Top 7 Richest People in the World in 2011

Last Wednesday Forbes published its already famous World’s Billionaires list, and since the Top 7 Richest People in the World in 2010 was one of the first post we published when we started this blog, we couldn’t go on without publishing the actualized list. Few things have changed, and for me the most important difference is that all the Top 7 Billionaires, excluding Mukesh Ambani from India (who left the Top 7 list leaving a free spot for Amancio Ortega), increased their fortunes. This maybe a good signal that the crisis is almost over…

1. Carlos Slim Helu & family

Net worth: $74 billion

Age: 71

Title: Chairman

Organization: Telmex

Source: telecom, self-made

Residence: Mexico City, Mexico

Country of citizenship: Mexico

Education: BA/BS, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Marital Status: Widow

Children: 6

The world’s richest person for a second year in a row, the Mexican telecom mogul is also the year’s biggest gainer, having added $20.5 billion to his fortune and widened the gap between him and nº 2, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, to $18 billion. A 19% rise in the Mexican stock market, a stronger peso, and successful mining and real estate spinoffs from conglomerate Grupo Carso all contributed to the astonishing increase. He also merged his fixed-line telecom company into America Movil, Latin America’s largest wireless carrier; the Slim family stake in that holding accounts for 62% of his net worth. He has other holdings in retailer Saks and the New York Times. Recently opened a new building for his Soumaya Museum, which houses his vast art collection. It is open to the public for free.

2. Bill Gates

Net Worth: $56 billion

Age: 55

Title: Co-Chair

Organization: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Source: Microsoft, self-made

Residence: Medina, WA

Country of citizenship: United States

Education: Dropout, Harvard University

Marital Status: Married

Children: 3

Microsoft mogul, futurist and America’s richest person has, with help from billionaire buddy Warren Buffett, convinced nearly 60 of the world’s wealthiest to sign his “Giving Pledge,” promising to donate the majority of their wealth to charity either during their lifetime or after death. He is no longer the planet’s richest person, but that’s because he’s given away $30 billion to his foundation. The Gates Foundation, the world’s most influential charity, tackles tuberculosis and polio and funds famine-resistant crops to fight hunger. He is calling for “a higher sense of urgency” in AIDS vaccine development and also pushing for better tools to rate teacher performance. Gates holds 70% of his wealth in investment fund Cascade, dabbling in everything from autos to hedge funds to Mexican Coke bottler Femsa; the rest of his wealth is held in Microsoft stock.

3. Warren Buffett

Net Worth: $50 billion

Age: 80

Title: CEO

Organization: Berkshire Hathaway

Source: Berkshire Hathaway, self-made

Residence: Omaha, NE

Country of citizenship: United States

Education: MS, Columbia University; BA/BS, University of Nebraska Lincoln

Marital Status: Widowed, Remarried

Children: 3

The venerable investor’s Berkshire Hathaway climbed more than 15% over the last year adding $3 billion to his to fortune. The 80-year-old is still hunting big deals: “Our elephant gun has been reloaded, and my trigger finger is itchy.” Along with bridge partner Bill Gates, the Oracle of Omaha is coaxing America’s richest to pledge half their fortunes to charity. “Too often a vast collection of possessions ends up possessing its owner. The asset I most value, aside from health, is interesting, diverse and long-standing friends.” Buffett faked breathing problems when he was 12 so he could move back to Omaha from Washington, D.C., where his father was a freshman congressman. He had read every book about investing in stocks in the Omaha Public Library by the time he was 12. He met value investor Benjamin Graham at Columbia; bought textile firm Berkshire Hathaway 1965, and transformed it into massive holding company: food, insurance, utilities, industrials. Buffett acquired railroad giant Burlington Northern Santa Fe for $26 billion in 2009.

