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Endorsements can provide a significant boost to your Net Worth!

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Celebrities – particularly those in entertainment, sport and modelling – usually earn salaries that the average person can only dream about, but for many apparently this isn’t enough. To be fair, many are constantly pestered by companies selling all sorts of consumer products, to use their name, voice and/or face in endorsing particularly popular lines on sale, sometimes with rewards in excess of their ‘day job’ salary, sometimes for just one showing, but often stretching for years and even for ‘life’.

Clearly the celebrities are on to a good thing, and judging by results identified in the following selected list of the more notable and interesting endorsement deals of all time, so are the respective companies, but what do you think?

Brad Pitt

[one_half]Brad Pitt’s deal[/one_half][one_half_last]How would you like to be paid $4.5 million for appearing in a 60-second TV advert? Well, that was actor Brad Pitt’s deal with Heineken in 2005 – then, the American football Super Bowl is the most watched TV program of the year in the USA, so advertising slots during the show are famously expensive, but very widely viewed, so maybe the expense was worth it. Not content with that little earner, Brad Pitt was also paid $3 million by Cadillac, for advertising their product only in China![/one_half_last]

Julia Roberts

[one_half]Julia Roberts1[/one_half][one_half_last]A pretty face always attracts attention, so actress Julia Roberts endorsement of cosmetics marketed by Lancome should be a sure-fire winner, although costing the company $50 million over five years beginning in 2010.[/one_half_last]

Charlize Theron

[one_half]Charlize Theron's[/one_half][one_half_last]Likewise, actress Charlize Theron’s association with cosmetics producer Dior, worth $5 million a year to her since 2005, would seem to be an appropriate investment.[/one_half_last]

Catherine Zeta-Jones

[one_half]Catherine Zeta Jones[/one_half][one_half_last]Another actress, Catherine Zeta Jones‘ endorsement of T-Mobile – her smiling face next to the ‘phone – at $20 million over five years from 2002, is difficult not to admire on both sides.[/one_half_last]

Robert Downey Jr.

[one_half]Actor Robert Downey Jr.[/one_half][one_half_last]Actor Robert Downey Jr accepted a deal with HTC in 2013 of $12 million for one year of ads to promote their smart-phones and tablets, which judging by the Taiwanese company’s success was also a shrewd arrangement for both.[/one_half_last]

50 Cent

[one_half]50 Cent[/one_half][one_half_last]The rap music genre has gained a considerable following in recent years, so when 50 Cent – already endorsing Reebok sports shoes – was identified by Glacéau Vitamin Water on an add with their drink, they quickly offered him a contract to develop Formula 50, and including shares in the company. Coca-Cola acquired the company in 2007 for $4.1 billion, of which 50 Cent received $100 million.[/one_half_last]

Beyonce and Jay-Z

[one_half]Pepsi2[/one_half][one_half_last]Another rapper, Jay-Z spread his entrepreneurial wings to include an endorsement deal with Samsung worth $20 million, which together with his singer-wife Beyonce, whose contract with drink manufacturer Pepsi signed in 2012 and is worth $50 million over 10 years, makes the couple very well-off, thank you very much![/one_half_last]

Jessica Simpson

[one_half]Singer Jessica Simpson[/one_half][one_half_last]Singer Jessica Simpson is also a pretty face which has been put to good use – as the ‘after’ face – by skin care company Proactiv in an endorsement worth $3 million over three years. Maybe not as rewarding as some others, but if both sides to the agreement are satisfied, who’s to say that the arrangement wont be renewed?[/one_half_last]

Michael Jackson

[one_half]Michael Jackson with Pepsi[/one_half][one_half_last]One of the first and relatively most expensive deals was concluded by Michael Jackson with Pepsi in 1984, at $5 million for an indefinite period. However, Pepsi concluded a deal with Jackson’s estate in 2012 to continue using his profile on their drink cans.[/one_half_last]

Justin Bieber

[one_half]Justin Bieber[/one_half][one_half_last]Just 16 at the time, what was it about nail polish that singer Justin Bieber would be interested in? Well maybe $12 million from OPI to advertise One Less Lonely Girl – named after his song – in 2010, a considerable contribution to the net worth of the young star.[/one_half_last]

