Most politicians have risen to the top of their parties because they are savvy and they have the financial backing to get there. Have you ever wondered just how much the top leaders are worth?
While there is generally a hefty salary included, along with great benefits for their stint in public office, the majority of them either come from old money in the family or have made other investments.
There are few poor people who make it far in politics these days. We've compiled a list of the 20 richest politicians in the world. It may surprise you to find out that Nelson Rockefeller came in at number 21, not making the list.
20. Michael Ashcroft of Britain - Net Worth: $1.5 Billion
Michael Ashcroft is a well-known politician in Britain. In addition, he is a business man who has built up a security company that has expanded into one of the world's biggest corporations in the security sector.
The corporation included the ADT security company until it was purchased in 1997 by the Tyco International corporation. They paid a whopping $6.7 billion for it.
19. Sonia Gandhi of India - Net worth: $2 Billion
Gandhi is an old name in India. Sonia Gandhi is the chief of the Congress Party in India. She resides in New Delhi. She rules as the president of the Indian National Congress. She is indeed a wealthy woman who possesses a great deal of political authority, but her life has been far from comfortable.
Sonia is the widow of former Prime Minister for India Rajiv Ghandi. He was killed by an assassin in 1991. Immediately after Rajiv's murder, Sonia began receiving telephone calls from prominent congressional leaders who urged her to participate in a government takeover.
She resisted their requests for six years, but finally relented in 1997. She joined the political arena and by 1998, she was elected to the office of Congress Party President.
18. Meg Whitman Of The United States of America - Net worth: $2.2 billion
Meg Whitman was the Republican gubernatorial candidate for the state of California. She made a strong showing in her bid to gain office, but she lost the race in the 2010 election. Whitman currently serves as the CEO of the Hewlett-Packard Corporation. She is no longer interested in running for office, but she is a politician nonetheless.
17. Sebastian Pinera of Chile - Net worth: $2.5 Billion
Sebastian Pinera is a well known political figure world wide. Prior to being elected to the office of President of Chile, he made a vow to sell his vast holdings. He had significant investments in the television and airlines industries.
These were not just promises made to gain the seat of the highest office in the land. He kept his promise and the proceeds raised his net worth to their current amount.
He is currently the immediate past President because some of his decisions were not popular with the younger generation and there were tragic fires within the national forests in the land, his approval dropped to an all time low for any president in the history of Chile.
16. Tom Golisano of The United States - Net worth: $3 Billion
Tom Golisano was a gubernatorial candidate for the position of Mayor of New York City on three different occasions. He failed to win the elections on all three attempts, but he remains highly active, working teh charitable organizations. He established a foundation that is geared towards assisting people with developmental disabilities. The programs provide the help that they need to function at their highest possible levels in society.
15. Naguib Sawiris of Egypt - Net worth: $3 Billion
Naguib Sawiris is an Egyptian billionaire who has taken an active interest in promoting free markets. He also supports a secular government within the country. Sawiris founded the Free Egyptians Party for which he received world-wide press.
He is an influential politician who has a sense of humor that is not appreciated by everyone. He used social media to display a picture of Mickey Mouse after drawing a beard on it. There was a bit of an uproar in the Islamic community because they felt that his gesture was an insult to their faith.
14. Henry Ross Perot, Sr. of The United States - Net worth: $4.1 Billion
Henry Ross Perot, Sr. campaigned and ran for President of the United States on two occasions. He achieved the level of presidential candidate on both attempts. Perot funneled a total of sixty million dollars into his first run in 1992.
He only gained a disappointing nineteen percent of the vote. He tried it again a few years later, founding his Reform Party, which didn't give him the numbers that he needed. After his second failure, Perot left the political arena. He still has a sizeable net worth.
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13. Donald Trump of The United States - Net Worth: $4.5 Billion
Donald Trump was a business man and was known for his shrewdness for many years. He also became a celebrity figure, appearing on television shows and involving himself in high stakes beauty pageants.
The mogul has always been an outspoken figure, but only recently turned his eyes towards the political arena. Donald Trump is a controversial political figure who gained enough votes to be elected President of the United States, despite his outspoken views that lack the polish and political correctness of most politicians.
He is very direct with his opinions and seldom backs down. He is a no-nonsense president that has been in an ongoing bicker-fest with the media. His fortune is largely from his golf courses, hotels, resorts, product licensing and real estate investments which bring his current fortune to $4.5 billion.
12. Savitri Devi Jindal of India - Net Worth: $4.8 Billion
Savitri Jindalis the widow of the Jindal Steel and Power Limited Chairperson. Her interest place her net worth at just under $5 Billion. Savitri Jindalis once served as a Minister in the Haryana government. She was also a member of the legislative assembly. She made a bid for office in the recent elections as a member of the INC political party. She was was unsuccessful in winning the election.
11. Lu Guanqiu of China - Net Worth: $6.3 Billion
Lu Guanqiu is a delegate to the Chinese National People's Congress. He is also known as the richest person in the province of Zhejiang. Lu Guangiu founded an auto manufacturer known as the Wanxiang Group. He went on to diversity his portfolio of investments, getting into real estate and solar power ventures.
