Hurun Global Rich List 2017

2,257 Billionaires in World, up 69 to another new record

Total wealth up 16% to US$8 trillion, equivalent to 10.7% of global gdp

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett one and two in the world, wealth up 1% and 15% to US$81bn and US$78bn

Jeff Bezos of Amazon adds US$20bn to storm into 3rd place; Mark Zuckerberg breaks into top 5 for the first time

Logistics and Retail top performing sectors, led by Wang Wei, 46, of SF Express; Manufacturing & Real Estate worst performing

Chinese billionaires pull away from USA, Germany overtakes India for third place

Beijing beats NYC to be billionaire capital of the world for the second year, followed by HK. Shenzhen powers past London to grab fourth place.


Key Findings

  1. 2257 Billionaires in world, up 69 on last year; up 55% or 804 over last 5 years. Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun Report Chairman & Chief Researcher, said “billionaires are concentrating wealth at a supercharged rate.

  2. ”Going up: 1,037 saw wealth increase + 343 new faces. Going down: 740 saw wealth decrease + 276 dropped off last year’s list

  3. Chinese billionaires pull away from USA, 609 to 552, up 41 and 17 respectively.

  4. Germany overtakes India for third place, rising 27, whilst India down 11,

  5. Bill Gates, 61, holds onto top spot with US$81bn, just managing to hold off Warren Buffet’s 15% charge to US$78bn.

  6. Fastest riser. Jeff Bezos of Amazon up US$19bn to US$72bn, at one point in last year challenging bill gates for top spot.

  7. Technology key source of wealth; Real Estate drops to fourth place, behind Manufacturing and Investments.

  8. 23 new entrants to the top 100, led by chinese express delivery king Wang Wei, 46, of SF Express, up five-fold to 25th with US$27bn. Elon Musk breaks into top 100 for first time.

  9. Logistics and retail fastest growing sectors for billionaires this year. Hoogewerf said, “the new economy is driving an explosion in parcel deliveries, creating more new wealth than any other sector.”

  10. Women make up 15% of the list. Of the 152 self-made female billionaires, Chinese led the way with a staggering 79.5%. The richest woman is Liliane Bettencourt, 94, of L’oreal with US$37bn. The richest self-made woman in the world is Beijing real estate queen Chen Lihua with US$7.2bn. Hoogewerf said, “china is indisputably now the best place in the world to be a female entrepreneur.”

  11. Two third self-made. One-third inherited.  Most Chinese on the list are self-made.

  12. 9% First generation immigrant billionaires, led by Sergey Brin of Google, who was born in Russia and emigrated to the USA.

  13. 652 Billionaires of Chinese origin, or 29% of Hurun list. Chinese make up 20% of world population.

  14. Political billionaires. Donald trump leads a number of billionaires in politics. 115 Chinese billionaires are sitting in the Chinese parliament as delegates to the NPC or CPPCC.

  15. Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates and Donald Trump have biggest social media followings from USA. In China, Wang Sicong, son of China’s number one Wang Jianlin, and Jack MA of Alibaba have biggest social media followings.

  16. 78 Forty or under, of which 46 self-made. Youngest is Hugh Grosvenor, 26, who inherited US$15bn from his father Gerald. The youngest self made billionaire is Evan Spiegel, 26, of Snapchat, worth US$5bn

  17. 3% are fourth generation or more: 72 billionaires coming from 43 companies.

  18. 19 billionaires died from last year’s list. Richest was Forrest Mars Jr with US$28bn. Youngest was UK landlord Gerald Grosvenor aged 63.

  19. Asia pipped North America for second year running in terms of total wealth created, US$2.98tn compared with US$2.78tn.

  20. Chinese stock exchanges attracted double the number of billionaires than USA stock exchanges, 437 compared with 215.

  21. Chinese star signs.  Billionaires born in the year of the Snake pulled away from second-placed Horses.  Monkeys had the best year, shooting up 3 places to third. Pigs and Roosters propped up the bottom.

(7 March 2017, Beijing, China) Hurun Report today released the Hurun Global Rich List 2017, a ranking of the US dollar billionaires currently found in the world. Wealth calculations are a snapshot of 15 January 2017. This is the sixth year that Hurun Report has released a ranking of the dollar billionaires in the world, the so-called ‘Nine-Zero Club’.

The List at a glance

The Hurun Global Rich List 2017 ranked 2,257 billionaires from 68 countries and from 1811 companies in another record-breaking year for the world’s billionaires.

Total wealth increased by 16% to US$8.0 trillion, equivalent to 10.7% of global GDP, and up from 7% of global GDP five years ago. Hoogewerf said, “Global wealth is being concentrated in the hands of the billionaires at a rate far exceeding global growth.”