Justin Timberlake

[one_half]Justin Timberlake[/one_half][one_half_last]McDonalds is one of THE company’s of the world for fast food, but apparently a music video by Justin Timberlake in 2003 for a fee of $6 million promoted Maccas to even greater heights.[/one_half_last]

George Clooney

[one_half]George Clooney[/one_half][one_half_last]George Clooney began promoting coffee maker Nespresso in 2005 for $5 million pa, and is still going strong, and not just in the cup or mug! George is certainly one of the most recognisable big-screen actors in the world these days, but  just switch-on your TV and you’ll see him on that too![/one_half_last]

Nicole Kidman

[one_half]Nicole Kidman 1[/one_half][one_half_last]Australian actress Nicole Kidman would seem to fit in very well with perfume Chanel No 5 – in 2003 she featured in a film of just three minutes for $12 million which certainly did the product no harm at all, and further advertised the actress’ profile too.[/one_half_last]

Kim Kardashian

[one_half]Kim Kardashian-West[/one_half][one_half_last]It is difficult to know how to classify Kim Kardashian, who seems to be famous for just being famous, but her business acumen can’t be faulted. In 2014 she began sponsoring the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game with Glu Mobile for 45% of net profits. So far the game is estimated to have earned $85 million in less than two years, which makes her cut …….?[/one_half_last]

LeBron James

[one_half]Lebron James1[/one_half][one_half_last]Sports goods manufacturer Nike is one of the most profitable companies in the world, regardless of goods produced, so clearly their endorsement contracts work extremely well. Sports celebrities are actually also famous for their involvement in endorsements, none more so than Cleveland Cavaliers’ basketball star LeBron James, whose deal with Nike beginning in 2013 is worth $500 million ‘for life’, actually estimated to be $30 million pa.[/one_half_last]

Michael Jordan

[one_half]Michael Jordan[/one_half][one_half_last]Fellow (ex-)basketballer Michael Jordan has been associated with Nike since 1984, for an initial $500,000 plus royalties ad infinitum – the current estimate is that his cut from profits amounts to over $60 million pa, including from his own, separate Air Jordan shoe brand.[/one_half_last]

Maria Sharapova

[one_half]Russian Maria Sharapova1[/one_half][one_half_last]That top tennis player, Russian Maria Sharapova, is also attractive was obviously not lost on Nike, which in 2010 signed her to a $70 million eight-year endorsement contract, working out at a base $8.75 million per year, but she also receives a percentage of sales from her product line.[/one_half_last]

Dwyane Wade

[one_half]Dwayne Wade[/one_half][one_half_last]Another basketballer, Dwyane Wade, was signed by Chinese sports shoe manufacturer Li Ning in 2012 to a $100 million 10-year partnership, as the Miami Heat star is very popular in China. However, a change is marketing strategy and increased competition from Nike and Adidas has seen the company suffer considerable losses in recent years, even in its home country.[/one_half_last]

George Foreman

[one_half]George Foreman[/one_half][one_half_last]Former world heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman has long been the face of the Salton kitchen appliance company, actually since the mid-90s for a 45% cut of the profits. However, in 1999 the brand had become so big that Salton bought Foreman out for $137.5 million, although he still appears in various advertising features to this day.[/one_half_last]

David Beckham

[one_half]David Beckham, who Adidas[/one_half][one_half_last]One of the most marketable sports personalities is now-retired English soccer star David Beckham, who Adidas had the foresight to sign to a $160 million lifetime arrangement in 2003, in a deal that saw him pocket $80 million up front, plus an estimated $20 million pa indefinitely.[/one_half_last]

So what do you think – are these endorsement arrangements justified from a business point of view, and who really profits the most – the company or the individual? Who else can you think of who may be worth recruiting, and by whom? Do let us know.

As the Managing Editor at NetWorthPost, I lead a talented team in delivering compelling content on the lives and achievements of influential figures. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I oversee the production of insightful biographies that resonate with our audience. My role involves not only managing the editorial process but also conducting research, crafting engaging narratives, and ensuring the accuracy and quality of our publications. At NetWorthPost, we strive to provide our readers with in-depth profiles that offer valuable insights into the worlds of business, entertainment, and beyond. Through meticulous research and captivating storytelling, we bring to light the remarkable journeys and successes of individuals who inspire and captivate us.

