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The 20 Richest People in the World in 2019

Jeff Bezos

Earlier this year, Forbes treated us to its annual rundown of the richest people in the world. Despite the average size of fortunes being down on last year, there’s clearly still a lot of money to be made out there, with a record 607 US citizens now claiming the title of billionaire. Of those, there are few surprises at the top, with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos making it once again to the number one spot, and Bill Gates in hot pursuit. To see who else makes the list, keep reading.

20. Ma Huateng Net Worth - $38.8 Billion

He may only rank at number 20 on our list of the world’s richest, but with a net worth of $38.8 billion, you’re unlikely to see Ma Huateng queuing at your local food bank anytime soon. The Chinese business magnate heads up the internet giant, Tencent Holding, a company he created back in 1998 along with four classmates from Shenzhen University. Repeatedly ranked as one of the most powerful and influential people in the world by Time and Forbes, Ma has often been described as “an aggressive acquisitor” in the style of Warren Buffet… although he still has some way to go if he wants to catch up with Buffet in the billionaire league table.

19. Steve Ballmer Net Worth - $41.2 Billion

Steven Ballmer’s fortune comes off the back of his long career at Microsoft: after joining the company in 1980, he worked through the ranks until he reached the position of CEO in 2000. After steering the company through the crash of the early nineties, and its subsequent efforts to see off competition from the likes of Google and Apple, Ballmer stepped down from the position in 2014. While he may not be actively involved in the software giant anymore, his time with them has ensured a net worth of around $41.2.

18. Rob Walton Net Worth - $44.3 Billion

As the eldest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton, you could say Rob Walton was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Be that as it may, a quick glance at his resume will tell you he’s not simply been idling away his inheritance for the past 50 years, After assuming the chairmanship of Walmart after his father’s death in 1992, Walton led the company for almost 25 years, steering it through a period of rapid expansion and unprecedented profits. Despite retiring in 2015, Walton continues to see a return on his years of service thanks to the almost 50% stake he, along with his siblings, own in the company.

17. Alice Walton Net Worth - $44.4 Billion

The second Walmart to enter our list is Sam Walton’s only daughter, Alice. Unlike her siblings, Walton decided to eschew a career in the family business for one in the art world instead. In addition to owning one of the largest and most valuable personal art collections in the country, she’s enjoyed considerable success as the founding owner of Crystal Bridge Museum of American Art.

16. Jim Walton Net Worth - $44.6 Billion

The third entry from the Walton family comes with the youngest sibling, Jim. Like his older brother David, Jim followed his father into the family business; after several years as CEO of Arvest Bank, he currently serves as chairperson of both Arvest and Community Publishers Inc. Walton is believed to own around 152 million of Walmart shares, a fact that no doubt contributes to his hefty net worth.

15. Francois Bettencourt Meyers and Family Net Worth - $49.3 Billion

She may only be 15th on our list of the world’s richest, but when it comes to ranking the richest women in the world, Francois Bettencourt Meyers takes the top spot. As the granddaughter of L’Oreal founder Eugene Shueller, Bettencourt (along with her extended family) owns a 33% in the ever-profitable skincare brand. In addition to serving on L’Oréal’s board and chairing the family holding company, Bettencourt Meyers has enjoyed considerable success as the author of several publications on religion.

14. Sergey Brin Net Worth - $49.8 Billion

Back in 1998, Sergey Brin decided to place his Stanford University studies on hold in favor of working alongside fellow Stanford student Larry Page in the creation of Goggle. Given that both men now rank as two of the richest in the world, we’d say the decision paid off. Brin currently serves as the president of Google’s parent firm, Alphabet, an industry giant that ranks as the 5th largest technology company in the world.

13. Mukesh Ambani Net Worth: $50 Billion

Mukesh Ambani may only be the 13th richest billionaire in the world, but in India, he’s number one. Ambani currently head up Reliance Industries, a conglomerate founded by Ambani’s father in 1996; following Ambani Senior’s death in 2002, Mukesh and his younger brother Anil took control of the family empire. In addition to heading up some of the largest telecommunications, retail, and petrochemical companies in India, Ambani also owns the Indian Premier League franchise, Mumbai Indiana, and is the founding owner of the football league, Indian Super League.

12. David Koch Net Worth - $50.5 Billion

Along with his brother Charles (who, coincidentally enough, features next on our list), David Koch owns a majority interest in Koch Industries, a company which, with revenues of $110 billion-plus, ranks as the 2nd largest privately held company in America. Until 2018, Koch operated as vice president of the company; since stepping down from the role, he continues his affiliation with the company under the title of director emeritus.

11. Charles Koch Net Worth - $50.5 Billion

The second Koch to enter the list is David’s brother, Charles. Charles has served as chairman and CEO of Koch Industries since 1967, and currently owns a 42% stake in the company. Nepotism may be a dirty word, but in the Koch family, it’s a given: Charles’ son, Chase, is continuing the family’s legacy be heading up the company’s venture capital arm (although it may be some time before he catches up with the considerable wealth of his father and uncle).

