• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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$100 billion club: Meet 15 members who hold 12-figure fortunes worth $2.3tn

$100 Billion Club 15 members now hold 12-figure fortunes worth $2.3 tn

The $100 billion club comprises a select group of individuals who possess immense wealth and wield considerable influence on global economies and societies.

Over the past decade, while the average net worth of billionaires has increased by 120 per cent, these 14 members have seen their wealth surge by 255 per cent.

This remarkable growth far exceeds inflation (32 per cent up) and the broader stock market (S&P 500 up 182 per cent), placing them on par with NFL franchises, which have seen a value increase of 257 per cent.

These 15 individuals collectively possess a wealth of $2.3107 trillion, which accounts for just 0.5 per cent of the world’s 2,781 billionaires. Remarkably, this small fraction holds a staggering 14 per cent of all billionaire wealth.

Read also: Top 10 richest men in the world worth $1.49 tn combined in Q1 2024

According to Forbes real-time billionaires, here are the exclusive $100 billion club members as of May 22, 2024

1. Bernard Arnault

Bernard Arnault Bernard Arnault, leading the luxury conglomerate LVMH, retains his title as the world’s wealthiest individual, with a fortune of $207.1 billion. His empire, encompassing iconic brands like Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, continues to dominate the luxury market.

Arnault’s wealth surged by 10% in 2023, driven by LVMH’s exceptional performance, with a record-breaking $16.5 billion net profit on $94 billion in revenue.

Cementing his succession plan, Arnault proposed adding his sons Alexandre and Frédéric to LVMH’s board in January, ensuring family control alongside his two eldest children, Antoine and Delphine.

2. Elon Musk

Elon Musk Elon Musk, known for his groundbreaking work in the automotive and aerospace industries, currently boasts a net worth of $201.4 billion. As CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, he continuously pushes the boundaries of technology and exploration, earning him recognition as a visionary.

Musk’s journey from becoming the first person ever worth $300 billion in November 2021 to his fluctuating status as the world’s richest individual has been marked by bold successes and setbacks.

While SpaceX’s valuation has surged by 80% to $180 billion, its acquisition of X (formerly Twitter) has depreciated by 70%. Moreover, Tesla’s shares have declined by 57% since late 2021.

Notably, a Delaware judge invalidated his 2018 award of Tesla stock options, currently valued at $46 billion, pending Musk’s appeal, leading Forbes to discount the shares by 50%.

Read also: 10 richest men in the world at the start of 2024

3. Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, boasts a wealth of $201.0 billion, solidifying his status as a leading figure in the digital era. Despite stepping down as CEO, Bezos continues to influence retail, cloud computing, and space exploration through ventures like Blue Origin.

This year, Bezos saw a remarkable increase in his wealth, with a staggering $80 billion surge, largely driven by a 93% rise in Amazon’s stock. Additionally, he invested $150 million in purchasing homes on Miami’s exclusive “billionaire bunker” island, marking a shift from rainy Seattle to sunny, tax-friendly Florida after three decades.

4. Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg Mark Zuckerberg, aged 39, has accumulated a fortune of $163.1 billion through Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform.

Despite a 75% stock plunge from its 2021 peak, Zuckerberg made significant cuts to staff while doubling down on investments in AI and the metaverse.

Amid these moves, shares nearly tripled over the past year, propelling Zuckerberg to his peak wealth.

Read also: Top 10 richest people in Africa at the outset of 2024

5. Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle Corporation, maintains a net worth of $154.6 billion. Even after a decade since stepping down as CEO, Ellison remains deeply involved as chairman, CTO, and the company’s largest shareholder, owning 40%.

With Oracle’s stock rising by 34% and generating over $1 billion in dividends for Ellison in the past year, his wealth has surged by $34 billion. However, his other ventures haven’t fared as well.

His investment in X is now valued at less than a third of its original purchase price, and Project Ronin, a cancer software startup he co-founded in 2018, is set to shut down.

6. Larry Page

Larry Page Larry Page, one of the co-founders of Google, holds a fortune of $147.1 billion. Despite stepping back from day-to-day operations four years ago, Page and Sergey Brin, his fellow co-founder, remain the largest individual shareholders of the tech giant.

Page, largely out of the public eye, reportedly spends time on his private islands, including Fiji and Puerto Rico locations. Brin, though semi-retired, emerged to contribute to Google’s AI chatbot models last year and was recognized as a “core contributor” during the release of Gemini in December.

Read also: Meet 4 Nigerian billionaires worth more than two African countries’ GDP – Forbes

7. Sergey Brin

Sergey Brin With a net worth of $140.9 billion, Sergey Brin co-founded Google with Larry Page in 1998 while studying computer science at Stanford University.

