Brocker.Org: 15 mega-billionaires who made a fortune last year

Brocker.Org: 15 mega-billionaires who made a fortune last year

0
81

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth increased by $11.1 billion in the past year.REUTERS/Albert GeaBill Gates is once again the richest man in the world, adding another $10.6 billion to his net worth in the past year. Not a bad haul, but four other billionaires actually outearned Gates in the past year. 

Using data from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which recently relaunched and expanded online to include 500 billionaires across the globe, Business Insider ranked which of the 30 richest billionaires in the world gained the most wealth in the past year.

Bloomberg’s ranking updates daily to provide up-to-the-minute data on the world’s wealthiest men and women, but for this ranking, wealth figures were used for the period starting February 28, 2016 and ending March 1, 2017. You can read about the billionaire index’s full methodology here.

The two biggest gainers in the past year were Wang Wei, who added $22.7 billion to his fortune as the founder and majority owner of China’s largest package delivery company, and Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos, who boosted his fortune by $21.9 billion thanks to Amazon’s strong performance. 

From tech moguls to skilled investors to retail giants, read on for the 15 billionaires whose wealth grew the most in the past year. 

Note that Bloomberg does not report the net worth of its founder and owner Michael Bloomberg, who does not appear on this ranking, though other sources peg his fortune at roughly $45 billion


14. TIE: Sergey Brin

14. TIE: Sergey Brin

Steve Jennings/Getty Images

Net worth: $41.6 billion

Net worth increase: $4.1 billion

Age: 43

Country: US

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Google

Along with cofounder Larry Page, Sergey Brin helped facilitate Google’s massive restructuring, which the company announced in 2015. The move put Google under the auspices of a holding company called Alphabet, run by Brin as president and Page as CEO. Google’s other ventures, such as Nest and Google X, are separate companies also under the Alphabet umbrella. 

The restructuring allowed Brin to focus on exploring inventive new “moonshot” projects and ideas. With top talent and an abundance of resources at its disposal, Alphabet has already made automated homes and self-driving cars a reality.

Brin, who emigrated from Moscow to the US as a child, connected with Page in 1995 at Stanford, where they were each pursuing a PhD. Three years later they founded Google, now one of the most powerful companies on the planet.

14. TIE: Li Ka-shing

14. TIE: Li Ka-shing

Reuters

Net worth: $30.6 billion

Net worth increase: $4.1 billion

Age: 88

Country: Hong Kong

Industry: Diversified investments

Source of wealth: Self-made; CK Hutchison Holdings

Despite humble beginnings, business magnate Li Ka-shing has become the wealthiest man in Hong Kong. After his father died of tuberculosis, Li dropped out of school at 16 to support his family, working in a factory making plastic flowers. Six years later, he opened his own factory, the predecessor to what’s known today as CK Hutchison Holdings, a vast business empire with interests in real estate, manufacturing, energy, telecommunications, and technology.

A savvy investor, Li and his venture-capital fund Horizon Ventures have backed companies like Facebook, Skype, Spotify, and the egg-replacement food startup Hampton Creek.

Two years ago, Li reorganized his business affairs under two new listed companies, one entity for property holdings and another for all other global assets. The move is most likely in preparation to hand over control of his sprawling fortune to his son, but the 88-year-old doesn’t have any plans of slowing down just yet. In August 2015, he opened the 12,000th location of AS Watson, CK Hutchison’s health and beauty-products retailer, now the largest in the world. Li’s net worth rose by $4.1 billion over the past year.

13. Larry Page

13. Larry Page

Getty / Justin Sullivan

Net worth: $30.6 billion

Net worth increase: $4.1 billion

Age: 88

Country: Hong Kong

Industry: Diversified investments

Source of wealth: Self-made; CK Hutchison Holdings

Despite humble beginnings, business magnate Li Ka-shing has become the wealthiest man in Hong Kong. After his father died of tuberculosis, Li dropped out of school at 16 to support his family, working in a factory making plastic flowers. Six years later, he opened his own factory, the predecessor to what’s known today as CK Hutchison Holdings, a vast business empire with interests in real estate, manufacturing, energy, telecommunications, and technology.