It has been generally another good year for the billionaires of the world. 1,037 saw their wealth increase and there were 343 new faces. 740 individuals saw their wealth decrease and a further 276 dropped out of last year’s list.

Chinese billionaires led the USA for the second year running, with 608 compared with 552. Hoogewerf said “China and the USA have half the billionaires in the world.”

It has been a good year for Germany, which surged past India into third place. India lost 11 billionaires mainly on the back of demonetisation, and Russia lost a further 12 billionaires despite a 30% appreciation of Ruble to the Dollar.

The average age is 64, same as last 3 years.

Rupert Hoogewerf, Chairman and Chief Researcher of Hurun Report, said, “The world today has 5000 dollar billionaires, assuming that for every one we have found we have missed at least one. While some billionaires go to extraordinary lengths to conceal their wealth, for the most part it is that they are discreet and prefer operating under the radar.”

Hoogewerf continued, Billionaires are up again in the last year, on the back of a strong US dollar, which rose 14% on average against major currencies, coupled with strong stock market performances on Nasdaq and London, up 24% and 26% respectively. The DAX was up 22% and the Shanghai Stock Exchange returned a growth of 7%. On top of that we have had Brexit, Donald Trump’s election, a surge in property values in China, demonetisation in India and a 67% boom in the Brazilian stock markets.”

Top Ten – Hurun Global Rich List 2017

8 of the Top 10 are from the US. Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffett led the charge, adding US$19bn, US$11bn and US$10bn respectively. The world’s Top 10 has no new faces this year. NameWealth US$bnChange YOYSource of WealthAgeCountry of residence 1-Bill Gates810.01Microsoft 61USA 2-Warren Buffett780.15Berkshire Hathaway86USA 3↑Jeff Bezos720.37Amazon53USA 4↓Amancio Ortega690.08Zara80Spain 5↑Mark Zuckerberg580.23Facebook 32USA 6↑Larry Ellison480.04Oracle72USA 7↓Carlos Slim Helu & family46-0.08America Movil76Mexico 8-David Koch43-0.02Koch Industries76USA 8-Charles Koch43-0.02Koch Industries81USA 10-Michael Bloomberg420.13Bloomberg74USA

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017

↑ Rank increase yoy ↓ Rank decrease yoy – No Rank change yoy

Bill Gates, 61, is still the richest man in the world, despite only growing 1% to US$81bn. In December 2016, he launched a US$1 billion fund to invest in new forms of clean energy with aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to almost zero.

Warren Buffett, 86, held onto second place, increasing his wealth to US$78bn, up US$10bn after a surge in the Berkshire Hathaway share price. So far Buffett has donated US$17bn to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, making him one of the world’s top 3 most generous philanthropists, along with Bill Gates and George Soros.

Jeff Bezos, 53, of Amazon, has broken into the Top 3 for the first time, and at one point threatening even to take the Number One slot away from Bill Gates. His wealth surged to US$72bn, up 37%. Bezos cashed out US$671 million from selling 1% of his stake in Amazon.

Amancio Ortega, 80, of Zara, has dropped down one place to fourth with US$69bn. Ortega’s daughter Sandra Ortega Mera also makes the list with US$5.8bn.

Mark Zuckerberg, 32, the youngest of the Top 10, shot up to fifth, his highest ranking yet, after a US$11bn surge in his fortune to US$58bn. Zuckerberg, along with wife Priscilla Chan, announced he plans to give away 99% of his Facebook stock.

Larry Ellison, 72, of Oracle, was sixth with US$48bn, up 4%. Ellison invests into real estate around the world, including a Rhode Island estate and historic gardens in Kyoto.

Carlos Slim Helu, 76, the Mexican telecom tycoon, dropped out of the Top 5 after an 8% drop in wealth to US$46bn. He hit major headwinds this year mainly due to the weaker Mexican peso. Slim holds a 17% stake in The New York Times and announced the launch of a new television channel “made by Mexicans, for Mexicans” in the US this year.

The Koch brothers Charles and David held onto two slots in the Top 10 and are major supporters of the Republican Party.

With a net worth of US$42bn, Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, 74, saw his wealth increase by 13% to keep him in the Top 10.

Where they live

The ‘Big Two’ are Greater China and the USA with 609 and 552 billionaires respectively, amounting to half of the billionaires on the planet. It has been a good year for Germany, which surged past India into third place. UAE and Indonesia broke into the Top 20 for the first time. Bangladesh contributed a billionaire for the first time, to take the countries that the billionaires reside in to 68 countries.

