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The World’s 20 Richest February 2018

forbes diamu

THE VERY Richest people on the planet are worth a staggering $1.2 trillion–a sum roughly equivalent to the annual economic output of Mexico. In aggregate, their riches represent 13% of the total fortune of all 2,208 billionaires worldwide. The minimum figure for admission to this august club: $39 billion, up 28% from $30.4 billion a year ago.

1. JEFF BEZOS

$112 billion UP

U.S.

Jeff Bezos

The richest person on earth, Amazon’s chief is the first centibillionaire atop our annual ranking. Shares of his e-commerce colossus rose 59% in 12 months, helping lift his fortune by $39.2 billion, the biggest one-year gain ever recorded. (The $27.6 billion increase he logged in 2017 ranks third.) Bezos also owns the Washington Post and aerospace firm Blue Origin.

2. BILL GATES

$90 billion UP

U.S.

Bill Gates

Cedes the top spot for only the sixth time since 1995. The Microsoft cofounder’s net worth rose $4 billion in the past year, but that was no match for Bezos’ epic increase.

3. WARREN BUFFETT

$84 billion UP

U.S.

WARREN BUFFETT

In January the octogenarian promoted two Berkshire Hathaway executives to vice chairman roles–a step toward a much-anticipated succession plan. Buffett, who says he’s in “remarkably good health,” continues to run Berkshire, whose stock is up 16% since last year.

4. BERNARD ARNAULT

$72 billion UP

FRANCE

BERNARD ARNAULT

Record results at his luxury empire LVMH and a deal to buy out nearly all of Christian Dior helped boost Arnault’s fortune by $30.5 billion.

5. MARK ZUCKERBERG

$71 billion UP

U.S.

Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook’s CEO faces pressure over his social-media giant’s role in Russia’s election meddling. Still, the company’s shares rose 32% in the past year, adding $15 billion to his net worth.

6. AMANCIO ORTEGA

$70 billion DOWN

SPAIN

AMANCIO ORTEGA

Most of his fortune is tied up in Inditex, best known for fashion chain Zara. Its shares have sagged, helping knock $1.3 billion off his net worth.

7. CARLOS SLIM HELU

$67.1 billion UP

MEXICO

CARLOS SLIM HELU

Slim is worth $12.6 billion more than a year ago, due mostly to a 39% jump in the stock of his telecom firm, América Móvil.

8 (tie). CHARLES KOCH

$60 billion UP

U.S.

CHARLES KOCH

In November his $100 billion (sales) Koch Industries launched Koch Disruptive Technologies, a venture-capital arm run by his son Chase; it has already led a $150 million investment in an Israeli medical-device startup.

8 (tie). DAVID KOCH

$60 billion UP

U.S.

DAVID KOCH

The Koch Industries executive vice president and his brother Charles made news in November when their investment arm put $650 million toward Meredith Corp.’s $2.8 billion purchase of struggling magazine publisher Time Inc.

10. LARRY ELLISON

$58.5 billion UP

U.S.

LARRY ELLISON

Even as Oracle faces competition from Salesforce and Amazon in the cloud market, its stock has risen 13%. Ellison, who owns about a quarter of the company, is $6.3 billion richer.

11. MICHAEL BLOOMBERG

$50 billion UP

U.S.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG

New York City’s former mayor continues to run his financial-information and media firm, Bloomberg LP. A gun-control organization he backs, meanwhile, is forming a new initiative geared toward students in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

12. LARRY PAGE

$48.8 billion UP

U.S.

LARRY PAGE

The Google cofounder, now CEO of its parent, Alphabet, has reportedly been in talks with Saudi Arabia to build a technology hub inside the kingdom. Page’s fortune grew $8.1 billion over the past year.

 

13. SERGEY BRIN

$47.5 billion UP

U.S.

SERGEY BRIN

Page’s partner as Google’s cofounder is America’s richest immigrant. Now Alphabet’s president, Brin is reportedly spending over $100 million on the world’s largest airship for both personal luxury travel and delivering aid to remote locations.

14. JIM WALTON

$46.4 billion UP

U.S.

JIM WALTON

The youngest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton sat on the company’s board until 2016. He runs the family’s regional bank, Arvest.

15. S. ROBSON WALTON

$46.2 billion UP

U.S.

S. ROBSON WALTON

Sam Walton’s oldest son was Walmart’s chairman for 23 years. He’s now one of three family members still involved in the company; he and Steuart Walton, the son of Jim Walton, sit on its board. His son-in-law Gregory Penner is chairman.

16. Alice Walton

$46 Billion Up

U.S.

Alice Walton

Wal-Mart heir; Chair, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

17. MA HUATENG

$45.3 billion UP

CHINA

MA HUATENG

Ma is Asia’s wealthiest person for the first time, thanks in part to his firm Tencent’s WeChat, a ubiquitous social-messaging app with nearly 1 billion active users. Tencent also has stakes in Tesla, Snapchat parent Snap and music-streaming service Spotify.

18. FRANÇOISE BETTENCOURT MEYERS

$42.2 billion NEW

FRANCE

FRANÇOISE BETTENCOURT MEYERS

Her mother, L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, died in September 2017; Bettencourt Meyers and her family inherited the fortune.

19. MUKESH AMBANI

$40.1 billion UP

INDIA

MUKESH AMBANI

The Indian tycoon is back in the Top 20 for the first time since 2012.

20. JACK MA

$39 billion UP

CHINA

JACK MA

Ma took e-commerce behemoth Alibaba to new heights in 2017, inking its first Olympic sponsorship and scoring a streaming agreement with Disney. Alibaba’s shares have increased 76% since last year, boosting him into the Top 20 for the first time.

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