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Hurun Global Rich List 2016

February 24, 2016





2257 billionaires in world, up 69 to another new record


Total wealth up 16% to US$8Trillion , equivalent to 10.7% of global GDP.


Bill Gates and Warren Buffet one and two in world, wealth up 1% and 15% to US$81Bn and US$78Bn

Jeff Bezos,52, 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 the third place.


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


Leading authority on china and India’s wealthy releases Hurun Global Rich List 2016  


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 parliamment 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.



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.”



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.

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.



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.


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).


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.



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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.