Beijing is the ‘Billionaire Capital of the World’ for the second year running, ahead of New York. Shenzhen surprised many adding 16 billionaires to propel it into fourth place, just behind HK. Seven of the Top 20 billionaire capitals are in Greater China. California is the USA state with the most billionaires, of which over half are from the Bay Area. Hoogewerf said, “Shenzhen and HK now have the highest concentration of wealth in the world, ahead even of California.”

Table: Where they live CountryNo of billionairesChange in No. of billionaires 1-Greater China60941 2-USA55217 3↑Germany10927 4↓India100-11 5↓UK897 6↑Switzerland7711 7↓Russia68-12 8-France 50-1 9-Brazil43-6 10-Japan420 11-Italy414 12-Canada350 13↑South Korea343 14↓Turkey 29-5 15↓Singapore28-4 16-Australia27-3 17-Thailand260 18-Spain232 19*UAE215 20*Indonesia173 20↓Sweden171 CityNumber of billionairesChange in No. of Billionaires 1-Beijing94-6 2-New York86-9 3↑Hong Kong717 4↑Shenzhen6216 5↓Moscow59-7 6↓London554 6↓Shanghai533 8↓Mumbai42-3 9↑Paris366 9-Hangzhou364 11↑Seoul303 12↓San Francisco 291 13↑Sao Paulo251 13↓Istanbul25-3 13↑Taipei252 13↑Bangkok251 17↓Singapore24-3 17↓Tokyo24-2 19-Los Angeles232 20*Guangzhou223

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017

↑ Rank increase yoy ↓ Rank decrease yoy – No Rank change yoy * New to Top 20

Greater China: No 1 with 609 billionaires, 41 more than last year. The combined net worth of the Chinese billionaires is US$1.6 trillion, 2.1% of the global GDP. Real Estate has generated most number of billionaires (120), followed by Manufacturing and TMT with 115 and 78 respectively. Led by Beijing, 5 Chinese cities make the top 10 cities and 7 the Top 20. Average age is 58, six years younger than the average of the list. China is the number 1 in the world in terms of generating self-made billionaires akin to “rags to riches” and is home to two-thirds of the world’s self-made female billionaires. A February IPO propelled Wang Wei, 46, of SF Express to third spot, with a five-fold growth in his wealth to US$27bn, just behind Wang Jianlin and Jack Ma. Corporate raider Yao Zhenhua of Baoneng saw the fastest growth on the list, rising almost eight-fold to US$15bn, but in February was barred from the insurance industry for ten years by the regulator.

USA: No 2 with 552 billionaires, up 17 on last year. Investments overtook tech to become the main source of wealth for American billionaires, with 121 and 112 billionaires respectively, followed by retail with 57. The combined wealth of the US billionaires was US$2.6 trillion, 3.4% of global GDP or just a bit more than the GDP of France. New York has the highest concentration of billionaires, with 86, followed by San Francisco and Los Angeles on 29 and 23 respectively. California is home to 133 billionaires, of which 74 live in the Bay Area. The USA is the world’s capital for immigrant billionaires. Two-thirds self-made, with one-third inherited. Average age of USA billionaires increased to 66, two higher than the average of the list.

Germany: shoots to the third spot with 109 billionaires, 27 more than last year. With a net worth of US$27bn, Dieter Schwarz, 77, of Schwarz Group retains the top spot, despite a 25% decrease on last year. F&B and Retail led the way, with 18 billionaires each, followed by Healthcare with 14. Hamburg and Bielefeld are the billionaire capitals of the country with 10 and 8. Average age was 62. 26 migrated out of Germany, of which Switzerland was the preferred destination for half of them.

India drops to 4th position with 100 billionaires, 11 down on last year. Pharmaceuticals is the preferred sector, for 20 billionaires, followed by Manufacturing and TMT each with 10. Combined wealth of the Indian billionaires declined by 1% to US$304bn. Average age is 64. Mumbai is headquarters to most of the Indian billionaires followed by New Delhi. Mukesh Ambani (US$26bn, rank 21) is the richest Indian. 32 migrated from India, of which UAE, UK and USA were the preferred destinations.

UK: drops to 5th spot with 89 billionaires, 7 more than last year. London is the overwhelming city of choice for 53 of them. Retail and Real estate led the way with 15 and 13 billionaires, followed by Manufacturing with 9. UK billionaires have a combined wealth of US$280bn, an increase of 5%. UK Landlord Gerald Grosvenor passed away aged 63, the youngest billionaire to die in the last year. Leonard Blavatnik (US$15bn) is the richest person living in the UK.

Switzerland: secured 6th position with 77 billionaires, up 11. With 18 billionaires, Geneva and Zurich are the top two cities for billionaires, with 11 and 10 billionaires. Preferred sectors are Pharmaceuticals (with 15 billionaires) and manufacturing (with 10 billionaires). Combined wealth of the Swiss billionaires cumulates to US$240bn, up 7%.