10. Larry Page Net Worth -$50.8 Billion

Along with Sergey Brin, Larry Page is the mastermind behind Google. After developing the company with Brin back in 1998, Page took the helm as CEO of Goggle and its parent company, Alphabet. After stepping down from the role in 2001, he resumed the leadership position again in 2011 and currently presides over Alphabet and all its subsidiaries.

9. Michael Bloomberg Net Worth - $55.5 Billion

In 1981, Michael Bloomberg co-founded the financial services and media giant, Bloomberg LP. 38 years later, he still owns an 88% share in the business and is sitting on a very pretty fortune thanks it is annual revenues of $9 billion-plus. In addition to his business activities, Blomberg has maintained a keen interest in polices since serving three consecutive terms as the 108th mayor of New York City. Previously a Republican, Bloomberg switched party allegiance in 2018 and has since committed $500 million to turn Donald Trump out of office in the 2020 presidential elections.

8. Mark Zuckerberg Net Worth - $62.3 Billion

Love it or loathe it, Facebook is here to stay, and despite the recent controversies, so is Mark Zuckerberg. He may still have a thing or two to learn about the meaning of “privacy”, but there’s not a lot Zuckerberg doesn’t already know about making money. Since creating Facebook in his Harvard University dorm room in 2004, he’s gone from cash strapped student to one of the world’s richest men. He may have pledged to give away 99% of his shares over his lifetime with the Giving Pledge, but with a net worth of $62.3 billion, it’s unlikely we’ll see him on Pauper Street anytime soon.

7. Larry Ellison Net Worth - $62.5 Billion

The routes of Larry Ellison’s wealth can be traced back to 1977 when he co-founded the software firm Oracle in response to a growing demand for CRM databases. Despite stepping down from the CEO position in 2014, Ellison continues his association with the company through his roles as chairman of the board and chief technology officer. Outside of his activities with Oracle, Ellison sits on the board of directors at Tesla, is heavily involved in the operation of his 2018 wellness startup Sensei, and, in his downtime, competes in competitive yachting competitions.

6. Amancio Ortega Net Worth -$62.7 Billion

Spanish billionaire Ortega made his fortune as the founder of the Inditex fashion group, which is best known in Europe as the parent company of the hugely popular chain of clothing stores, Zara. Today, Ortega retains a 60% interest in the company and has made substantial returns on his real estate investment over Europe and the US. Like most of the personalities on our list, Ortega is a noted philanthropist and is believed to have contributed over 300 million euros towards cancer research and treatment in his home country of Spain.

5. Carlos Slim Helu and Family Net Worth- $64 Billion

As the richest man in Latin America, Carlos Slim Helu presides over a vast business empire and an even vaster fortune. He, along with his family, owns America Movil, the largest and most profitable telecom firm in Latin America. They also have fingers in the pies of pretty much every other industry out there, from real estate to consumer goods, mining to construction. Since 2016, he’s been pulling in a tidy salary as the largest solo shareholder of The New York Times company… something that’s no doubt helped him along the way to a tidy $64 B fortune.

4. Bernard Arnault and Family Net Worth - $76 Billion

Bernard Arnault presides over an empire that includes some of the most recognizable brands on the plant… Louis Vuitton, Sephora, Christian Dior, Celine, Kenzo, Marc Jacobs, Fendi, DKNY: through his luxury goods group, LVMH, Arnault owns them all. The consumer interest in luxury goods is clearly in no danger of waning anytime soon; helped in no small part by the resurgence of the Chinese market, LVMH reported record growth in both sales and profits over 2018., leading to a corresponding hike in the fortunes of Arnault.

3. Warren Buffet Net Worth -$82.5 Billion

Like Bill Gates (the next contender on our list), Warren Buffet is as recognized for his philanthropy as he is his business successes. The “Oracle of Omaha” began investing in stock at the age of 11; all these years later, he’s still investing via his company, Berkshire Hathaway, albeit on a much larger scale. Ranked by many as one of the most successful investors of all time, Buffet is committed to giving back to the community and, like Gates and Sergey Brin, has pledged to give away at least half of his wealth during his lifetime. Given that he donated at least $3.4 billion to charitable causes in 2018 alone, he seems well on his way to doing it.

2. Bill Gates Net Worth – $96.5 Billion

Even the most die-hard technophobes are unlikely to be scratching their heads over the next addition to our list. Bill Gates has been at the forefront of information systems and technology since 1975, the year he and Paul Allen jointly formed the software giant Microsoft. Since then, he may have whittled his stake in Microsoft down to just over 1%, but it’s done little to diminish his considerable fortune. Neither has his many charitable donations: as co-chair of the world's largest private charitable foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates has donated huge portions of his own personal wealth to assist the foundation’s efforts in improving global health. Despite his pains, he’s still been left with a mammoth $96.5 B net worth.

1 Jeff Bezos Net Worth - $131 Billion

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos may have lost a 4% slice of his Amazon shares during his recent divorce to wife, MacKenzie, but it’s clearly done little harm to his finances. Even after the loss, the self-made billionaire retains a 12% slice in the e-commerce giant, which recorded $230 billion in revenues in 2018 and a $7 billion hike in net profits over the previous year. In addition to the income he’s drawing from Amazon, Bezos is also clearing a healthy profit with his other ventures, The Washington Post and Blue Origin.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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