4. Bernard Arnault

Net worth: $41 billion

Age: 62

Title: Chairman

Organization: Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH)

Source: LVMH, inherited and growing

Residence: Paris, France

Country of citizenship: France

Education: BA/BS, Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne

Marital Status: Married

Children: 5

The Lord of Luxe easily retains title of richest European. Fortune surged by $13.5 billion as shares of his luxury good outfit, LVMH, rose by more than half over the past year thanks to strong demand for luxuries like Dom Perignon champagne, Cognac Hennessy, Tag Heuer watches and Louis Vuitton accessories, particularly in Asian markets like Shanghai and Ho Chi Minh City. The group acquired 20% of Hermes last year; Arnault insists he is a friendly shareholder but Hermes sees it as hostile. In March the Bulgari family transferred its majority holding in its brand to LVMH in exchange for LVMH shares and board seats. LVMH fired Christian Dior designer John Galliano after he apparently made anti-semitic remarks. Renaissance man also owns yacht builder Royal Van Lent, a hotel in Courchevel; has stakes in French retailer Carrefour and French tour operator Go Voyages.

5. Larry Ellison

Net worth: $39.5 billion

Age: 66

Source: Oracle, self-made

Residence: Woodside, CA

Country of citizenship: United States

Education: Dropout, University of Chicago; Dropout, University of Illinois at Urbana

Marital Status: Married

Children: 2

The Oracle chief sits atop a fortune that is $11.5 billion bigger than last year thanks to a 30% jump in the software company’s shares. In November, Oracle won a mud-slinging copyright infringement court battle against German software rival SAP worth $1.3 billion. SAP is contesting the outcome. Oracle has acquired 75 companies over the years worth $40 billion, and figured out a way to turn a profit on its latest big buy, Sun Microsystems, in 2010. One of the highest-paid executives in the U.S., Ellison reaped $960 million in compensation in the past five fiscal years, mostly from exercising stock options; he recently cut his salary to $1. An avid yachtsman, Ellison spent a decade and over $100 million on his quest for the America’s Cup, which he finally won in February 2010, beating Swiss rival (and billionaire) Ernesto Bertarelli. He is bringing the America’s Cup to San Francisco in 2013. Intends to give 95% of wealth to charity.

6. Lakshmi Mittal

Net worth: $31.1 billion

Age: 60

Title: Chairman

Organization: ArcelorMittal ADS

Source: Steel, inherited and growing

Residence: London, United Kingdom

Country of citizenship: India

Education: BA/BS, St Xavier’s College Calcutta

Marital Status: Married

Children: 2

Net profits at his ArcelorMittal, world’s largest steel-maker, are up 18-fold to $2.9 billion in 2010 due to recovery in steel demand and higher margins. Group spun off its stainless steel unit into Aperam, a new listed company, and also acquired Canadian miner Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation. It has funded a 377-foot sculpture called ArcelorMittal Orbit in London’s Olympic Park for the 2012 Olympics. Europe’s richest resident, he bought Alderbrook Park, a 340-acre country estate outside London, where he plans to build an eco-friendly country mansion for a reported $40 million. Daughter Vanisha acquired stake in Roc Capital Management, a New York hedge fund. Daughter-in-law Megha owns German fashion house Escada.

7. Amancio Ortega

Net worth: $31 billion

Age: 74

Source: Zara, self-made

Residence: La Coruna, Spain

Country of citizenship: Spain

Marital Status: Married

Children: 3

Amancio Ortega stepped down as chairman of Inditex, the $15.8 billion (sales) fashion firm in January; he still gets 87% of his fortune from his stake in the publicly traded firm. The company, which operates under several brand names including Zara, Massimo Dutti and Stradivarius, has 5,000 stores in 77 countries. Ortega also owns properties in Florida, Madrid, London and Lisbon, a horse-jumping circuit, a stake in a soccer league; and has interests in gas, tourism and banks. Railway worker’s son, he started as a gofer in a shirt store. With then-wife Rosalia Mera, also a billionaire, started making dressing gowns and lingerie in living room. Daughter Marta works for Inditex.

Source: Forbes


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    • Victor

      Thanks for your comments.
      We will be updating this blog with more posts about this topic, so please come and visit us in the near future.

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