Russia: Drops to 7th position with 68 billionaires, down 12. All are self-made. The most popular sectors are Energy and metals and mining with 16 and 15 billionaires respectively. Moscow is home to significantly all of them, with 59. Combined wealth of the Russian billionaires comes to US$261bn, down 12%.

France: The luxury capital of the world retains 8th position with 50 billionaires, down 1 on last year. Combined wealth of the French billionaires is US$307bn, 2% more than last year. The preferred sector is Food and Beverage and Luxury Goods with 9 and 7 billionaires respectively. Paris is the preferred city and is home to 30 billionaires.

Brazil: retains 9th spot with 43 billionaires, down 6, despite the currency rising 30% against the US dollar and the stock market up 67%. Combined wealth is US$161bn, up 10%. Financial services is preferred industry with 12 billionaires followed by Construction & Engineering (6) and Food & Beverage (5). Jorge Paulo Lemann is the richest man in Brazil with US$26bn. Sao Paulo is the preferred city in Brazil with 25 billionaires followed by Rio de Janeiro. 60% have inherited their wealth.

Japan: secures 10th spot with 42 billionaires, same as last year. Combined wealth is US$145bn, up 30%. The preferred sector is Retail with 10 billionaires followed by TMT with 9. Tokyo is the preferred city with 24 billionaires followed by Kyoto.

Source of Wealth by Industry – Hurun Global Rich List 2017

It has been a great year for Logistics and Retail, up 15% and 13% respectively in terms of the number of billionaires, and a bad year for Manufacturing and Real Estate, down 11% and 10%. Real estate dropped down from second to fourth place. Manufacturing and investments both rose one place.

Tech, Manufacturing and Investments were the main source of wealth for one third of the list. USA and China accounted for 71% of TMT billionaires in the list.

Logistics. Wealth in logistics increased 25% yoy to become the top performing sector of the year. Chinese dominated this sector. Wang Wei, 46, of SF Express shot up five-fold to US$27bn, on the back of an IPO in February. Others that saw a fast increase in wealth included the founders of YTO, Yunda, ZTO, Fedex, Shentong Express and Changjiu.

TABLE: Source of Wealth – Hurun Global Rich List 2017 Industry% of billionaires% ChangeRichest personCompany 1-TMT0.132-0.029Jeff BezosAmazon 2↑Manufacturing0.105-0.109Georg Schaeffler Schaeffler Group 3↑Investments0.095-0.014Bill GatesMicrosoft 4↓Real Estate0.094-0.104Wang Jianlin & familyWanda 5-Retail0.0880.131Amancio OrtegaInditex 6-Food & Beverages0.0720.019Tatiana CasiraghiSABMiller 7-Energy0.05-0.026Charles & David KochKoch Industry 7↑Financial Services0.050.018Thomas PeterffyInteractive Brokers 9-Pharmaceuticals0.0490.038Dilip ShanghviSun Pharma 10*Construction & Engineering0.0290.148Yan Hao & familyChina Pacific Construction

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017

New Entrants to Top 100. There were 23 new entrants to the Top 100, led by Chinese Express Delivery King Wang Wei of SF Express, whose February IPO saw his wealth shoot up five-fold to US$27bn, straight into 25 in the world. Others of note include former China Number One Ding Lei, 46, of Netease, and Elon Musk, who broke into the Top 100 for the first time. Lakshmi Mittal, 66, won back most of his losses from last year, on the back of a recovery in the global steel market.

TABLE: New entrants to the Top 100 Rank Name Net Worth US$Bn % change Main CompanyAge Country of Residence 25Wang Wei274.87SF Express46China 34James & Arthur Irving241.18Irving Group87Canada 47Ding Lei180.88Netease46China 52Dhanin Chearavanont & family170.89Charoen Pokphand Foods77Thailand 52Iris Fontbona & family170.72Quinenco74Chile 62Yao Zhenhua157.82Baoneng 47China 62Harold Hamm151.42Continental Resources71USA 62Leonid Mikhelson151.27Novatek61Russia 62Henry Cheng & family150.76New World69China 62Francois Pinault & family150.61Kering80France 75Elon Musk140.59Tesla Motors45USA 75Alexey Mordashov140.49Severstal51Russia 86Majid Al Futtaim13RevaluedMajid Al Futtaim-UAE 86Takemitsu Takizaki130.97Keyence 71Japan 86Vladimir Lisin130.6Novolipetsk Steel60Russia 86Joseph Lau130.31Chinese Estates66China 86Alain Wertheimer130.3Chanel68France 86Gerard Wertheimer130.3Chanel66France 98Dietrich Mateschitz120.85Red Bull72Austria 98Lakshmi N Mittal120.76ArcelorMittal64UK 98Eric Schmidt120.56Google61USA 98Rupert Murdoch120.16News Corp85USA 98Lu Zhiqiang & family120.2Oceanwide65China

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017

Young & Rich. There were 78 billionaires aged 40 or under, down 1 from last year. 46 are self-made with 32 inherited. USA and China led the way with 25 and 23, making up half the young billionaires. Facebook contributed the most billionaires under 40, with 4. 16% are women. Pinterest founders Ben Silbermann, 34, at US$1.3bn and Evan Sharp, 34, at US$1.1bn, both make the list for the first time.

