World's 10 richest people as 2017 comes to a close

All are men, most are American and the majority have the tech sector to thank for their riches

Josie Co
Business Editor
Thursday 28 December 2017 11:01
Facebook founder Zuckerberg managed to grow his net worth by an impressive $23.3bn in 2017
Facebook founder Zuckerberg managed to grow his net worth by an impressive $23.3bn in 2017

It’s been a good year for the super-rich.

In fact, a ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest humans showed this week that the planet’s richest people increased their overall wealth by a staggering $1 trillion in 2017, largely helped by a surge in global stocks.

As we approach the end of the year, here’s a look at the top 10 in Bloomberg’s widely watched Billionaires Index – as of 28 December.

All are men, most are American and the majority have the tech sector to thank for their riches.

1. Jeff Bezos (total net worth $100bn)

He hardly needs an introduction. Bezos founded Amazon in the early 1990s and has since grown the e-retail company into a veritable online behemoth. Shares in the group surged more than 50 per cent during 2017, bolstered by a series of product and service launches, helping Bezos grow his wealth by an estimated $34.7bn. In October he leapfrogged Bill Gates to take the top spot in the Bloomberg ranking.

2. Bill Gates (total net worth $91.6bn)

The Microsoft co-founder has been a steady fixture at the top of the list in recent years. He held the very top position between May 2013 and October this year. In 2017 his wealth increased by a relatively moderate $9.17bn. In recent months he’s been donating much of his money to charity. In August he reportedly made a $4.6bn pledge to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

3. Warren Buffett (total net worth $85.5bn)

The veteran financier – also known as the Sage of Omaha – is also no stranger to all guises of rich lists. In 2017 his fortune grew by $12.3bn, according to Bloomberg, meaning that the top three spots in the list are all firmly in the grip of American men.

4. Amancio Ortega (total net worth $75.7bn)

Not exactly a household name but nonetheless clearly a force to be reckoned with in the world of business. He is a Spanish tycoon best known for co-founding Inditex, which is the parent company of brands such as Zara and Massimo Dutti. Shares in Inditex did not have a particularly stellar year and actually look like they’ll end 2017 lower than where they started it, but Ortega nonetheless managed to grow his fortune by around $3.6bn over the last 12 months.

5. Mark Zuckerberg (total net worth $73.2bn)

The undisputed king of social networking, Facebook founder Zuckerberg managed to grow his net worth by an impressive $23.3bn in 2017, easily helping him into fifth spot. That increase was also the fourth largest of the year on the list, with Bezos’s being the biggest.

6. Bernard Arnault (total net worth $63.6bn)

The highest placed Frenchman is a business magnate, investor and art lover. He is best known for being the chief executive officer of luxury goods company LVMH. In 2017 he grew his net wealth by an estimated $24.5bn.

7. Carlos Slim (total net worth $62.3bn)

Once the world’s richest person, he made it into seventh position this year after growing his fortune by around $12.5bn. He largely derived his money from holding a whole host of Mexican companies, across sectors including telecom, industrials, healthcare, transport, real estate, media, energy and financial services.

He reportedly accounts for 40 per cent of all listings on the country’s stock exchange and his net worth is thought to be equivalent to about 6 per cent of Mexico’s GDP.

8. Larry Ellison (total net worth $53.1bn)

In eight place, another American man in the tech industry – the co-founder and executive chairman of technology giant Oracle. His company’s share price increased by around 22 per cent over the last 12 months, helping Larry Ellison’s fortune to increase by just over $11.5bn.

9. Larry Page (total net worth $52.6bn)

Close behind, another Larry, and yet another American gentleman in tech. Larry Page co-founded Google with Sergey Brin, though Mr Brin only makes it into 11th spot with a net worth of $51.3bn,as of 28 December. Larry Page managed to increase his fortune by $12.7bn this year, according to Google.

10. Ingvar Kamprad (total net worth $52.4bn)

Rounding out the top 10 is the highest ranked Scandinavian. Entrepreneur Ingvar Kamprad founded global furniture chain Ikea in the 1940s. In 2017 he managed to increase his total net worth by just under $8.5bn. At 91, he’s also the oldest person in the top 10.