The Bloomberg Billionaires Index is a ranking of the world’s richest people by their net worth, which is updated daily at the close of trading day. Here are the seven richest people in the world, and their claim to wealth.
Elon Musk - $262 billion (Dh961.5b)
The world’s richest man has always been one to garner attention, more for his eccentricities than his net worth. Musk’s unique entrepreneurial journey started with Zip2. The software firm founded in 1995 by Musk and his brother for $15,000 was sold to Compaq for $341m. He then started X.com, a fintech venture, which later on merged with Confinity to become PayPal. The $180m payout Musk received for an 11.7 per cent stake in the payments platform enabled him to invest in what now are his flagship brands – SpaceX, Tesla and SolarCity. After a 740 per cent spike in Tesla stock value in 2020, Musk became the richest person in the world in 2021 – a position he has held since.
Recently, Musk has been embroiled in a controversial takeover bid for Twitter Inc. where he proposed to buy the micro-messaging platform for $43b. In June, Musk announced he was backing out of the deal, citing that Twitter allegedly refused to share spambot account data. Twitter sued Musk with the intention of forcing Musk to follow through on the deal. The case will go to trial in October.
Gautam Adani - $144 billion (Dh528.5B)
The only businessman with a green year-to-date (YTD) change, of $71.6b, in net worth out of the top ten richest humans on Earth, Gautam Adani is one of the few non-tech entrepreneurs on the list. In a matter of months, Adani’s fortune exploded as energy demand surged and investors flocked to his businesses. In February, he became the richest person in Asia. Adani, who started the year as No. 14 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, has more than doubled his net worth. He surpassed Bezos to the second position with a gap of two billion, as of September 22.
Adani’s empire first grew out of a plastics importing business in the 1980s, and expanded into port operations and global trade. His umbrella of companies continued to diversify, with business units managing airports, mining coal and distributing city gas networks. The combined market capitalization of the Adani Group in September is over $262B.
Jeff Bezos – $142 billion (Dh521.1B)
Bezos, whose reign as the world’s richest man was put to end after Musk was enriched by Tesla’s breathtaking stock run in 2020, is best known for Amazon, the tech behemoth whose operations span e-commerce, cloud computing, streaming and more. He also owns the aerospace company Blue Origin and The Washington Post.
It was after his first venture – a news-by-fax service – failed that he started working in Wall Street. However, in 1994, emboldened by the internet boom he started working on Amazon.com. The site, built from a garage, only sold books at the time. Bezos invested $10,000 to get it up and running, with help from his wife, children and two programmers. Now Amazon Inc. stands at a market capitalization of $1.27 trillion.
In 2020, Bezos suffered a major hit to his net worth following a high-profile divorce from ex-wife MacKenzie Scott. Scott reportedly received 25 per cent of Bezos’s Amazon stocks as part of the divorce settlement, making her one of the wealthiest women in the world.
Bernard Arnault - $137 billion (Dh502.8B)
The net worth of Bernard Arnault, chief of LVMH, plunged by $40.2 billion YTD to $138 billion in September 2022. LVMH is the owner of top luxury brands including Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Dom Perignon, Moët et Chandon, Hennessy, Sephora, and TAG Heuer. The Arnault family has a 48 per cent stake in LVMH, according to a regulatory filing.
Arnault began his career in the family’s civil engineering company but his sights were always set, it would emerge on high fashion and luxury. In 1984, Arnault famously took over Boussac, a bankrupt French conglomerate that then owned The House of Dior. His next moves, while bold, made him infamous. Arnault invested in LVMH, a merger between Moët Hennessy and Louis Vuitton, in 1987. Using an internal feud to his advantage, He grabbed controlling stake in LVMH and ousted the CEOs, becoming the majority shareholder, chairperson and CEO of the company.
Bill Gates - $110 billion (Dh403.7B)
Once the richest man in the world, Bill Gates recently pledged again to give his wealth away, adding that he would eventually ‘drop off’ the world’s rich list. After dropping out of Harvard, Gates went on to start Microsoft with Paul Allen, his childhood friend, in 1975. The company went public in 1986, remains to this day one of the biggest software firms in the world, and is now worth over $2 trillion in market cap. Gates owns just over one percent stake in Microsoft, worth over $26 billion.
Gates and ex-wife Melinda co-chair the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that, by some measures, is the largest private foundation in the world. It is best known for its work on global health, including vaccines. It began in its current form in 2000, after Gates left his CEO position at Microsoft.
Warren Buffet - $94.6 billion (Dh347.1B)
Warren Buffet famously filed his first tax return at the age of 14. He is known as the ‘Oracle of Omaha’ and is regarded the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) when it comes to investing for wealth generation. Buffet built up his portfolio with a buy-and-hold strategy, and focused on investing in undervalued companies.
His flagship firm Berkshire Hathaway was a textile company, in which Buffet first bought shares in 1962. By 1965, he was a majority shareholder, and by 1967, Buffet diversified the company’s interests to insurance and other sectors. Now, one share of Berkshire Hathaway trades at just over $421,000, as of September 20, and the company is valued at over $705 billion. Buffet serves as the CEO of the firm.
Buffet, like Gates, has pledged to give a large portion of his wealth away to charity. Buffett launched the Giving Pledge, alongside Bill Gates, in 2010, and donated over $40 billion to the couple’s foundation.
Larry Page - $91.8 billion (Dh337B)
Yet another tech entrepreneur on the rich list, Larry Page’s story started in a college dorm room. Page, and his friend Sergey Brin, founded Google in 1998. The duo devised the unique algorithm that drives the search technology of Google. The platform accounts for over 97 per cent of all search traffic in the world. Page served as CEO of the firm until 2001, and then from 2011 to 2019, after which Sundar Pichai took over. Page holds 6 per cent controlling stake in Alphabet, worth $84.4 billion.
Google bought Android in 2005, and video streaming platform YouTube in 2006. It was in 2015 that the company was reorganized under the parent company, Alphabet. Google’s other investing interests lie in robotics, life sciences, healthcare, and anti-aging.
*All data as of September 22*