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Companies & Businesses

The World’s Richest Self-Made Women Billionaires

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Contrary to popular belief, around three-quarters of today’s billionaires are actually self-made, and the percentage is growing, a complete reversal of the situation 50 years ago when statistics were first gathered, and proof if any were needed that hard work outweighs inherited wealth everytime. To put it another way, to maintain your net worth, you need to move with the times, not just leave your money in the bank, so to speak – interest earns you little at the moment anyway. In fact, the actual number of billionaires who inherited their total wealth fell by 75% in that period – in raw figures, around 75 are no longer billionaires.

woman making busines

However, perhaps unsurprisingly given that, until relatively recently, ‘the woman’s place was in the home’ even in western societies, the number of self-made women billionaires barely reaches double figures, and the richest doesn’t rank in the top 300. Surprisingly though, given cultural perceptions prevalent around the world, four of the top ten self-made women billionaires are Chinese including the richest, and three are currently resident in China. The rest are American.

The following is a list of the top 10 self-made women billionaires in the world, as of early 2016. Co-founders have not been included unless the company or organisation where they made their start was at zero. This is a snap-shot, as you would be aware that figures can change very rapidly when based on share market valuations.

10. Sara Blakely – $1 billion


[one_half]Sara Blakely[/one_half][one_half_last]

  • Born: 27 February 1971, Clearwater, Florida, USA
  • Nationality: American
  • Residence: Atlanta, Georgia
  • Start in Business: 2000

With savings earned from previous jobs, Sara founded the hosiery company Spanx in 2000, partly out of personal need, registering patents too. Major stores soon took up her products, an endorsement from Oprah Winfrey helped, and Sara subsequently made her first billion in a little over 10 years. She is now also part owner of the Atlanta Hawks NBA team.

[/one_half_last]

9. Tory Burch – $1.05 billion


[one_half]Vanity Fair Party - 2013 Tribeca Film Festival[/one_half][one_half_last]

  • Born: 17 June 1966, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Nationality: American
  • Residence: New York City
  • Start in Business: 2004

Tory worked directly in fashion for such as Polo Ralph Lauren and for the fashion magazine Harpers Bazaar before launching her own designs. Oprah Winfrey was also delighted to endorse her, and she now has 160 Tory Burch stores worldwide, as well as merchandising through over 3,000 department stores. Several fashion awards have also come her way, and Forbes ranks her in the top 100 most powerful women in the world!

[/one_half_last]

8. Sheryl Sandberg – $1.7 billion


[one_half]Sheryl Sandberg[/one_half][one_half_last]

  • Born: 28 August 1969, Washington DC, USA
  • Nationality: American
  • Residence: Menlo Park, California
  • Start in Business: 1995

Sheryl has been in management in one form or another all her working life, and is now the COO for Facebook which she joined in 2008. She is credited with developing the formal business side of Facebook, which has since seen it become one of the most profitable companies in the world, and herself a genuinely self-made billionaire from her efforts within the company. Her share options as part of salary should see her become very rich indeed within a few years.

[/one_half_last]

7. Meg Whitman – $2.1 billion


[one_half]Image:Hewlett Packard CEO and President Meg Whitman[/one_half][one_half_last]

  • Born: 4 August 1956, Cold Spring Harbour, New York State, USA
  • Nationality: American
  • Residence: Palo Alto, California
  • Start in Business: 1979

Meg has worked for Proctor and Gamble, Bain & Company and the Walt Disney organisation – becoming vice-president in both – then for Stride Right, before becoming CEO of Florists’ Transworld Delivery. She subsequently joined eBay as CEO, overseeing its rise to power over 10 years. Currently she has been CEO of HP since 2011, apparently not so successfully, but her previous track record has seen her wealth deservedly grow to its present impressive level.

[/one_half_last]

6. Xiu Li Hawken – $2.2 billion


[one_half]Xiu Li Hawken[/one_half][one_half_last]

  • Born: 1962, Harbin, China
  • Nationality: Chinese
  • Residence: London, England
  • Start in Business: 1991

Xiu Li began as a journalist before moving into finance, she is the majority shareholder in Renhe Commercial Holdings which she joined in 1996, subsequently developing and operating malls across 15 Chinese cities. She has other investments in agriculture in China, but currently lives with her husband in London.