A savvy investor, Li and his venture-capital fund Horizon Ventures have backed companies like Facebook, Skype, Spotify, and the egg-replacement food startup Hampton Creek.

Two years ago, Li reorganized his business affairs under two new listed companies, one entity for property holdings and another for all other global assets. The move is most likely in preparation to hand over control of his sprawling fortune to his son, but the 88-year-old doesn’t have any plans of slowing down just yet. In August 2015, he opened the 12,000th location of AS Watson, CK Hutchison’s health and beauty-products retailer, now the largest in the world. Li’s net worth rose by $4.1 billion over the past year.

12. Ma Huateng

Net worth: $22.5 billion

Net worth increase: $4.7 billion

Age: 45

Country: China

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Tencent Holdings

Software engineer Ma Huateng (aka Pony Ma) founded China’s largest internet portal, Tencent Holdings, in 1998. He was 26. Ma’s company has a number of successful and widely used platforms in its portfolio, including QQ, its instant-messaging service, which is one of the world’s 10 largest websites; a mobile-texting service (WeChat) with over 800 million users; a mobile-commerce product (WeChat Wallet); and an online-gaming community (Tencent Games), the largest in China.

10. TIE: Steve Ballmer

10. TIE: Steve Ballmer

REUTERS/B Mathur

Net worth: $27 billion

Net worth increase: $4.8 billion

Age: 60

Country: US

Industry: Tech

Source of wealth: Self-made; Microsoft

Steve Ballmer dropped out of business school at Stanford in 1980 to join Harvard friend Bill Gates at Microsoft as the company’s first business manager, earning a $50,000 salary and a stake in the company. During his tenure, Ballmer held positions as vice president of marketing, vice president of systems software, and executive vice president of sales and support, and was often referred to as “the numbers guy.”

He became CEO of the company in 2000 after Gates stepped down, and he remained in charge of the software giant until Satya Nadella replaced him in 2014. While running Microsoft, the company’s revenue grew by 294% and profits by 181% — although its market share was surpassed by Google and Apple during the same period. Still, the early stake Ballmer acquired in the company made him immensely wealthy. 

After stepping down as CEO, Ballmer fulfilled his dream of owning an NBA franchise, paying $2 billion in a deal to buy the Los Angeles Clippers, now his main venture. 

10. TIE: Wang Jianlin

10. TIE: Wang Jianlin

Reuters/Tyrone Siu

Net worth: $31.6 billion

Net worth increase: $4.8 billion

Age: 62

Country: China

Industry: Real estate

Source of wealth: Self-made; Dalian Wanda Group

Real estate mogul Wang Jianlinwho served in the Chinese military from 1970 to 1986 before going into business, has his hands in dozens of sectors and his name on hundreds of companies through his conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group. That includes British yacht maker Sunseeker and US-based AMC Entertainment. Some of Wang’s largest investments are overseas, including upscale real-estate development projects in Sydney and Madrid 

From 2014 to 2015, Wang saw his fortune more than double from $13.2 billion to $30 billion after Wanda Commercial Properties and Wanda Cinema Line, China’s largest property developer and Asia’s largest movie-theater operator, completed initial public offerings. During that time he also purchased a 20% stake in the Spanish soccer club Atlético Madrid for $52 million and bought the World Triathlon Corp., parent company of the iconic Ironman triathlon, for $650 million.

Wang has said that his future investments lie in the culture industry, a sector he claims has no brand or profit ceilings. The Chinese businessman purchased Legendary Entertainment, the producer of “Jurassic World” and “The Dark Knight,” a year ago for $3.5 billion in cash. The acquisition gives him immeasurable power in Hollywood and is the first step in his plan to control the world’s biggest film company by revenue.

9. Larry Ellison

9. Larry Ellison

Oracle

Net worth: $45.3 billion

Net worth increase: $5.2 billion

Age: 72

Country: US

Industry: Tech

Source of wealth: Self-made; Oracle

In 1977, Larry Ellison teamed up with two colleagues from an electronics company to start their own programming firm, which landed a contract not long after to build a relational database-management system for the CIA under the project code Oracle. The project grew into what is known today as Oracle Corp., which produced $37 billion in revenue last year. In 2010, Ellison reduced his annual salary from $1 million to $1, but he still takes in more than $60 million in total compensation thanks to generous stock awards. Ellison stepped down as CEO in 2014 after 38 years on the job and took on the role of chief technology officer.