TABLE: Youngest Self-Made Billionaires AgeNameWealth US$BnMain CompanyCountry 26Evan Spiegel4.9SnapchatUSA 27John Collison1.3StripesUSA 27Bobby Murphy4.9SnapchatUSA 28Patrick Collison 1.3StripesUSA 32Mark Zuckerberg58Facebook USA 32Dustin Moskovitz9.9FacebookUSA

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017

Alma Mater – Harvard produced more billionaires than any other school.

Women. 15% of the list are women. Of the 152 self-made women, Chinese led the way with 121 (a staggering 79.6%), followed by 14 from the USA and 8 from the UK. The richest women are Liliane Bettencourt, 94, of L’Oreal with US$28bn, followed by Alice Walton of Wal-mart, Jacqueline Mars of Mars and Maria Franca Fissolo of Ferrero Rocher. The richest self-made woman in the world is Beijing Real Estate Queen Chen Lihua of FuHua with US$7.2bn. Hoogewerf said, “China is indisputably now the best place in the world to be a female entrepreneur.”

Immigrants: 9% of the billionaires are first generation immigrants, led by 57 to the USA, 30 to the UK and 19 to Switzerland. With US$36bn, Sergey Brin, 43, of Google is the wealthiest immigrant. Hoogewerf said, “Immigrants have played a significant part in wealth creation around the world.”

Politically Affiliated Billionaires

Donald Trump has a net worth of US$4.5bn, making him the richest person ever to assume the US Presidency. Three other billionaires make up Trump’s cabinet, including commerce secretary Wilbur Ross US$1.6bn, deputy commerce secretary Todd Ricketts and education secretary Betsy DeVos. Trump’s nominee for Army Secretary, Vincent Viola, has a net worth of US$1.2bn, but later withdrew from the nomination. Peter Thiel, the Paypal founder with a net worth US$2.8bn, donated US$1 million to Trump’s campaign.

Trump’s public meetings with billionaires include Masayoshi Son of Softbank and Jack Ma of Alibaba, who announced investments and job creations in the US.

Others include 115 Chinese billionaires with senior political appointments to the NPC and CPPCC; the monarchs of Saudi Arabia, Brunei, Dubai and Liechtenstein; Silvio Berlusconi, 80, former prime minister of Italy; Bidzina Ivanishvili, former prime minister of Georgia; Magdalena Blocher, an elected official in the National Council of the Swiss parliament; Russel Weiner, founder of Rockstar energy drink, ran as a Republican for a seat in the California State Assembly in 1998, losing to the incumbent Democrat; Andrej Babis is the minister of finance and deputy prime minister of Czech Republic.

Chinese diaspora. 29% of billionaires are of Chinese origin, up 22 to 652 this year, and 252 new Chinese billionaires five years ago. Outside of Greater China, the Chinese diaspora are based predominantly in South East Asia, led by Singapore and Thailand. Chinese make up 20% of the world’s population.

Greater China was made up of Mainland China with 501 (+31), Hong Kong 65 (+5) and Taiwan 35 (+1).

TABLE: Chinese billionaire diaspora around the world Residence No. of Billionaires 1Greater China602 (+38) 2Singapore14 (-6) 3Thailand8 (0) 3USA8 (0) 5Indonesia7 (-3) 6Philippines6 (-2) 7Malaysia5 (-5) 8UK1 (+1) 8Australia1 (+1) Canada0 (-1) France0 (-1) Total 652 (+22)

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017

19 billionaires died, down 3 from last year. Between them, they passed down US$118bn. The youngest was UK real estate owner Gerald Grosvenor, aged 63. Average age of death was 82. Forrest Mars Jr died the richest with US$28bn, inherited by children John and Jacqueline.