[/one_half_last]

5. Oprah Winfrey – $3 billion


[one_half]Oprah Winfrey[/one_half][one_half_last]

  • Born: 29 January 1954, Kosciusko, Mississippi, USA
  • Nationality: American
  • Residence: Montecito, California
  • Start in Business: 1971

Always being a good talker, but orator as well, Oprah began her career on TV at the age of 17, and the rest is a history of one of the most successful talk show hosts of all time in the USA. Her own show began airing in 1986, and was ever popular until she retired in 2011. She was a millionaire at 32, and a billionaire at 35, with yearly earnings approaching $300 million, all of which was very rare for an Afro-American woman, which makes her achievements all the more laudable.

[/one_half_last]

4. Zhang Xin – $3.7 billion


[one_half]Soho China CEO Zhang Xin Interview[/one_half][one_half_last]

  • Born: 24 August 1965, Beijing, China
  • Nationality: Chinese
  • Residence: Beijing, China
  • Start in Business: 1992

Following scraping a living in Hong Kong to save enough for an education in the UK – eventually Master of Economics from Cambridge University – Zhang Xin was hired by Barings in Hong Kong, then by Goldman Sachs in New York, before returning to Beijing and founding SOHO. The company is now the largest developer of office buildings in Shanghai and Beijing, testimony to the clever, hard work of this lady who began with nothing, and now with her husband being described by London’s Times newspaper as ‘.. the most visible and flamboyant tycoons in China’.

[/one_half_last]

3. Wu Yajun – $4.2 billion

[one_half]Wu Yajun[/one_half][one_half_last]

  • Born: 1964, Chongqing, China
  • Nationality: Chinese
  • Residence: Beijing, China
  • Start in Business: 1984

A foundation in government administration, and cultivating business contacts enabled Wu with her husband to register what became Longfor Properties, in 1995. This investment holding company has interests across the major cities of China, in real estate, property development and management, with market capital approaching $9 billion, and almost 8,000 employees.

[/one_half_last]

2. Elizabeth Holmes – $4.7 billion


[one_half]Elizabeth Holmes[/one_half][one_half_last]

  • Born: 3 February 1984, Washington DC, USA
  • Nationality: American
  • Residence: Palo Alto, California
  • Start in Business: 2003

Elizabeth’s yearning to ‘…discover something new…’ led her to a research project developing a blood-testing device using only a stick, not a vial of blood. There is still considerable discussion over the validity of the testing procedures, but in the meantime Elizabeth has around 20 US and over 60 non-US patents registered to her name, and her current wealth in early 2016 is estimated at half her company, Theranos’ value of over $9 billion.

[/one_half_last]

1. Yang Huiyan – $5.1 billion


[one_half]Yang Huiyan[/one_half][one_half_last]

  • Born: 20 July 1981, Guangdong, China
  • Nationality: Chinese
  • Residence: Foshan, China

The richest woman in Asia and youngest female billionaire, a relatively small gift from her father when she turned 25 has seen her invest heavily in real estate, through her majority share in Country Garden Holdings, but recent downturns in the Chinese economy have seen her wealth dwindle in the last few years. However, she is just 34, and informed speculation is that the Chinese economy still has a long way to go in its expansion.

[/one_half_last]

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Billionaires

The World’s Richest Self-Made Billionaires

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    You will most probably be aware of who are – officially – the richest people in the world. However, you may not be aware that the majority of billionaires, over 1200 of the currently estimated 1500-plus billionaires around the world – in fact down from over 1800 in early 2015 because of falls in the stock market and the price of oil – are actually self-made; they did not begin their net worth-building with the benefit of a sizeable inheritance, or any other lump sum of money that gave them a head start in whatever business they were subsequently successful. Indeed, several started their climb up the financially profitable ladder with absolutely nothing, and from a very early age!

    History is full of people who were self-made, becoming rich by fair means or foul – in many cases the latter – but the assumption today is that people with, to most of us, such a huge sum of money must have had a leg-up somehow; not so – research and development of, and demand for technological accessories is one big reason, world wide, so IT features prominently in the list. Since around 80% of billionaires are actually self-made, what are the rest of us waiting for!?

