Meet The Members Of The Three-Comma Club

The gap between the really rich and the merely rich continues to widen, as fortunes soar to new heights. A record 2,208 billionaires made Forbes’ 32 annual ranking of the world’s billionaires. Altogether they are worth a record $9.1 trillion, up 18% from a year ago. The 20 richest people on the planet are worth a staggering $1.2 trillion, a sum roughly equivalent to the annual economic output of Mexico. In aggregate, they may represent less than 1% of total billionaires but their riches amount to 13% of the total fortune of all billionaires worldwide.

Meet the ten.

# 10 Larry Ellison – $47.4 Billion

  • Larry Ellison cofounded software firm Oracle in 1977 to tap into the growing need for customer relationship management databases.

  • He gave up the Oracle CEO role in 2014 but still serves as chairman of the board and chief technology officer.

  • As part of Oracle's push into cloud computing, it acquired cloud-software firm Netsuite for $9.3 billion in 2016.

  • Oracle moved into hardware with its 2010 acquisition of Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion.

  • In 2016, Ellison pledged to give $200 million to the University of Southern California for a cancer treatment center.

# 9 David Koch– $60.6 Billion

  • David Koch shares majority control of Koch Industries, U.S's second largest private firm, with his brother Charles.

  • The Kansas native lives in New York City, and oversees Koch's chemical technology group.

  • Koch Industries, which has revenues of $100 billion, operates pipelines, produces fertilizer and makes Dixie cups and Quilted Northern toilet paper.

  • A well-known philanthropist, David is a donor to New York's Lincoln Center and Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

  • David Koch ran as the Libertarian Party's vice presidential candidate in 1980 on a ticket with Ed Clark; they won 1% of the vote.

# 8 Charles Koch– $60.6 BILLION

  • Charles Koch has been chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, America's second largest private company, since 1967.

  • The conglomerate has $100 billion in revenues from businesses including pipelines, chemicals, Dixie cups, Brawny paper towels and Stainmaster carpets.

  • His father, Fred Koch, started the business in 1940 and improved a method of refining heavy oil into gasoline.

  • The Kansas native owns a 42% stake in the firm, as does his brother, David; they bought their two other brothers' shares in 1983.

  • Koch has funded a number of think tanks, including the libertarian Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.

# 7 Carlos Slim Helu & Family – $70.1 Billion

  • Mexico's richest man, Carlos Slim Helu and his family control America Movil, Latin America's biggest mobile telecom firm.

  • With foreign telecom partners, Slim bought a stake in Telmex, Mexico's only phone company, in 1990. Telmex is now part of America Movil.

  • He also owns stakes in Mexican construction, consumer goods, mining and real estate companies and 17% of The New York Times.

  • His son-in-law Fernando Romero designed the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City, home to Slim's extensive, eclectic art collection.

# 6 Amancio Ortega – $68.8 Billion

  • Amancio Ortega is one of the richest men in Europe and the wealthiest retailer in the world.

  • A pioneer in fast fashion, he cofounded Inditex, known for its Zara fashion chain, with his ex-wife Rosalia Mera (d. 2013) in 1975.

  • He owns about 60% of Madrid-listed Inditex, which has 8 brands, including Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear, and 7,500 stores around the world.

  • Ortega typically earns more than $400 million in dividends a year.

  • He has invested his dividends primarily into real estate in Madrid, Barcelona, London, Chicago, Miami and New York.

# 5 Mark Zuckerberg – $64 Billion

  • Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, has seen his net worth soar as the social network's stock price has skyrocketed.

  • A Harvard dropout, he founded Facebook in 2004 at the age of 19.

  • Zuckerberg started Facebook at Harvard for students to match names with faces in class.

  • He took Facebook public in May 2012 and still owns nearly 17% of the stock.

  • Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have pledged to give away 99% of their Facebook stake over their lifetimes.

# 4 Bernard Anault & Family – $78.3 Billion

  • One of the world's ultimate taste-makers, Bernard Arnault oversees an empire of 70 brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora.

  • Record results at LVMH and a megadeal to buy out nearly all of Christian Dior helped boost Arnault's fortune by $30.5 billion in one year.

  • Arts patron is the visionary behind the $135 million Frank Gehry-designed Foundation Louis Vuitton museum in Paris' Bois de Boulogne, opened in 2014.

# 3 Warrant Buffet – $60.7 Billion

  • Known as the "Oracle of Omaha," Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time.

  • He runs Berkshire Hathaway, which owns more than 60 companies, including insurer Geico, battery maker Duracell and restaurant chain Dairy Queen.

  • The son of a U.S. congressman, he first bought stock at age 11 and first filed taxes at age 13.

  • He has committed to giving more than 99% of his fortune to charity. So far he has given nearly $32 billion.

  • With friend Bill Gates he launched The Giving Pledge in 2010, asking billionaires to donate half their wealth to charitable causes.

# 2 Bill Gates – $90.5 Billion

  • With his wife Melinda, Bill Gates chairs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest private charitable foundation.

  • The foundation works to save lives and improve global health, and is working with Rotary International to eliminate polio.

  • Gates has sold or given away much of his stake in Microsoft -- he owns just over 1% of shares -- and invested in a mix of stocks and other assets.

  • He remains a board member of Microsoft, the software firm he founded with Paul Allen in 1975.

  • In late 2016, Gates announced the launch of a $1 billion Breakthrough Energy investment fund with about 20 other people.

#1 Jeff Bezos – $120.1 Billion

  • Amazon's chief Jeff Bezos is the first person to top $100 billion as number one on the Forbes list of the World's Billionaires.

  • He owns 16% of e-commerce colossus Amazon, which he founded in a garage in Seattle in 1994.

  • Bezos attended Princeton and worked at a hedge fund before quitting to sell books online.

  • His other passion is space travel: His aerospace company, Blue Origin, is developing a reusable rocket that Bezos says will carry passengers.

  • Bezos purchased The Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million.

Source and Photos: Forbes


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