Whatsapp, Facebook and more women were the notable inclusions on this years Forbes Rich List, writes Yolanda Redup at SmartCompany.
Bill Gates has once more topped the Forbes rich list with a net worth of US$76 billion (AUD$85 billion), with Mexico’s Carlos Slim falling to second place. While this result came as no surprise, more women also joined the ranks of the world’s richest on the 28th annual billionaires list.
Since September last year Gates’ fortune has grown by US$4 billion.
Gina Rinehart has maintained her title as the richest Australian, placing 46th on the list overall and the fifth richest woman, with a net worth of US$17.7 billion ($19.8 billion).
Since this time last year Rinehart’s fortune is estimated by Forbes to have increased by US$700 million, despite predictions late last year her wealth had fallen by US$3 billion following an earnings slump from Hancock Prospecting.
James Packer comes in at number 208 on the billionaires list, claiming the title of the second-richest Australian with a net worth of US$6.5 billion ($7.3 billion). Mining magnate Ivan Glasenberg comes in third with US$6.3 billion ($7 billion). Rounding out the top 10 wealthy Australians are Andrew Forrest, Harry Triguboff, Frank Lowy, John Gandel, Kerr Neilson, Anthony Pratt and Paul Ramsay.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made the most money in the past year, boosting his personal net wealth by US$15.2 billion to US$28.5 billion. The growth comes as a result of Facebook’s increasing share price.
Women made up around 25% of the latest Forbes billionaires list, with 172 females now part of the billionaires’ club. The richest woman in the world is Christy Walton and family — with a net worth of US$36.7 billion she ranks ninth overall. Since this time last year her wealth has increased by a substantial US$8.2 billion.
Coming second was L’Oreal grande dame Liliane Bettencourt and family, worth over US$34.5 billion, and close behind in third was Walmart’s Alice Walton, with US$34.4 billion. Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg also made the list this year, with her personal fortune equating to more than US$1 billion.
Overall the world’s super rich were dominated by Americans, with eight of the world’s 10 richest people from the United States. Well-known rich-listers Warren Buffett, the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson made the top 10, as did Amancio Ortega from Spain.
Ortega is the world’s third-richest man, banking an extra US$7 billion last year to grow his fortune to US$64 billion — up a remarkable US$26.5 billion in the past two years. He stepped down as the chairman of retail company Inditex (responsible for the Zara brand), but still owns a 60% stake in the company.
Last-minute additions to the list included Whatsapp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton, who sold their company to Facebook for a total of US$19 billion last month. Koum is expected to bank around US$6.8 billion from the sale, while Acton is predicted to be worth at least US$3 billion.