    The following list comprises the richest in the self-made club, a snap-shot as of early 2016, acknowledging that the day-to-day volatility of share markets can have a significant effect on total wealth and therefore ranking; eg Mark Zuckerberg apparently gained over $6 billion on 27 January alone, while Carlos Slim went the other way! Perhaps unsurprisingly, 12 who make the list are either American-born or now American citizens, and no women make the top 20!

    20. Phil Knight: $22 billion


    [one_half]

    Phil Knight1

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 28 February 1938, Portland, Oregon, USA
    • Nationality: American
    • Residence: La Quinta, California
    • Start in Business: 1962

    Quickly switching from marketing Tiger sports-shoes to founding Nike in 1964, Phil ‘retired’ as CEO in 2006 to become Chairman until 2015 of one of the most profitable companies in the world. However, concurrently he became immersed in Laika (previously Vinto Studios), firstly as an investor and then CEO and Chairman, turning it into a successful film-making company today.

    [/one_half_last]

    19. Steve Ballmer: $22.5 billion


    [one_half]

    Steve Ballmer

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 24 March 1956, Detroit, Michigan USA
    • Nationality: American
    • Residence: Washington State
    • Start in Business: 1978

    To identify the source of Steve’s wealth, one only has to say that Steve was the very successful CEO of Microsoft from 2000-14, and remains the largest shareholder. However, he is still improving his net worth as the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team, which also enables him to indulge in his keen interest.

    [/one_half_last]

    18. Carl Ichan: $23 billion


    [one_half]

    Carl Ichan1

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 16 February 1936, Queens, New York City, USA
    • Nationality: American
    • Residence: New York City
    • Start in Business: 1961

    Carl began work as a ground-floor stockbroker, formed securities firm Icahn & Co in 1968, and subsequently Icahn Enterprises in 1987. He controls significant investments across many industries, including in Apple the value of which rose $8 billion in one day just from an Icahn comment! Other interests include PayPal, Xerox, and holding company Gannett. However, resource price declines saw Icahn’s wealth slip somewhat in 2015.

    [/one_half_last]

    17. Leonardo Del Vecchio: $23.5 billion


    [one_half]

    Leonardo Del Vecchio

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 22 May 1935, Milan, Italy
    • Nationality: Italian
    • Residence: Milan, Italy
    • Start in Business: 1961

    Versace, Burberry, Prada, Ray-Ban, Oakley and Sunglass Hut are just a few of the brands owned by Leonardo through Luxottica, founded in 1961 and which has become the world’s biggest eye-wear retailer, and of which he is still chairman. Considering that he was effectively orphaned, and began work at the bottom as a tool-making apprentice, Del Vecchio is an outstanding example of the self-made billionaire.

    [/one_half_last]

    16. George Soros: $25 billion


    [one_half]

    Rebuilding Economics: George Soros

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 12 August 1930, Budapest, Hungary
    • Nationality: dual Hungarian-American
    • Residence: Bedford, New York State
    • Start in Business: 1954

    A (Jewish) refugee with virtually nothing after the Battle of Budapest in 1945; graduating with a PhD from the London School of Economics – the leading ‘producer’ of billionaires in the UK – while working at any jobs he could get; securing a position in the London finance industry; moving to the USA in 1956; subsequently founding Soros Fund Management in 1970; becoming a billionaire by 1980; a real ‘rags-to-riches’ story. Along with Warren Buffett, he is recognised as an extremely knowledgeable investor, even ‘breaking the Bank of England’ through currency speculation in 1992.

    [/one_half_last]

    15. Sheldon Adelson: $26 billion


    [one_half]

    Sheldon Adelson

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 4 August 1933, Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA
    • Nationality: American
    • Residence: Boston, Massachusetts
    • Start in Business: 1979

    Sheldon is still the CEO and chairman of his beloved Las Vegas Sands casino, plus owning casinos in Singapore and Macao. Not bad for a youngster who started by borrowing a couple of hundred dollars from an uncle to buy a newspaper round when he was just 12 years old. He moved up to candy-machines when he was 16, and has seldom looked back, although not all of his 50-plus businesses have proved as successful as his current interest.

