UK's first 'digital billionaire' created

Charles Dunstone, the founder of Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk, has become the UK's first digital billionaire, according to figures released today.

Charles Dunstone, the founder of Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk, has become the UK's first digital billionaire, according to figures released today.

His wealth has increased by 66% to £1bn (€1.12bn) over the past year, catapulting him into the top 100 of the Sunday Times Rich List, which is due to be published this weekend.

The 46-year-old started Carphone Warehouse in 1989 with £6,000 (€6,756) of his own savings and built it up to a company big enough to float on the stock market in 2000.

He remains chairman of the phone retailer and of telecoms provider TalkTalk, which was demerged from Carphone last year, and has retained considerable stakes in both companies.

Mr Dunstone tops a list of 23 digital millionaires to be revealed in the supplement.

The success of internet shopping has tripled the fortunes of Johnnie Boden, founder of online retailer Boden, and Nick Robertson, founder of Asos. They are worth £310m (€349.08m) and £177m (€199.3m) respectively.

Richard Goulding and Simon Perree are worth £160m (€180.2m) each through their stakes in Jersey-based online DVD retailer Play.com.

Hayley Parsons, 37, is a new entry to the list with a £95m (€107m) fortune from price comparison website Gocompare.com.

A list of online gambling millionaires is topped by father and daughter Peter and Denise Coates, whose ownership of Bet365 gives them a combined fortune of £750m (€844.5m). Mr Coates is also chairman of Stoke City Football Club.

Banking heir Nat Rothschild has risen to be joint-top of a list of hedge fund managers after trebling his wealth over the past year.

The son of legendary financier Lord Rothschild is "easily" worth £1bn (€1.12bn) compared to £330m (€371.6m) a year ago.

He launched his Atticus Capital hedge fund in 1995 while working at Lazards in the City. He has pulled off spectacular deals from his base in Switzerland, including the recent creation of Vallar Resources, a coal mining group with a prominent Indonesian business dynasty. He has a stake in controversial commodities trader Glencore.

The dramatic increase in his fortunes shoots him to number 67 on the Rich List, up from 204th place the previous year.

Robert Miller, who co-founded the Duty Free Shoppers chain in 1960, also jointly tops the list of hedge fund managers.

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