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The Forbes 400 List

A billion dollars is not enough to make it to the list any more

Published: Oct 5, 2013 05:27:48 AM IST
Updated: Oct 18, 2013 12:14:19 PM IST

While the rich got richer in 2013, the mega-rich got mega-richer. The 20 richest Americans saw their worths swell 20 percent to $636 billion. And while the Top 10 held serve, surprises filled the next rung. (Welcome back, Zuck!)

The Forbes 400 List
1.  Bill Gates
$72  bln  AGe: 57
Source: Microsoft, Investments
SELF-MADE

Gates remains atop The Forbes 400, a perch he’s held since 1994, despite giving away $28 billion, most of it to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In April, bolstered his foundation’s efforts to eradicate polio, securing $335 million in pledges from six billionaire comrades, including $100 million each from Mexico’s Carlos Slim and Mike Bloomberg. Shares of Microsoft jumped in late August on news that Steve Ballmer will step down as CEO; Gates will remain chairman of the software company he co-founded in 1975 with Paul Allen. Microsoft represents less than a fifth of his fortune. Gates’s investment firm, Cascade, owns chunks of tractor maker Deere & Co, Canadian National Railway and Mexican Coke bottler Femsa.

The Forbes 400 List
2.  Warren Buffett
$58.5  bln  Age: 83
Source: Berkshire Hathaway
 SELF-MADE

Neither age nor prostate cancer slows Buffett down: A year after completing radiation treatment, he is still doing huge deals. His Berkshire Hathaway picked up iconic ketchup-maker HJ Heinz for $23.2 billion in June in a deal with Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann. A Berkshire subsidiary is buying Nevada’s NV Energy for $5.6 billion in cash. Gave away another $2 billion of Berkshire stock to the Gates Foundation in July, bringing lifetime giving to nearly $20 billion. Despite the gift, saw fortune rise $12.5 billion, more than any other member of The Forbes 400, thanks to a 34 percent increase in Berkshire shares.


The Forbes 400 List
3.  Larry Ellison
$41  bln  Age: 69
Source: Oracle 
SELF-MADE

Little gets in the way of Larry Ellison’s ambition—or mouth. In a TV interview
in August, Oracle founder said that Apple’s best days are behind it after the passing of Steve Jobs, a close friend, and that Google’s alleged infringement of Oracle’s patents in its Android software was “absolutely evil”. Dream of a second America’s Cup sailing trophy dealt a serious blow in September when a jury found Oracle team guilty of cheating and docked it two points. Collector of houses on Malibu’s Carbon Beach also owns of 98 percent of Hawaii’s Lanai Island. In quest for youth has donated $445 million to his medical foundation to support research on ageing and age-related diseases.

The Forbes 400 List


 4.  Charles Koch
$36  bln  Age: 77
Source: diversified 
INHERITED & GROWING  




                

The Forbes 400 List
          

4.  David Koch
$36  bln  Age: 73
Source: diversified 
INHERITED & GROWING  
                             
The country’s richest brothers failed to unseat Barack Obama as president in 2012 but keep finding ways to drive liberals crazy. Latest frenzy was over widely reported (but never confirmed) interest in buying Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune as platforms for their libertarian views. Fortunes are up a combined $10 billion this year as $115 billion (sales) Koch  Industries steadily expands. Agreed to buy electronics components maker Molex for $7.2 billion and cellulose fibres producer Buckeye Technologies for $1.5 billion. Invested $1.5 billion in glassmaker Guar-dian Industries. Thrifty brothers reinvest 90 percent of earnings in business.

The Forbes 400 List



6.  Christy Walton & family
$35.4  bln  Age: 58
Source:
Walmart
INHERITED



The Forbes 400 List

7.  Jim Walton
$33.8 bln  Age: 65
Source:
Walmart
INHERITED


The Forbes 400 List



8.  Alice Walton
$33.5 bln  Age: 63
Source:
Walmart 
INHERIT
ED

The Forbes 400 List
 




9.  S Robson Walton

$33.3 bln  Age: 69
Source: Walmart 
INHERITED

The kids are all right. Combined fortune of Sam Walton heirs up 27 percent, or $28.9 billion, from year ago due to change in control of the shares held by their late mother’s trust. Shares of WalMart up only 2 percent. Their father Sam and uncle James started giant retailer in 1962. Now employs 2.2 million people in 11,000 stores worldwide. Siblings split more than $1.4 billion in dividends after taxes so far in 2013. Christy, the richest woman in the world, inherited her wealth when husband, John Walton, a Green Beret and medic in Vietnam War, died in an airplane crash in 2005. His side investment in First Solar once boosted Christy’s net worth well above other Waltons but lead narrowed when the stock tanked in 2011. First Solar is up 57 percent in past year, putting her firmly in first again. Jim, Sam’s youngest son, is chief executive of family’s Arvest Bank, worth $1.8 billion with branches in Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. Alice started Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville in 2011. Eclipsed 1 million visitors in under two years of operation. Its collection of American art is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Runs a horse ranch in central Texas. Sam’s eldest son, Rob, is WalMart chairman. Has endured protests against low wages and a bribery scandal.

The Forbes 400 List
10.  Michael Bloomberg
$31  bln  Age: 71
Source: Bloomberg LP 
SELF-MADE

World’s richest mayor ends 12-year run atop the Big Apple in December. Next act is anyone’s guess but will likely continue to exert his political influence on the national debate over gun control. Fortune is up $6 billion since last year, thanks to performance of Bloomberg LP, the financial data firm he founded in 1982 after being fired from Salomon Brothers. Owns 88 percent of the company, which generated $7.9 billion in 2012 revenue. Owns at least 10 homes in Manhattan, Westchester County, Bermuda, Vail and the Hamptons. Lifetime philanthropic giving is at $2.8 billion, including a recent $100 million pledge to Gates Foundation to help Bill eradicate polio.