    [/one_half_last]

    14. Jack Ma: $27 billion


    [one_half]

    Jack Ma

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 10 September 1964, Hangzhou, China
    • Nationality: Chinese
    • Residence: Hong Kong/Hangzhou
    • Start in Business: 1995

    Visiting the USA in the mid-90s, Jack Ma was astounded to find virtually no information about China anywhere on the internet. He scraped together $20,000 and began developing web sites for Chinese companies – the beginning of the Alibaba group, and the start of his road to becoming the richest man in China. There are now nine companies under the Alibaba umbrella, which raised $25 billion, the largest amount ever, at its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014. Jack now serves as the chairman.

    [/one_half_last]

    14. Jorge Paulo Lemann: $27 billion


    [one_half]

    Jorge Paulo Lemann

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 26 August 1938, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    • Nationality: dual Swiss-Brazilian
    • Residence: Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland
    • Start in Business: 1966

    Although beginning his working life with Credit-Suisse as a trainee, such companies as Burger King, Anheuser-Busch and Tom Horton’s, as well as a large stake in Kraft-Heinz through 3G Capital are now the bases of Lemann’s wealth. His financial background has helped Jorge survive several reverses in the business and financial world, and maintain his position as the richest (half-) Brazilian.

    [/one_half_last]

    12. Lee Shau-kee: $28 billion


    [one_half]

    Lee Shau-Kee, Chairman Of Henderson Land, Speaks At News Conference

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 29 January 1928, Shunde District, Guangdong, China
    • Nationality: Chinese
    • Residence: Hong Kong
    • Start in Business: 1950s

    Lee was wise enough to move to Hong Kong before the communists took over in mainland China, and becoming involved in real estate in a place where land is in short supply was an even smarter move. Today he is chairman and MD of Henderson Land Development Company which he founded in 1973, but also has interests in gas and internet services. Lee is sometimes referred to as “Hong Kong’s Buffett”, a compliment indeed.

    [/one_half_last]

    11. Sergey Brin: $29 billion


    [one_half]

    Google co-founder Sergey Brin takes questions from the media following presentations at a media preview of Google's prototype autonomous vehicles in Moutain View, California

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 21 August 1973, Moscow, Russia
    • Nationality: American
    • Residence: Los Altos, California
    • Start in Business: 1997

    A co-founder of Google (now a part of Alphabet) with Larry Page in 1998, Sergey has utilised his computer science degree well to help build the company into the most used search-engine on the internet. Sergey now heads Google X, and his net worth continues to increase, although already having reached a position he is unlikely to have imagined when migrating with his (Jewish) parents from the Soviet Union in 1980, where their personal advancement was stymied under communism.

    [/one_half_last]

    10. Larry Page: $31 billion


    [one_half]

    Larry Page1

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 26 March 1973, East Lancing, Michigan, USA
    • Nationality: American
    • Residence: Palo Alto, California
    • Start in Business: 1997

    Moving on from BackRub to co-found Google with Sergey Brin was Larry’s real starting point to financial success, as the change was from university-orientated to offering their product to the world – and what a world it has turned out to be. Larry had some start in that his father was a computer scientist, but was certainly not rich, and Larry became a totally self-made billionaire before the age of 30.

    [/one_half_last]

    9. Michael Bloomberg: $34 billion


    [one_half]

    Michael Bloomberg

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 14 February 1942, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    • Nationality: American
    • Residence: New York City
    • Start in Business: 1969

    From his start in 1967 as a trader with Salomon Brothers to Mayor of New York is not a normal career progression, but Bloomberg first made his wealth through becoming a partner in 1973, and then developing his own market information service via Bloomberg L.P founded in 1981. As with most successful entrepreneurs, Bloomberg spotted a niche which needed to be filled, but then also believed that he could manage a major city, and served three terms as mayor from 2002-2013. He is now back as CEO of his own company.

    [/one_half_last]

    8. Carlos Slim Helú: $37 billion


    [one_half]

    Carlos Slim Helú

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 28 January 1940, Mexico City, Mexico
    • Nationality: Mexican
    • Residence: Mexico City
    • Start in Business: 1962

    Carlos has made most of his wealth from developing telecommunications companies in Mexico, particularly in mobile ‘phones, but as befits an engineering graduate, also has other manufacturing interests and a wide variety of companies. His net worth began when he bought bonds at the age of 11, and has been known as a hard-worker and very capable financial manager ever since – “The Buffet of Mexico”.

