With the founders of WhatsApp owners joining the World’s Billionaires club, the list of top 10 richest people in the world is growing faster than seen in the last century.
According Forbes, which monitors and tallies the global richest men and women says the numbers have reached “all-time highs”.
From the 2013 Forbes Billionaires list that had 1,426 names, with an aggregate net worth of $5.4 trillion, up from $4.6 trillion in 2012, the figure has certainly added more than 100 billionaires to the club but the final figures will be available next month.
The US, which tops the list with 442 billionaires in 2013 has added anywhere between 40 to 50 billionaires this year, making it touch 500 billionaires in the nation despite the economy’s slowdown. One reason attributed to their wealth addition is their global businesses and perspective than US-centric business operations.
Asia-Pacific with 386 billionaires in 2013 is likely to swell up to 400 this year, owing to new billionaires joining from China and India.
Europe, which had 366 billionaires in 2013 is unlikely to touch more than 380 this year as the downtrend in many European nations like Italy and France with many billionaires shifting their base elsewhere for tax-saving purposes, though they deny it often to the media.
The Middle East and Africa account for 103 billionaires in 2013 and it is unlikely to add more than 10 billionaires this year owing to the multiplication effect on wealthy Arab businessmen, whose families own businesses collectively.
While few new names were added to the list in 2013 such as Diesel jeans mogul Renzo Rosso at $3 billion, retailer Bruce Nordstrom at $1.2 billion and designer Tory Burch at $1 billion, this year’s new names include WhatsApp owners WhatsApp’s Brian Acton and Jan Koum, who have signed the $19 billion deal to sell their 50-team firm WhatsApp to Facebook.
From their reported earnings of mere $20 million revenue in 2013, the WhatsApp’s top 3 owners now enter the Forbes list as the new billionaires on the planet.
Koum, who Forbes believes owns 45% of WhatsApp, thus becomesthe new billionaire worth $6.8 billion (net of taxes) now. In addition, its cofounder Brian Acton and venture capitalist Jim Goetz of Sequoia will also enter the list of billionaires’ club with more than $3 billion in assets each after the deal.
Otherwise, Carlos Slim Helu from Mexico, the richest man in the world in 2013, has slipped into the second position towards the end of 2013 with Microsoft chairman Bill Gates regaining his No.1 Richest man status in the world.
In addition, Amancio Ortega and Warren Buffett. Charles Koch, David Koch and Liliane Bettencourt and family still make it to the list of top 10 richest people in the world.
Here is a tentative list of the top 10 richest people in the world, slightly ahead of the official Forbes’ List of World’s Billionaires. However, the list is subject to revision once the official Forbes’ List of 2014 Billionaires is out.
Top 10 Richest People in the World in 2014:
1) Bill Gates ($72 Billion)
Bill Gates has regained the top position as the richest man in the world, as the shares of Microsoft jumped in August when Microsoft announced the stepping down of CEO Steve Ballmer. In 2010, Gates became the second richest behind Mexico’s Carlos Slim with $72 billion, but now regained the top position in 2014 as Carlos’ wealth slightly declined to $71.2 billion.
2) Carlos Slim ($71.2 Billion)
Carlos Slim was the richest man in the world from 2010 to early 2013, riding on the back of América Móvil, Latin America’s largest mobile-phone carrier that accounted for $49 billion of Slim’s wealth in 2010. Currently, his corporate holdings have been estimated at $71.2 billion, slightly behind Bill Gates. He had lost about $2 billion in 2012 and another $1 billion last year.
3) Warren Buffett
Share market king Warren Buffett is in the third position with $58.5 billion in 2014. The CEO and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway, he always remained in the top ten world’s wealthiest people. In fact, he was ranked as the world’s richest person in 2008, the third richest in person in 2011.
4) Amancio Ortega
Amancio Ortega of Spanish retailer Zara, who was in the 3rd position early in early 2013 slipped to fourth position early in 2014. He was the biggest gainer in 2012-13, adding $19.5 billion to his fortune just in one year. With a net worth of $57 billion, the Spanish billionaire controls nearly 60% of the company Zara’s shares, which has nearly 5,900 stores in 86 countries.
5) Larry Ellison
Next in the list, Oracle’s Larry Ellison was in the fourth position as the world’s richest man with $41 billion. In 2010, the Forbes list of billionaires ranked him as the sixth-richest person in the world and the third-richest American, with an estimated net worth of $28 billion. In
2011, he moved up by one position in the Forbes List of Billionaires as the fifth richest man in the world. Currently, Ellison is the fourth richest man in the world and third richest man in America with a net worth of about $36.5 billion.
6) Charles Koch
Koch Brothers: Charles Koch and his brother David Koch with $36 billion each, come fifth and sixth in the world’s richest men list of 2013 respectively. Charles Koch is the CEO of Koch Industries and his brother David H. Koch, and both own 42% each of Koch Industries, inherited from their father, Fred C. Koch, and have since expanded it to 2,600 times. Koch Industries is the second-largest privately held company by revenue in the United States in 2010, according to a Forbes survey and since 2012 Charles remained the sixth richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $34 billion, though his net worth is slightly down in 2014 from $36 billion in 2013.
7) David Koch
Forbes estimates Koch Industries’ sales at $115 billion in 2013, up from $100 billion in 2012. The company with big investments in refining and chemicals, is a beneficiary of the falling natural-gas prices. Its other operations include Koch’s Georgia-Pacific, manufacturer of Brawny paper towels, Dixie Cups and Angel Soft toilet paper. The siblings are each up $9 billion in 2013. Currently, Forbes estimates show David Koch’s net worth at $34 billion.
8) Liliane Bettencourt & family:
The 90-year-old L’Oreal heiress, Liliane Bettencourt, has a net worth of $33.2 billion0 billion, up $6 billion in 2013, following a surge in the shares of the cosmetic firm L’Oreal last year. Currently, her wealth, including the family is estimated to be the eighth richest in the world. Barring her family, Liliane Bettencourt is still the richest woman in the world.
9) Li Ka-shing
Li Ka-shing of Hong Kong with $31 billion is currently the ninth richest person in the world and is the richest person in Asia. The Chairman of the telecom giant Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong Holdings, he owns the world’s largest operator of container terminals and the world’s largest health and beauty retailer. His fortune jumped $5.5 billion to $31 billion, as shares of his biggest holdings all rose 10% in 2013. His group operates in 55 countries and employs about 260,000 staff worldwide.
10) Bernard Arnault
France’s Bernard Arnault is the ninth richest man in the world with $29 billion. His firm LVMH that controls fashion brands Dom Perignon, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, Thomas Pink and De Beers, slipped from the fourth position in 2012 to tenth richest person in the world in 2014.