The tech tycoon is also a generous philanthropist through partnerships with wildlife conservation groups and the Lawrence Ellison Foundation, which supports organizations that research aging and global infectious diseases. He’s also a member of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge, committing to give away at least half of his fortune.

8. Mukesh Ambani

Net worth: $26.3 billion

Net worth increase: $6.3 billion

Age: 59

Country: India

Industry: Petrochemicals, oil, and gas

Source of wealth: Inheritance/self-made; Reliance Industries

Mukesh Ambani took over as chairman of Reliance Industries when his father, the company’s founder, died in 2002. The enormous industrial conglomerate has interests in energy, petrochemicals, textiles, natural resources, retail, and, more recently, telecommunications.

Ambani is the richest person in India and owns a 27-story Mumbai mansion that cost $1 billion to build.

And if Ambani’s projections for India’s economy prove correct, expect that net worth to soar— it has already grown by $6.3 billion in the last year. Five years years ago, Ambani predicted that India would grow from a $1.4 trillion economy in 2011 to a $30 trillion economy by 2030 — a bullish estimate considering that India’s GDP today stands at $2.4 trillion.

7. Bernard Arnault

Net worth: $40 billion

Net worth increase: $6.8 billion

Age: 67

Country: France

Industry: Luxury goods

Source of wealth: Inheritance/self-made; LVMH

Bernard Arnault’s LVMH houses 70 luxury brands from Louis Vuitton to Hennessy to Dom Perignon, all controlled by family parent company Groupe Arnault. By the 1980s and ’90s, Arnault, who started out as a civil engineer, had assumed control of the family business and proceeded to buy high-end fashion house Christian Dior, reviving it from the brink of bankruptcy. Like most LVMH brands today, Dior once again thrives as an industry standard bearer, helping the firm haul in a record EUR 37.6 billion ($39.5 billion) in revenue in 2016.

6. Jack Ma

6. Jack Ma

REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Net worth: $35.7 billion

Net worth increase: $8.4 billion

Age: 52

Country: China

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Alibaba

The richest person in China, Alibaba founder and executive chairman Jack Ma reportedly started China’s first internet company in 1988: China Yellowpages. He lost control of that company to a state-owned telecom in 1996 and started Alibaba three years later with just $60,000. Fifteen years after its inception, the e-commerce company broke records with a $25 billion initial public offering — the world’s largest ever.

Post-IPO, however, Alibaba’s good fortune began to slip. The company’s shares dropped 22% in 2015, most likely because of China’s slowing economy and concerns over counterfeiters using the company’s platform. Ma didn’t worry, though. He acknowledged that 2016 would be a trying time for the Chinese economy, but remained confident in Alibaba’s long-term success.

5. Bill Gates

5. Bill Gates

Susan Walsh/AP Photo

Net worth: $85.2 billion

Net worth increase: $10.6 billion

Age: 61

Country: US

Industry: Tech

Source of wealth: Self-made; Microsoft

At just 20, Bill Gates cofounded Microsoft with his childhood friend Paul Allen. Months before his 31st birthday, the company went public, making Gates a billionaire. He served as CEO of the software titan until 2000 and was its chairman and largest shareholder until 2014. Though he still sits on the company’s board, Gates is no longer actively involved in Microsoft.

Gates is not only the richest man in the world — his net worth increased by $10.6 billion in the last year alone — but he’s also the most generous. Since 1999, Gates and his wife have helmed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the most powerful charities in the world. The foundation — which controls an endowment of more than $40 billion — aims to lift millions of people out of poverty, with a heavy focus on eliminating HIV, malaria, and other infectious diseases. The couple is also working on a plan to bring mobile banking to the 2 billion adults who don’t have a bank account

He’s also cofounder of the Giving Pledge, which he launched in 2010 with good friend and fellow billionaire Warren Buffett as a promise to donate 50% or more of their fortunes. The Giving Pledge now counts Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk among its 156 members.

