How they made their pile: Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli

Who are they? Ernesto, 42, was CEO of Swiss biotech company Serono. He married Kirsty, a former Miss UK, in 2000, and sold the firm to Merck six years later. The couple are worth £5.65bn. The modest Mrs Bertarelli may deny it, but she's Britain's richest woman.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

How did they make their billions? In 1996, Ernesto inherited his father's pharmaceutical firm, a pioneer in reproductive treatments, and developed drugs for treating growth deficiency and multiple sclerosis. Revenue went from $809m to $2.8bn in 10 years. Bertarelli also owns Team Alinghi, winner of the 2007 America's Cup. Kirsty helped write All Saints' Black Coffee, a number one hit about her husband, and last year launched exclusive fashion brand Alinghi KB.

The secret of their success? 'If you see my boat, you will understand my management style,' says Ernesto, a man who knows technology. Money helped too. He purchased 'key members of the New Zealand team' for his Swiss crew.

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