Revealed: UK Home to 3 Out of 5 Top Non-US Universities for Most Wealthy Alumni

Totalling around 352,000 individuals, the ultra-wealthy population (known as ultra-high-net-worth or UHNW individuals) is a highly exclusive segment of the wealthy class, comprising just 1.2% of the world’s millionaires with a net worth of $30 million or more. Which universities produce or attract such wealthy individuals, and how do their alumni differ across institutions?

Jonathan Merry, CEO of, comments:

“It’s perhaps no surprise that some of the UK’s most esteemed universities take the top spots for turning out the highest number of high-net-worth alumni – but it is certainly notable just how much the UK dominates globally aside from the US. What is particularly interesting about these findings are that the mostly publicly-funded universities in the UK compete with private institutions in the US – notorious for private donations – suggesting that the prestigious education and long-standing reputation of UK universities serves them best overall.”

Here, examines the UK universities ranking highest for ultra-high-net-worth alumni.

1. University of Cambridge
(4,149 UHNW Alumni | 349 known)

Cambridge has produced many notable alumni who have gone on to achieve great success in business and finance. Baron Thomson of Fleet, who controls the Thomson Reuters media empire, is thought to be amongst the wealthiest Cambridge alumnus with an estimated net worth of 58 billion USD. Other wealthy alumni include Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of the WPP advertising empire, and Lord Bilimoria, founder of Cobra Beer. Additionally, Andrew Christopher Currie and John Reece, both INEOS executives, have fortunes of 7.7 and 7.65 billion USD, respectively.

2. University of Oxford
(3,356UHNW Alumni | 327 known)

Among the notable wealthy alumni of Oxford are Rowan Atkinson, who is worth an estimated £110 million, and Guy and George Weston, who have an estimated net worth of over £10 billion. Guy and George Weston are joint owners of holding company Wittington Investments, along with other family members.

3. London School of Economics
(2,017 UHNW Alumni | 205 known)

The school’s notable alumni include George Soros, the billionaire investor and philanthropist who founded Soros Fund Management, and Michael Edward Platt, who studied civil engineering at Imperial before pursuing mathematics and economics at LSE, and is now worth an estimated $9.91 billion.

4. Imperial College London
(964 UHNW Alumni | 93 known)

Notable alumni include Michael Birch, who studied physics and founded social networking website Bebo. He sold the website to AOL in 2008 for $850 million, and later bought it back for $1 million. Another notable alumni is Ian Read, who studied chemical engineering at Imperial and is currently the executive chairman of Pfizer Inc., with an estimated net worth of $154.42 million.

5. London Business School
(747 | 78 known)

Jim Ratcliffe, who received his MSc in Finance from LBS, is one of the wealthiest alumni with an estimated net worth of $25 billion USD. Another notable alumni is Idan Ofer, who earned his MBA in the 1980s and is the founder of Eastern Pacific Shipping and principal of the Quantum Pacific Group, with a net worth of $11 billion USD.

Other interesting findings:

– Most UHNW alumni (75%) have self-made fortunes
– Out of the top 20 universities with the highest number of UHNW alumni, only four are situated outside of the United States on a global scale, with two (Oxford and Cambridge) located in the UK

– Five UK institutions make it into the top 15 non-US universities with the most UHNW alumni

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