The Forbes 400 List
 

11.  Sheldon Adelson
$28.5  bln  Age: 80
Source: Resorts, casinos               
SELF-MADE

Gambling mogul continues to hit jackpot. Booming business at casinos in Macau and Singapore lifted fortune of Las Vegas Sands chief $8 billion over the past year as shares climbed 34 percent. In August, settled a money laundering investigation by agreeing to pay feds a $47 million fine after Sands had failed to report deposits made by a high-stakes player to the US government.

The Forbes 400 List




 12.  Jeff Bezos
$27.2  bln  Age: 49
Source: Amazon.com 
SELF-MADE

Amazon.com’s founder and CEO bought a new toy in August: The 136-year-old, money-losing Washington Post. The $250 million purchase launched speculation about how he might reinvent the media business, but Bezos already knows how to lose money well. Despite operating at basically zero profit recently, Amazon stock crossed $300 for first time in July. Fortune is up $4 billion in past year. Princeton grad quit Wall Street job and moved to Seattle to sell books from a garage in 1994.


The Forbes 400 List


 13.  Larry Page
$24.9 bln   Age: 40
Source:
Google 
SELF-MADE

Google’s co-founder added $4.6 billion to fortune in past year. Shares of the ad juggernaut are up 48 percent since he took over as CEO in April 2011. Lately has been deflecting intense scrutiny on Google and other online services over accusations they supplied the US government with users’ data. Page wrote in his blog: “Press reports that suggest that Google is providing open-ended access to our users’ data are false, period.” Suffers from vocal-cord nerve issue that makes his voice raspy. Googlers created a personal synthetic voice service that could make communication a bit easier for him. A clean-energy nut, Page’s network of houses in Palo Alto employs solar panels and rooftop gardens.

The Forbes 400 List
14.  Sergey Brin
$24.4  bln  Age: 40
Source: Google
SELF-MADE

Brin lets Page run company while he oversees secretive Google X division, dedicated to breakthrough ideas like driverless cars and wearable computers such as the Glass augmented-reality spectacles he sports everywhere. Had a cameo in Google-inspired Hollywood flick The Internship. Soaring stock price led to a $4.1 billion jump in net worth since last September. News broke in August that Brin and wife of six years, Anne Wojcicki, are splitsville and that Brin is involved with a Google employee. He and Wojcicki donated $53 million to the Michael J Fox Foundation in February as part of the Brin Wojcicki Challenge to fight Parkinson’s disease.

The Forbes 400 List
 

 15.  Forrest Mars Jr
$20.5  bln  Age: 82
Source: Candy 
INHERITED




The Forbes 400 List
15.  Jacqueline Mars
$20.5 bln  Age: 73
Source: Candy 
INHERITED





15.  John Mars
$20.5  bln  Age: 77
Source: Candy 
INHERITED

Third-generation heirs to Mars, world’s largest candymaker, with $33 billion in estimated sales from brands such as 3 Musketeers, Juicy Fruit, Twix and Skittles. All three are on board of directors but have no responsibility for day-to-day operations. Combined net worth up $10.5 billion in past year. Mars founded in 1911 by grandfather Frank, who made chocolates in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen. Company invented malt-flavoured nougat that became basis of Milky Way and Snickers. Introduced M&Ms in 1941. Bought Wrigley’s in 2008 for $23 billion. Forrest Jr supports historical preservation and is trustee of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Jacqueline is a trustee of US Equestrian Team Foundation and on the board of directors of National Sporting Library & Museum. John and his wife, Adrienne, are noted supporters of the Fred W Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon.

The Forbes 400 List


18.  Carl Icahn
$20.3  bln  Age: 77
Source: InvestMents 
SELF-MADE

Puts the active in activist investor. Returns to Top 20 with net worth up $5.5 billion this year thanks to bets on Netflix and vitamin maker Herbalife, which hedge fund manager Bill Ackman called a pyramid scheme. Also challenged Michael Dell for his eponymous computer company and lost but forced Dell and Silver Lake Partners to up their bid to $24.9 billion. His nearly 90 percent stake in Icahn Enterprises LP is worth more than $7 billion. In August, 77-year-old took to Twitter to announce big stake in Apple. Shares surged 9 percent in week after tweet.

The Forbes 400 List


19.  George Soros
$20  bln  Age: 83
Source: Hedge funds 
SELF-MADE

Hedge fund legend returned remaining $1 billion of outside capital under firm’s care in 2011, but investors still carefully track his every move. Shorted yen this year and went long Apple and Herbalife. The $25 billion in his fund belongs to Soros and his foundations, which have doled out billions to human rights, democracy and education. September wedding bells with Tamiko Bolton, who is half his age. Born in Budapest, Soros survived Nazi occupation of Hungary and went on to study at  London School of Economics before launching hedge fund in 1969.

The Forbes 400 List



 20.  Mark Zuckerberg
$19  bln  Age: 29
Source: Facebook 
SELF-MADE

Zuck foils doubters in strong return to Top 20. Thanks to healthy mobile ad growth, shares of Facebook have doubled in the past year, helping to erase sting of company’s botched IPO in May 2012. Hoodie-wearing CEO expanded his influence beyond Silicon Valley with lobbying group FWD.us, which advocates for immigration reform and technology education. One of more generous figures in tech: Donated 18 million Facebook shares, worth nearly $500 million at the time, to Silicon Valley Community Foundation in December 2012 for health and education initiatives.

(This story appears in the 18 October, 2013 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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