Top billionaires: who are the richest people in the world?

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3 years ago

The Prime Minister of Fiji is encouraging the world’s billionaires to return to the Pacific island in the hopes that it will revive the country’s crippled tourist industry.

“So, say you’re a billionaire looking to fly your own jet, rent your own island, and invest millions of dollars in Fiji in the process” PM Frank Bainimarama said in a candid tweet. 

“If you’ve taken all the necessary health precautions and borne all associated costs, you may have a new home to escape the pandemic in paradise.”

According to Sky News, Fiji’s main airport has been shut since 25 march and an 8am to 5pm curfew was enforced by police patrols. But Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, the nation’s attorney general, told The Observer that 30 “high-net-worth individuals… from a very well-known company” were scheduled to arrive by Sunday.

Holidaymakers arriving by yacht are also welcome, as long as they are willing to spend 14 days at sea before coming ashore. All travellers will have to quarantine before being allowed to roam the island freely.

So who is most likely to have the cash to take up the Prime Minister’s offer? According to Forbes, it’ll be this bunch:

1. Jeff Bezos, $113bn

The former hedge fund manager turned online book seller started Amazon in his garage in 1994. Bezos has invested heavily in space technology and also owns The Washington Post newspaper.

2. Bill Gates, $98bn

A permanent fixture at the top end of Forbes’ list for the past 20 years, the Microsoft founder has sold or given away much of his stake in the company – he owns just 1% of Microsoft – and now focuses predominantly on his philanthropic work.

3. Mark Zuckerberg, $78.6bn

Zuckerberg famously started Facebook in 2004 at the age of 19 and now is among the top five richest men in the world.

4. Bernard Arnault & family, $76bn

Arnault is the wealthiest European on the list. The Frenchman oversees an empire of more than 60 brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora. And he recently overtook Bill Gates to become the second richest man on the planet.

5. Warren Buffett, $67.5bn

Now in his ninth decade, the Berkshire Hathaway chief executive, known as the “Oracle of Omagh” is one of the most successful investors of all time. Like Gates he has pledged to give away more than 99% of his fortune to charity.

6. Larry Ellison, $59bn

Co-founder of software firm Oracle, Ellison stepped down as CEO in 2014 but still serves as chairman of the board and chief technology officer.

7. Amancio Ortega, $61.9bn

Ortega stepped down as chairman of Inditex, known for its Zara brand, in 2011 but he still owns nearly 60% of its shares.

8. Jim Walton, $54.6bn

The youngest son of the founder of Walmart, he remains the richest member of the Walton family largely due to a reported 44% stake in Arvest Bank.

9. Alice Walton $54.4bn

The younger sister of Jim Walton and Walmart founder Sam Walton’s only daughter, Alice is now the world’s richest woman.

10. Rob Walton, $54.1bn

The third and final Walton to make the top 10 list, Rob Walton was chairman of Walmart's board of directors from 1992-2015, after which he retired. Rob and his siblings together own around half of Walmart’s stock. 

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