TABLE: The billionaire obituary – Hurun Global Rich List 2017 NameCompanyCountryAgeNet Worth 2016 (US$Bn) Gerald Grosvenor GrosvenorUK6315.2 Carlos BulgheroniBridasArgentina733 Leon CharneyReal Estate InvestmentsUSA731 Jean Claude DecauxJC DecauxFrance766.2 Heinz- George BausBauhausGermany803.7 Francisco Ivens de Sa Dias BrancoM. Dias BrancoBrazil802.1 Rosa Anna Magno GaravogliaGruppo CampariItaly823.2 Gerard Louis-DreyfusLouis-DreyfusUSA823 Tom PerkinsKPCBUSA837.3 Forrest Mars JrMars USA8428 Herbert LouisS.C Johnson & SonUSA864 Michael JaharisKos PharmaceuticalsUSA863 Miloud ChaabiYnna HoldingsMorocco862.7 Bhumibol AdulyadejCPB HoldingsThailand8712 Curt EngelhornBoehringer Manheim and DepuySwitzerland906.5 Dean WhiteWhiteco AdvertisingUSA912 Jack Taylor Enterprise Rent A CarUSA9211 Brahim ZniberBelvedereMorocco942 Erika Pohl-StroherWellaSwitzerland952.3

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017

Oldest: The oldest billionaire on the list is David Rockefeller Sr, aged 101.

In trouble with the law. 1 is in jail: Huang Guangyu of GoMe (US$3.3bn) has served seven years to date. 1 from last year’s list is in jail, and now off the list: Chinese hedge fund manager Xu Xiang of Shanghai Zexi has been imprisoned for five and a half years and fined a record US$1.6bn for manipulation of the Shanghai stock market, and is now off this year’s list. 1 has been arrested: Jay Lee (US$6.5bn) of Samsung was formally arrested on allegations of bribery, perjury and embezzlement. 1 has gone missing: Financier Xiao Jianhua of Tomorrow Holdings (US$5.5bn) has gone missing, presumed to be assisting the Chinese authorities with their investigations. 1 has been banned from his industry: China corporate raider Yao Zhenyao of Baoneng was banned by regulators for 10 years from the insurance industry. 1 is pending trial: HK real estate tycoon Joseph Lau of Chinese Estates, US$13bn, still faces possible extradition to Macau, where he was sentenced in 2012 to five years in prison for bribery and money laundering. There were no bankruptcies in the last year.

Richest Families: The Walton and Koch families are the richest families with a cumulative net worth of US$115bn and US$104bn respectively, more than Bill Gates.

Divorce settlement. Oil tycoon Harold Hamm settled with ex-wife Sue Ann Hamm US$999 million.

Art and luxury. Chicago hedge-fund manager Ken Griffin, 48, paid a record-breaking US$500million for two Abstract Expressionist paintings: US$300million for Willem de Kooning’s 1955 oil painting ‘Interchanged’ and about $200million for Jackson Pollock’s 1948 piece ‘Number 17A’. Russian fertiliser magnate Dmitry Rybolovlev has been unloading part of his US$2bn art collection, making losses of US$100mn to date. Yusaku Maezawa, 40, founder of Japanese fashion website “Start Today” purchased art worth US$89mn in Sotheby’s contemporary art sale held New York in May 2016. Oprah Winfrey sold “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II” by Gustav Klimt for US$150mn, which she bought ten years previously at auction for US$88mn. China’s richest man Wang Jianlin of Wanda paid US$110m for one of London’s most expensive private houses. Chinese film tycoon Wang Zhongjun of Huayi Bros paid US$30 million for a traditional Chinese painting. Liu Yiqian, China’s first billion-dollar art collector, paid US$35 million for a Zhang Daqian piece. Zhang Jindong of Suning paid US$40m for a work from Ren Renfa. Yuan Yafei of Sunpower paid US$25m for a classical Chinese painting.

Big Deals. Some deals that have made the headlines recently.

  1. Luxottica’s 81-year old founder, Leonardo Del Vecchio (Rank: 46, US$18bn), plans to take a 31% stake in a US$49bn merger of the Luxottica and France’s Essilor.

  2. Rudolf Maag (Rank: 984, US$2.2bn), has announced he will sell Actelion, the Swiss biotech co, in a US$30bn deal to Johnson & Johnson.

  3. Finland: Pony Ma of Tencent led a US$8.6 billion acquisition of Supercell, the maker of the ‘Clash of Clans’ mobile game, in the largest acquisition by a Chinese rich lister in the past year.

  4. US: Wang Jianlin of Wanda bought Legendary Entertainment in probably the highest-profile takeover from China this past year, paying US$3.5bn and is in talks to buy Golden Globe Award owners Dick White for US$1bn, although that deal has stalled due to questions of currency control; Liu Zhongtian of aluminum maker Zhongwang acquired its US counterpart Aleris in a US$2.3 billion deal; Guo Guangchang of Fosun bought US provider of specialty property and casualty insurance Ironshore for US$2bn; Jack Ma’s Alibaba Pictures invested in Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners; Jack Ma’s Alipay has invested into the China business of Pizza Hut and KFC; Cheng Wei of Didi took in a US$1bn investment from Apple; Zhao Weiguo of chip maker Tsinghua Unigroup, bought a US$2bn controlling stake in Hewlett-Packard’s China data-networking operations.

