Simon Nixon, the founder of Moneysupermarket.com, has become a billionaire, according to The Sunday Times Rich List 2016.

The former Chester resident, who co-founded the comparison website in Ewloe in 1999, sold the last of his shares in the business last month.

He has earned £551m from share sales since the business was floated.

With properties valued at £310m and stock market investments worth £490m, Nixon has achieved billionaire status for the first time this year, valued at £1.026bn. This is up £81m on last year.

Nixon, who relocated to Jersey in 2013 and put his £1.65m house in Boughton up for sale last year, also runs a luxury holiday homes business called Simon Escapes.

The Duke of Westminster, who is worth £9.35bn, an increase of £790m on last year, tops the north west list once again.

The Duke’s Grosvenor Group property company reported record profits of £682m and at the end of 2014 had £5.5bn of development work in the pipeline.

Related story: Duke of Westminster heads North West wealth league

While his fortune is grounded on 300 acres of Mayfair and Belgravia, in London, he also owns 165,000 acres of rural land, a dairy farm and the Chester Grosvenor Hotel.

A £500m sister hotel to the Hong Kong Peninsula is to be built in Belgravia on land belonging to the Grosvenor Group.

The full Sunday Times Rich List, which charts the wealth of the 1,000 richest people in the UK and the 250 richest in Ireland, will be published by the newspaper on Sunday.

Related story: Simon Nixon sells final shares for £124m