    [/one_half_last]

    7. Jeff Bezos: $40 billion


    [one_half]

    New Washington Post Owner Jeff Bezos Addresses Newsroom

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 12 January 1964, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
    • Nationality: American
    • Residence: Seattle, Washington State
    • Start in Business: 1992

    Jeff’s background was in finance and computing, until he put the two together in 1994 to found on-line merchandiser Amazon, identifying an opening concurrent with the rapid growth of internet use. Still no other company approaches Amazon’s volume of business, now world-wide. Jeff is also known as the proprietor of “The Washington Post”, although his interest in editorial comment is apparently minimal.

    [/one_half_last]

    6. Mark Zuckerberg: $47 billion


    [one_half]

    Mark Zuckerberg

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 14 May 1984, White Plains, New York State, USA
    • Nationality: American
    • Residence: Palo Alto, California
    • Start in Business: 2004

    The co-founder of Facebook is a voluntary drop-out from Harvard, a university second on the list for billionaire alumni, but seems to have done alright for himself, accumulating his present fortune in just 12 years, and one of the youngest to reach the billionaire mark at 27 – nothing else needs to be said!

    [/one_half_last]

    5. Ingvar Kamprad: $48 billion


    [one_half]

    Ingvar Kamprad

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 30 March 1926, Agunnaryd, Sweden
    • Nationality: Swedish
    • Residence: Smaland, Sweden
    • Start in Business: 1943

    Given a small amount of money by his father for doing well at school, Ingvar established IKEA when he was 17, originally sold by mail order and therefore flat-packed, and building it into the largest retailer of furniture in the world, selling over $25 billion in stock in 2015. At current rates, Ingvar became a member of the billionaire’s club by the time he was 30.

    [/one_half_last]

    4. Larry Ellison: $52 billion


    [one_half]

    Larry Ellison2

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 17 August 1944, Manhattan, New York City, USA
    • Nationality: American
    • Residence: Woodside, California
    • Start in Business: 1977

    Beginning working life as a programmer, Larry was knowledgeable enough to identify the need for a relational data base management system; Oracle was originally written specifically for the CIA, which with two colleagues was developed and released in 1979. With that significant reference, the company has generally prospered since, except for a difficult period when sales were over-stated, and spread widely into Europe. Ellison was CEO until 2014, when he became chairman and CTO. He also has significant real estate holdings, part of which is an Hawaiian island. Larry was adopted from his single mother, and never graduated from university, as his interest in computing wasn’t catered for – as with others on this list. Lack of a degree doesn’t seem to have been a hindrance!

    [/one_half_last]

    3. Amancio Ortega: $65 billion


    [one_half]

    Amancio Ortega

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 28 March 1936, Leon, Spain
    • Nationality: Spanish
    • Residence: La Coruna, Spain
    • Start in Business: 1972

    Zara, a fashion designing and retailing company, was founded by Amancio in 1975 – it’s reputation is that it is all things to all people, a novel idea which has certainly hit the mark ever since, including promoting Ortega to be the richest person in Spain.

    [/one_half_last]

    2. Warren Buffett: $73 billion


    [one_half]

    Warren Buffett

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 30 August 1930, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
    • Nationality: American
    • Residence: Omaha, Nebraska
    • Start in Business: 1970

    It’s hard to believe, but “The Sage of Omaha” began trading shares at the age of 11, with money saved from his newspaper round, which he subsequently bought. Now he is accepted as perhaps the most knowledgeable investor in the world, with shares in his Berkshire-Hathaway fund trading at over $200,000 each, by far the highest on the NYSE. Regardless of his current wealth, Warren clearly appreciated the value of money from a very early age, and even now recognises that you still need to work to get it!

    [/one_half_last]

    1. Bill Gates: $86 billion


    [one_half]

    Bill Gates

    [/one_half][one_half_last]

    • Born: 28 October 1955, Seattle, Washington State, USA
    • Nationality: American
    • Residence: Medina, Washington State
    • Start in Business: 1975

    Another Harvard drop-out, but an entrepreneurial designer from that time, Bill has been at the head of research and development in IT as the founder of Microsoft, and at its head for more than 40 years. He has been at the top of this list for most years in the last 20, despite now committing most of his, and his wife’s wealth to philanthropic activities.

    [/one_half_last]

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