Centibillionaires have a significant influence on global economics, politics, and philanthropy. According to Forbes, there are 2,755 billionaires in the world. The wealthiest of them are members of an even more exclusive club with even more influence. Many of these billionaires are the founders of technology giants, with a sizable portion of their wealth still invested in the companies they founded.
The richest people’s net worth can fluctuate due to market values because so much of their money is invested in publicly traded companies. For example, Elon Musk, creator and CEO of Tesla Inc. (TSLA) and the richest person in the world saw his net worth jump in 2021 thanks to the increase in the share price of Tesla (where he currently owns 17 percent of the company)—with Tesla shares climbing about 50 percent in 2021.
What is a Centibillionaire?
A Centibillionaire is someone who has assets worth more than 100 billion dollars, pounds, or other currency. Six Americans, according to Forbes, are worth more than $100 billion each, making them Centibillionaires.
Their combined fortune of $815 billion is barely over the GDP of the 13 poorest states in the United States.
Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, is worth about $200 billion, surpassing Utah’s 2020 GDP.
According to data from Forbes and the US Department of Commerce, the six wealthiest Americans are worth more than the combined GDP of 13 states, including Delaware, Maine, and Vermont.
Top 3 Richest People in the World
- Elon Musk
- Age: 50
- Residence: Texas
- Co-founder and CEO: Tesla
- Net Worth: $273 billion
Elon Musk was born in South Africa and attended a university in Canada before moving to the University of Pennsylvania to study physics and economics. Musk became a key investor in Tesla Motors (now Tesla) in 2004, which led to his present position as the company’s CEO. Tesla makes energy storage devices, automobile accessories, and, due to the acquisition of SolarCity in 2016, solar power systems, in addition to electric cars. Musk is also the founder and CEO of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), a space launch rocket company. Tesla shares soared 740 percent in 2020, pushing Musk to the top of the wealth rankings. Tesla will be the largest company added to the S&P 500 in December 2020. Musk became the world’s richest person in January 2021, a title he has held ever since.
- Jeff Bezos
- Age: 58
- Residence: Washington
- Founder and Executive Chair: Amazon (AMZN)
- Net Worth: $188 billion
Shortly after resigning from the hedge fund D.E. Shaw, Jeff Bezos launched Amazon.com in a garage in Seattle in 1994. His previous boss, David E. Shaw, was initially uninterested in the idea of an online bookstore.
Even though Amazon.com began as a book retailer, it has evolved into a one-stop-shop for everything under the sun and is now perhaps the world’s largest retailer. Some of Amazon’s unexpected expansions, such as acquiring Whole Foods in 2017 and entering the pharmaceutical sector in 2018, reflect the company’s pattern of constant diversification.
In 2019, Bezos held up to 16 percent of Amazon before transferring 4 percent to his ex-wife MacKenzie Scott as part of their divorce. The increased demand for online shopping amid the COVID-19 pandemic boosted Amazon’s stock price by 76 percent in 2020.
- Bernard Arnault
- Age: 73
- Residence: Paris, France
- CEO and Chair: LVMH (LVMUY)
- Net Worth: $148 billion
Bernard Arnault, a French national, is the chairman and CEO of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company. Louis Vuitton, Hennessey, Marc Jacobs, and Sephora are among the brands owned by LVMH.
The majority of Arnault’s fortune stems from his 41.3 % in Christian Dior SE, the holding company that owns LVMH. His family-owned holding business, Groupe Familial Arnault, owns 6.2 percent of Christian Dior SE and another 6.2 % of LVMH.
Arnault, a trained engineer, first demonstrated his business ability while working for his father’s construction firm, Ferret-Savinel, which he eventually took over in 1971. In 1979, he transformed Ferret-Savinel into Férinel Inc., a real estate firm.