There’s rich in the sense of owning your own home and having the freedom to spend a little bit here and a little bit there on a few little luxuries, and then there’s rich in the sense of owning your own plane, your own yacht, and quite possibly your own island. Florida’s wealthiest people are the second kind of rich. These self-made billionaires might not be living the jet-setting lifestyle (who’s got the time when there’s a multi-billion dollar company to run?) but they’ve got the money in the bank in case they wanted to. As to who they are, find out as we count down the 10 richest people in Florida.
10. Robert Rich, Jr – Net Worth: $4.6 Billion
In 1945, Robert Rich Sr. founded Rich Products. After making waves with his revolutionary non-dairy, soybean oil-derived whipped cream, he soon started delving into a vast range of non-dairy frozen foods, including icings, cakes, pizza dough, meatballs, and more besides. In 1978, Rich Sr.’s son, Robert Rich, Jr. took over the position of president, eventually taking over the chairmanship in 2006. Today, the company generates around $3.6 billion in annual sales – as the owner of 75 percent of the company, a good portion of that ends up in Rich, Jr.’s pocket. He’s currently believed to be worth $4.6 billion.
9. Charles Johnson – Net Worth: $4.9 billion
Johnson is the former CEO of Franklin Resources, a mutual fund company founded by his father Rupert in the mid-1940s. By the age of 24, Johnson was top dog at the company. Over the subsequent decades, he developed Franklin Resources into one of the leading mutual funds in the country. According to Wikipedia, it now holds $1.4 trillion in assets under management on behalf of private, professional, and institutional investors. In 2013, Johnson stepped down from CEO to be replaced by his son, Greg. He’s also the principal owner of MBL San Francisco Giants. His current net worth is estimated to be around $4.9 billion.
8. Jude Reyes – Net Worth: $5.5 billion
According to Forbes, Jude Reyes is worth the princely sum of $5.5 billion. The source of his wealth is Reyes Holdings, a $30 billion food and beverage distribution company established by him and his brother Christopher. The brothers founded the company in 1976 after acquiring a small beer distributor in South Carolina for just $740,000. From small roots, the company has since developed into the largest beer distributor in the US, distributing around 151 million cases of beer each year. It also has a very profitable soda distribution division.
7. J. Christopher Reyes – Net Worth: $5.5 billion
Like his brother Jude, Christopher Reyes has a net worth of $5.5 billion that stems from Reyes Holdings. Outside of his business activities, Reyes is known for his philanthropy. In addition to chairing the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, he also serves on the board of trustees for Ronald McDonald House Charities. A confirmed Republican, he’s made numerous generous donations to the party over the years, including $80,200 to the Illinois Republican Party between 1994 to 2007 and $100,000 to the Republican PAC, Two Party System, Inc.
6. Reinhold Schmieding – Net Worth: $6.7 billion
In 1981, Reinhold Schmieding launched the orthopedic surgical tools company, Arthrex, in Munich. In the years since, Anthrax has grown exponentially. Now headquartered in Naples, Florida, it’s developed over 13,000 tools and products used in orthopedic surgeries and is thought to generate revenues of $2.6 million per year. Schmieding, who owns over 90 percent of the company, is believed to be worth around $6.7 billion.
5. Micky Arison – Net Worth: $6.7 billion
In 1972, Ted Arison founded the cruise ship operator, Carnival Corp. Despite having only one ship to its name, Arison’s son, Micky, saw the potential and dropped out of college to become its first sales rep. Soon enough, he was handed the position of CEO. Over the next 34 years, he grew the fleet to over 100, its annual revenue to over $5 billion, and his own personal net worth to $6.7 billion. Since stepping down from the CEO position in 2013, Arison continues to oversee the company in his position as chairman. Since 1995, he’s also controlled the NBA Miami Heat, leading the team to victory at three championships.
4. Paul Tudor Jones II – Net Worth: $7 billion
During high school, Paul Tudor Jones II worked as a writer for his father’s small business paper, the Memphis Daily News. Writing clearly didn’t hold his interest for long, as after college, he trained under Eli Tullis at the New York Cotton Exchange. In 1980, he broke away to found Tudor Investment Corporation. According to whalewisdom.com, the hedge fund now holds $44,580,108,000 in assets under management. As well as having a reputation as a skilled macro trader, Jones is also known for his philanthropy, and in particular, the Robin Hood Foundation, which he established in 1988 with the aim of supporting impoverished communities in New York.
3. Shahid Khan – Net Worth: $8 billion
Shahid Khan began his career as an engineering director for Flex-N-Gate Corporation. In 1978, he left the company to found Bumper Work, which specialized in making bumpers for customized vehicles. The business flourished and within just 2 years, Khan was back at his old employer’s door with an acquisition offer. Since then, Flex-N-Gate Corporation has grown from a small concern into the 49th largest privately-held American company and the 7th largest American automotive parts supplier. In 2020, it generated $8.89 billion in annual sales. Khan is also known for his activities in the sports world; in addition to launching All Elite Wrestling in 2019, he’s owned the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars since 2012 and the English Premier League football club Fulham since 2013.
2. David Tepper – Net Worth: $14.5 billion
Described by Forbes as arguably the greatest hedge fund manager of his generation, David Alan Tepper is the founder of Appaloosa Management, a global hedge fund firm based in Miami Beach Florida that manages around $3 billion in assets. In addition to his activities with Appaloosa, he owns the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL) and Charlotte FC in Major League Soccer (MLS). His current net worth is estimated to be $14.5 billion.
1. Thomas Peterffy – Net Worth: $25 billion
In at number one is Thomas Peterffy. Peterffy’s story is a true rags to riches one: when he arrived in the US from Hungary in the mid-60s, he had nothing to his name and not a word of English. His father, who’d emigrated to the US a few years before, gave him $100 dollars and told him to go out and make something of himself. He did. After progressing from an architectural draftsman to a computer programmer, he eventually bought a seat at the American Stock Exchange and helped develop the first electronic trading platform for securities. In 1993, he founded the multinational brokerage firm, Interactive Brokers, serving as its CEO until 2019. Today, he’s the richest Hungarian and the richest person in Florida with a net worth of $25 billion.