  5. Israel: In June, Shi Yuzhu and Jack Ma led a US$4.4bn acquisition of Israel-based online games company Playtika, best-known for Bingo Blitz and Slotomania.

  6. Germany: He Xiangjian of Midea bought leading a German robotics business in a multi-billion dollar acquisition, the biggest European acquisition; Guo Guangchang of Fosun completed the purchase of German private bank H&A for US$230m.

  7. India: Guo Guangchang of Fosun paid US$1.2bn for India pharmaceutical business Gland Pharm; Zhang Zhiyong of Miteno paid US$900m to Divyank Turakhia for advertising technology company

  8. UK: Chen Dongsheng of Taikang became the biggest shareholder of Sotheby’s, buying 13.5% for US$230m; Guo Guangchang of Fosun paid US$60m for UK soccer club Wolverhampton Wanderers.

  9. Italy: Zhang Jindong of Suning paid US$310m for control of Italy soccer team Inter Milan in Italy.

  10. Singapore: Jack Ma paid US$1bn for a controlling stake in Singapore-based e-commerce platform Lazada, active across SE Asia.

  11. China: Wang Xing’s Meituan merged with Dianping to create a US$20bn behemoth. Liu Qiangdong of JD took control of online grocer platform Yihaodian from Walmart in exchange for a US$1.5bn investment in JD.

Largest Market Capitalizations. The largest companies set up by billionaires are led by Alphabet and Microsoft, both above US$500bn. Alibaba and Tencent are two Chinese companies that make the Top 10. Company NameMarket Value US$Bn 1Alphabet585 2Microsoft500 3Berkshire Hathaway416 4Amazon403 5Facebook385 6Samsung270 7Alibaba260 8Tencent250 9Walmart220 10AB Inbev176

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017

Fortune Global companies owned. 78 billionaires are major shareholders of Fortune Global 500 companies, led by 27 from the USA and 6 from China. Examples include Walmart, Berkshire Hathaway, Samsung, Glencore, Rajesh Exports, Reliance and AB Inbev…

Self-made degrees 67% are self-made with 33% inherited. Self-made but with help from parents through a private education was the most popular route to becoming a billionaire. For self-made without parental financial support, the storybook ‘rags to riches’, China led the way.

Hurun Report’s bespoke measure of the degree to which billionaires are inherited or self-made. The scorecard is out of five, where 1 is inherited and not active in business, and 5 is self-made without help from parents.

TABLE: Hurun Self-Made Scorecard by Country Self-Made Scorecard% of billionairesTOP 3 Countries (with %. of billionaires)Example 50.331. Greater China (73%)Self-made without parental financial support eg Warren Buffett 50.332. USA (10%)Self-made without parental financial support eg Warren Buffett 50.333. UK (2%)Self-made without parental financial support eg Warren Buffett 40.341. USA (38%)Self-made, but with a helping hand from parents such as through private education, eg Mark Zuckerberg 40.342. Russia (7%)Self-made, but with a helping hand from parents such as through private education, eg Mark Zuckerberg 40.343. UK (6%)Self-made, but with a helping hand from parents such as through private education, eg Mark Zuckerberg 30.231. USA (23%)Inherited a small business and grew it big time, eg Rupert Murdoch 30.232. Germany (11%)Inherited a small business and grew it big time, eg Rupert Murdoch 30.233. India (9%)Inherited a small business and grew it big time, eg Rupert Murdoch 20.061. USA (26%)Inherited, but active in the business eg Liliane Bettencourt of L’Oreal 20.062. Greater China (15%)Inherited, but active in the business eg Liliane Bettencourt of L’Oreal 20.063. Switzerland (9%)Inherited, but active in the business eg Liliane Bettencourt of L’Oreal 10.031. USA (29%),Inherited and not actively involved in the business, eg Laurene Powell Jobs of Apple 10.032. Brazil (14%)Inherited and not actively involved in the business, eg Laurene Powell Jobs of Apple 10.033. UK (8%)Inherited and not actively involved in the business, eg Laurene Powell Jobs of Apple

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017

Stock Exchanges China has more billionaires listed on its stock exchanges than the USA, leading with 428 compared with 215 billionaires listed in the USA.