4. Mark Zuckerberg

4. Mark Zuckerberg

Steve Jennings/Getty

Net worth: $58.5 billion

Net worth increase: $11.1 billion

Age: 32

Country: US

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Facebook

In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg, then a 19-year-old sophomore at Harvard, launched TheFacebook.com, a rudimentary version of the now ubiquitous social network known as Facebook. Zuckerberg dropped out of college to work full-time as Facebook’s CEO, and the site quickly exploded in popularity. Today, it attracts more than a billion users daily and is worth nearly $400 billionAt 32, Zuckerberg is by far the youngest of the 50 richest people in the world. His wealth has increased by $11.1 billion in the past year. 

In December 2015, Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan pledged give away 99% of their wealth in their lifetimes through an organization called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, though some critics noted the organization wasn’t a nonprofit charity itself and found the announcement misleading.

But this isn’t the couple’s first foray into philanthropy. They donated $25 million in the fight against Ebola in 2015, and they gave $100 million worth of Facebook shares toward improving a New Jersey public-school system.

3. Warren Buffett

3. Warren Buffett

Steve Pope/Getty Images

Net worth: $77.2 billion

Net worth increase: $13.1 billion

Age: 86

Country: US

Industry: Diversified investments

Source of wealth: Self-made; Berkshire Hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett started his prodigious investing career at a young age. As a child he delivered newspapers on his bike, and by 11 the precocious Nebraska native had purchased his first shares in the stock market — Cities Service Preferred at $38 apiece — and sold them for a $5 profit. He was rejected from Harvard Business School, so Buffett went to Columbia Business School instead and learned under iconic value investor Benjamin Graham, who would become a mentor to the budding financier. Buffett worked as a securities analyst in the early-1950s before starting his own investment firm. He bought textile company Berkshire Hathaway in 1969, transforming it into a holding company that would house the many lucrative investments that helped build his massive fortune and earn the nickname “The Oracle of Omaha.”

The array of portfolio companies and investments that made him rich may appear random — he’s bet on companies including Coca-Cola, American Express, Geico, Fruit of the Loom, Dairy Queen, and General Motors — but they’re all cash-generating machines that offer long-term value. 

A frugal man with a fondness for junk food, perhaps the most impressive part of Buffett’s $60 billion fortune is that it doesn’t include the more than $25 billion he’s already given away. He’s good friends with Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, whom he collaborated with to create the Giving Pledge, a promise for billionaires to give away at least half of their wealth to charity.

2. Jeff Bezos

2. Jeff Bezos

Ted S. Warren/AP

Net worth: $73.1 billion

Net worth increase: $21.9 billion

Age: 53

Country: US

Industry: Tech

Source of wealth: Self-made; Amazon.com

Jeff Bezos earned his massive fortune by introducing e-commerce to the world. After spending time in finance on Wall Street, Bezos founded Amazon.com in the garage of his Seattle home in 1994 and operated it exclusively as an online book retailer. The company went public three years later and has since grown to include everything from furniture to food to Amazon’s own consumer-electronics products, generating $136 billion in revenue in 2016.

Bezos also has interests outside of Amazon, including investments in his privately owned space company Blue Origin, which successfully launched its first spacecraft in 2015, and The Washington Post, the newspaper he bought in 2013. 

1. Wang Wei

(photo unavailable)

Net worth: $26.5 billion

Net worth increase: $22.7 billion

Age: 46

Country: China

Industry: Transportation

Source of wealth: Self-made; S.F. Holding

Wang Wei founded China’s largest package-delivery company by revenue, S.F. Express. It recently debuted on the stock exchange, catapulting Wang onto the world’s richest list for the first time. Over the past year, his fortune has swelled by nearly $22.7 billion.

The son of a Russian interpreter for the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, Wang grew up in Hong Kong and later returned to his birthplace in China in the 1990s to launch his delivery service, according to Bloomberg. At the time, his business was considered part of the “black delivery” market and he risked being caught and fined by the country’s postal officers. The company had $7.4 billion in sales in 2015, outpacing its domestic competition, and now operates in more than 50 countries with a fleet of 15,000 vehicles and 36 aircraft.

LEAVE A REPLY

*