has been a losing bet this year. The flagship Advantage Plus fund was down 46% in the first 11 months of the year; the Advantage fund, which does not borrow to exaggerate returns, lost a third of its value. Paulson, with most of his billions invested in his own funds, will be feeling the pain.

Jon Corzine, MF Global

The former chairman of Goldman Sachs and former New Jersey governor staked his reputation on turning broker MF Global into a Wall Street powerhouse. Instead, in October MF went bankrupt, with $1.2bn in customers' funds missing. He waived $12m in compensation as he left; the loss of credibility is greater.

Gottesman, Lagrange and Roman, GLG hedgies

Man Group snapped up the GLG hedge fund for $1.6bn in a bid to reinvigorate its business. Fund management is a people business, so GLG's partners – Noam Gottesman, Pierre Lagrange and Manny Roman (above) – had a three-year lock on the shares they received; these have more than halved in value this year. Their combined paper loss is roughly £250m.

Sean Quinn, Quinn Group

Ireland's former wealthiest man, who personifies the country's collapse from Celtic Tiger to Celtic Tigger, was declared bankrupt in November allegedly owing €2.9bn (£2.5bn) to Anglo Irish Bank, which he disputes. The alleged debts of the former billionaire amount to just under €1bn less than

the Irish government had to cut from public services, social welfare and capital spending in its austerity budget in December. Creditors argue that his Northern Ireland bankruptcy is invalid as his "centre of main interests" was outside the country. Under Irish law a bankrupt cannot trade for 12 years, while in Britain and Northern Ireland they can be back in business after only 12 months.

UK taxpayers

We own 83% of Royal Bank of Scotland and 41% of Lloyds Banking Group. Both shares have been dogs this year, RBS down 48% and Lloyds 60%. We're sitting on a total loss of about £35bn on stakes originally worth £60bn. It almost makes the loss of £400m-ish on this year's sale of the "good" part of Northern Rock seem a rounding error.

Powered by article was written by Nils Pratley, for The Guardian on Sunday 25th December 2011 12.00 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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