Companies that created most Billionaires. Hyatt, Cargill and Roche created more billionaires than any other company on the Hurun Global Rich List 2017, with 9 members of the extended Pritzker family (Hyatt), Cargill’s MacMillan and Cargill families, and Roche family making the list. RankCompanyNo. Of Billionaires 1Hyatt9 1Cargill9 1Roche9 4Dr Oetker8 4B Braun8 4Berkshire Hathaway8 4Walmart8 8Itau Unibanco7

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017

TABLE: Billionaires by Continent

By Continent. Asia overtook North America for the first time with US$2.98tn compared with US$2.78tn.Africa has 28 billionaires, led by Aliko Dangote, 59, of Dangote Cements. New billionaires came from Europe mainly. ContinentNo. of billionairesChange in No. of billionaires YoYCombined wealth US$bn  1Asia1038162982  2North America602182785  3Europe486451811  4South America75-7256  5Oceania28-381  5Africa28-179

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017


The cut-off required for the Top 100 fell slightly, whilst for the Top 200, 500 and 1000 was up.

TABLE: Stats – Cut-off through the Years Top 10 US$bnTop 100 US$bnTop 200 US$bnTop 500 US$bnTop 1000 US$bn 201225NANANANA 20133010. 20143611.56.93.42 201536125.92.61.9 201637116.63.52.1 201742126.93.72.2

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017

TABLE: Stats – Number of Billionaires through the Years

The number of billionaires has risen dramatically. In the five years since the 2013 list, there are 803 or 55% more ‘known’ billionaires in the world. Total wealth of this elite group has grown by 45% to US$8 trillion. The number of billionaires from Greater China has risen by 252 since 2013. No. of People on ListNo. from Greater ChinaAv. Wealth US$bnTotal Wealth US$bnRichest PersonUS$bn 2012*83518.21513Carlos Slim Helu & family55 201314533573.75500Carlos Slim Helu & family66 201418674583.76900Bill Gates68 201520894783.26700Bill Gates85 2016218956837369Bill Gates80 201722576093.58017Bill Gates81

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017 *In 2012, Hurun Global Rich List only ranked those with US$10bn

Chinese Star Signs It has been a good year for those born in the year of the monkey, which shot up three places to overtake Oxen and Rabbits. Those born in the year of the Snake pulled away further from second place Horses Pigs and Roosters continue to prop up the bottom, but never mind, Li Ka-shing is a pig. Mukesh Ambani of India is the richest Rooster, whilst Zong Qinghou is the richest Chinese Rooster! 2017 is the Year of the Rooster.

TABLE: Chinese Star Signs of the Hurun Global Rich List RankStar Sign%Richest personWealth US$bnRichest ChineseWealth US$bn 1-Snake0.091Charles Ergen16Lui Che Woo10 2-Horse0.09Warren Buffett78Wang Jianlin30 3↑Monkey0.089Larry Ellison48Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi15 4↓Ox0.087Bernard Arnault38Jia Yueting5.7 5↓Rabbit0.086Jeff Bezos72Joseph Lau13 6↓Ram0.085Bill Gates81Miao Shouliang3.4 7↓Dragon0.083David Koch43Jack Ma Yun29 8↑Tiger0.081Ingvar Kamprad34Dhanin Chearavanont17 8-Dog0.081Liliane Bettencourt37Yao Zhenhua15 10↓Rat0.079Amancio Ortega69Henry Cheng15 11-Rooster0.076Mukesh Ambani26Zong Qinghou16 12-Pig7.3%↑Charles Koch43Wang Wei27

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017

Currency fluctuations. Global currencies witnessed a highly volatile year with an average 14% drop against the US Dollar. Amongst the major currencies, the British Pound lost 17% post-Brexit and Chinese Yuan lost 6%. The Euro, Indian Rupee and Swiss Franc hardly changed. The Russian Ruble and Brazilian Real gained 30% and 29%. CountryCurrency fluctuation Egypt-0.59 Poland-0.43 Nigeria-0.38 Turkey-0.21 UK-0.17 CNY-0.06 Russian Ruble0.3 Brazilian Real0.29 South African Rand0.18

Source: Hurun Research Institute 2017

TABLE: Top 100 – Hurun Global Rich List 2017 Rank Rank Change Name Net Worth (US$Bn) % change Main CompanyAge Country of Residence 10Bill Gates810.01Microsoft 61USA 20Warren Buffett780.15Berkshire Hathaway86USA 31Jeff Bezos720.37Amazon53USA 4-1Amancio Ortega690.08Inditex80Spain 51Mark Zuckerberg580.23Facebook 32USA 61Larry Ellison480.04Oracle72USA 7-2Carlos Slim Helu & family46-0.08America Movil76Mexico 80Charles Koch43-0.02Koch Industries81USA 80David Koch43-0.02Koch Industries76USA 100Michael Bloomberg420.13Bloomberg74USA

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