Sir Richard Branson and family
Transport, Finance, Fitness clubs
Rank 2017

The bromance that blossomed on the waves between grinning plutocrat Sir Richard Branson and world’s hippest politician Barack Obama added years to the shelf life of the Virgin tycoon’s credibility. Branson, who shared the holiday moments with Obama and his wife Michelle on his company website, has built a brand around his charisma and as a 66-year-old grandfather – his daughter Holly has two-year-old twins Etta and Artie, while son Sam's daughter Eva-Deia is the same age – it appears he has still got it.
   The former first couple got Branson’s full concierge-to-the-stars treatment at his private Caribbean paradise islands Moskito and Necker. Surf dude Barack’s presidential career had curtailed his love of catching totally rad Hawaiian barrels for eight years, a situation that watersports brother-in-arms Branson rectified with kitesurfing lessons. The London-born magnate, who holds the record for the most people to ride a kitesurf (four), loves a contest (transatlantic hot air balloon, anyone?). “So we decided to set up a friendly challenge: could Barack learn to kitesurf before I learned to foil board?” he wrote on his webpage.
   The host lost to his guest but can console himself that business is booming. Licensing out the Virgin brand is a huge moneyspinner via his Virgin Enterprises, which is valued at £1.2bn. Last year he sold his 30% share in his Virgin America airline for £540m and among other holdings he has stakes worth £330m in Virgin Atlantic, £530m in Virgin Money and £180m in Virgin Active. His Virgin Trains, run in partnership with Stagecoach, the transport operator founded by Sir Brian Souter and his sister Ann Gloag (qv), is also worth £100m. Cash and properties valued at £1.1bn take Branson to £4.865bn this year. 

Relative Values:  Sir Richard Branson and his mother, Eve