Together, they transformed a simple search engine into a tech behemoth, reshaping how we access information. Brin, who moved to the U.S. from Russia at the age of 6 due to anti-Semitism, stepped down as president of Alphabet in 2019 but remains a board member and controlling shareholder.

Google, under Alphabet, went public in 2004. Brin is also known for funding a high-tech airship project.

8. Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett Warren Buffett, renowned for his savvy investments and business acumen, boasts a wealth of $136.5 billion as the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.

However, Buffett found himself embroiled in a rare feud with fellow billionaire Jimmy Haslam over the acquisition price of Haslam’s truck stop chain, Pilot Travel Centers.

The dispute was resolved in January, with Berkshire acquiring the remaining 20% of Pilot for $2.6 billion. Despite this conflict, Berkshire’s shares have reached record highs, surging 30% compared to last year.

Read also: Meet the richest man ever, a philanthropist worth about $400 billion

9. Bill Gates

Bill Gates Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, holds a fortune of $131.3 billion. Renowned for revolutionizing personal computing, Gates is also a prominent philanthropist, channelling significant funds into global health and education through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

However, despite reaching near-peak wealth, Gates now ranks lower than he has since 1992. This is attributed to intense competition at the top, the costly ramifications of his 2021 divorce, and the substantial $59 billion he has donated to charity.

Notably, Gates held the title of the world’s richest person for 18 of the 23 years from 1995 to 2017.

10. Steve Ballmer

Steve Ballmer Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft, boasts a net worth of $126.5 billion. During his tenure, Microsoft strengthened its position as a tech giant, dominating markets from operating systems to productivity software.

As the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Ballmer will relocate the team to the new $2 billion Intuit Dome near LAX airport this summer. His fortune surged by $40 billion, largely attributed to the Clippers’ increased value and rising Microsoft shares.

Read also: Top 10 richest men in India worth $375.4 bn combined

11. Mukesh Ambani

Mukesh Ambani Mukesh Ambani, the chairman and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries, joined the $100 Billion Club this year, becoming the first Asian member.

His diversified empire spans telecommunications, petrochemicals, and retail, making him a titan of industry in India and beyond. Ambani celebrated his youngest son Anant’s upcoming wedding with a lavish three-day gala at a Reliance refining complex in March, attended by 1,600 guests including Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Ivanka Trump.

Reliance Industries, which owns Network18, a licensee of Forbes Media, contributed to Ambani’s soaring wealth.

12. Amancio Ortega

Amancio Ortega Amancio Ortega, the founder of Inditex, which owns Zara, has seen his fortune soar to $108.7 billion, a $26 billion increase from last year. This surge is primarily driven by a 43% rise in Inditex’s shares.

Zara’s fast-fashion model has revolutionized retail, offering stylish clothing at affordable prices globally. Additionally, Ortega’s real estate holdings, predominantly in Europe and North America, are now valued at $20 billion.

These properties, including logistics, residential, and office spaces, are leased to prominent tenants such as Apple, Amazon, and Walmart.

Read also: Here are 10 Forbes billionaires reshaping the automobile industry

13. Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg Michael Bloomberg, with a net worth of $106.2 billion, earned his wealth primarily through Bloomberg LP, a financial data and media company. His tenure as Mayor of New York City bolstered his influence in business and politics.

Recently, Bloomberg LP named Vlad Kliatchko as CEO, the first since Bloomberg returned to the company in 2014 after his mayoral terms. Bloomberg, now 82, announced plans to donate his 88% stake in Bloomberg LP to Bloomberg Philanthropies upon his death or earlier.

The philanthropy focuses on causes such as climate change prevention and public health.

14. Michael Dell

Michael Dell Michael Dell, the founder and CEO of Dell Technologies, commands a wealth of $104.3 billion. His company transformed the personal computer industry and continues to innovate in cloud computing and cybersecurity.

Dell Technologies, formed in 2016 through a $60 billion merger with EMC, returned to public markets in late 2018 after a complex financial restructuring.

Dell’s private investment firm, DFO Management, holds significant stakes in hotels and corporate credit. In 2021, Dell’s cloud software arm, VMware, was spun off and acquired by Broadcom for $69 billion in 2023, with 39% of the proceeds going to Dell.

In 2023, Dell demonstrated philanthropy by gifting over $3 billion worth of cash stock to his foundation, focusing on child poverty and supporting his donor-advised fund.

15. Carlos Slim Helu

Carlos Slim Helu Carlos Slim Helu, with a net worth of $103.1 billion, established his fortune primarily through telecommunications giant América Móvil. Once the world’s wealthiest individual from 2010 to 2013, Slim saw his peak net worth at $74 billion.

Despite being surpassed by 14 others in current rankings, his wealth has surged due to the Mexican peso’s rise and a substantial increase in Grupo Carso’s share price, his industrial conglomerate.