10. Silvio Berlusconi of Italy - Net worth: $6.3 Billion
Silvio Berlusconi served as Italy's Prime Minister from 2008 though 2011. When he was in office, he became a controversial politician. The Italian economy went into a decline and his run in office was characterized with scandals and discontent from the citizens who were not pleased with his rule. He needed up resigning the office.
He is currently under investigation by law enforcement on charges of tax fraud. Berlusconi denied the accusations, but his future remains uncertain. Regardless of these facts, he still has a current net worth of $6.3 Billion.
9. Suleiman Kerimov of Russia - Net Worth: $7.2 billion
Suleiman Kerimovserves as the Deputy Director General of Soyz-Finance. He earned his degree in financial accounting and also worked as assistant Director General and economist. His political career began after he amassed his wealth. He joined the political arena as a member of the Federal Assembly of Russia in the lower house. He is known as the richest Russian civil servant.
8. Mikhail Prokhorov of Russia - Net worth: $8.6 Billion
Mikhail Prokhorov was a candidate for the office of the president of Russia. He is a well known business and political figure throughout the world. Just prior to the collapse of the Right Cause movement, he withdrew. He lost his bid for the presidency to Vladimir Putin.
7. Serge Dassault of France - Net worth: $16.3 Billion
Serge Dassault served as CEO and chairman of Groupe Dassault, He was the heir that inherited Groupe Dassault, which is a French corporation that was a conglomeration of smaller business that were built up by his patriarch, Marcel Dassault. Serge was a French senator who also sat in the seat of Corbeil Essones as mayor. During his mayoral campaign it was discovered that he was giving valuable items to voters, which was an illegal act. Dassault was removed from office for the infractions in 2009.
6. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of UAE - Net worth: $18 Billion
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has been involved in the rapid growth of modern Dubai. He is the owner of nearly every enterprise that the Dubai Holding controls. His official political offices inclue vice president of the United Arab Emirate as well as their prime minister. In addition he holds the titles emir of Dubai and is known by the title Sheikh Mohammed.
His goals have been to make the United Arab Emirate one of the greatest countries on earth. These are lofty goals, but his efforts are moving the country towards the goal. A glance at the phenomenal success of Dubai gives us an idea of how effective he is in reaching his goals.
5. Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei - Net Worth: $20 Billion
Hassanal Bolkiah was Brunei's first and incumbent prime minister. He also holds the distinction of being the 29th Sultan and yang di-pertuan of Brueni, which are his current titles. He is the sovereign who began the enforcement of Sharia criminal law in 2014.
He is in favor of anti-sedition laws with a heightened conservative approach to Islam. the laws included the possibility of punishments for adultery to be death by stoning and flogging for anyone who consumed alcohol. Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei has frequently appeared as one of the wealthiest persons in the world.
4. Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of UAE - Net Worth: $23 Billion
Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan holds multiple politician titles including Emir of Abu Dhabi, President of the United Arab Emirate and Sheikh Khalifa. He is a philanthropist who is well known throughout the world.
It was when his father died that he gained the title Emir of Abu Dhabi. Simply gaining this title meant that he automatically became the president. This leader is in charge of a sovereign wealth fund that is the second largest in the world. The assets of the fund have been reported at $773 billion.
3. Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand - Net Worth: $30 Billion
Bhumibol Adulyadej has the distinction of being a head of state that is the longest known to be in service in the world. He is known by several titles including the King of Thailand, also known as Rama IX, and the ninth monarch of the Chakri Dynasty. He rules over the country in the Monarchy fashion. His net worth is estimated at $30 billion which places him as the richest royal in the world.
2. Michael Bloomberg of The United States of America - Net worth: $49.8 Billion
Michael Bloomberg is well known for his work regarding equal rights issues. His term as Mayor of New York City was controversial. He started out early in his career with Salomon Brothers, which is a company that he established in 1081.
He is also the CEO as well as the founder of Bloomberg L.P. He's actually done quite well for himself, securing the position of second richest politician in the world.
1. Vladimir Putin of Russia - Net worth: $200 Billion
Vladimir Putin is the President of Russia and he also holds the distinguished position of being the number one richest politician in the world. Putin was elected to office in 2012 and is the current leader of the country.
He has had a long and prosperous political career in the country. Prior to his win in the presidential run, he was the Prime minister of the country from 1999 to 2000. It was in 2000 that he served as president for an eight year term, then again as Prime Minister again from 2008 until he again won his next campaign for the presidency.
Putin is considered to be the most powerful man in the world. He has wealth, intelligence and a demeanor that makes him a force to be reckoned with. With a net worth of $200 Billion, the man has enough money at his disposal to buy practically anything that he wants or needs.
You can also read:
- The 20 Richest Pastors in the World
- The 20 Richest Countries in Europe
- The 10 Richest Religions in the World
- The 20 Richest Chefs in the World
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker