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Top world’s billionaires present on Forbes’ 34th annual list

15:00 | 08/04/2020

Forbes has released its 34th annual list of world’s wealthiest individuals whose sources from different industries from technology, finance & investment to fashion and retail. 

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top worlds billionaires present on forbes 34th annual list
Illustrative photo.

The magazine also reported some notable persons who are serving as agents of change and taking action to reinvent their businesses to aid in the global response to the coronavirus outbreak, Forbes reported.

Billionaires like tech tycoon Bill Gates; Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom; Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and a host of others are using their financial resources to help combat the health crisis and boost the economy.

There are 2,095 billionaires on the 2020 ranking, down from 2,153 in 2019. The total combined net worth of this year’s billionaires is $8 trillion, down from $8.7 trillion in 2020. 267 people dropped off this year’s list and a record 1,062 individuals have seen a drop in their fortunes, both reflective of the turbulent markets and the coronavirus pandemic.

“The world’s richest are not immune to the devastating impact of the coronavirus,” said Kerry A. Dolan, Assistant Managing Editor of Wealth, Forbes. “The drop in the number of billionaires this year reflects the economic impact the pandemic is already having.”

Centi-billionaire Jeff Bezos maintains the top spot on this year’s ranking, for the third consecutive year, despite his net worth plunging by $18 billion. The Amazon CEO is valued at $113 billion, down from $131 billion last year. The decrease in his net worth is primarily due to his recent divorce.

Bill Gates remains in the No. 2 position with a fortune of $98 billion, up $1.5 billion from last year.

Bernard Arnault of LVMH moves up on this year’s ranking and debuts in the top three, as the third-wealthiest person in the world, after Warren Buffett’s fortune fell by $15 billion.

Buffett (No. 4) is valued at $67.5 billion, down from $82.5 from last year.

Rounding out the top five is Larry Ellison, founder, chairman and Chief Technology Officer of Oracle Corporation. While the software executive moves up on the ranking, his fortune is down $3.5 billion this year, to $59 billion.

top worlds billionaires present on forbes 34th annual list
Top 9 wealthiest characters in the world. Source: Forbes.

Forbes also releases the lists of top richest countries, Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2020, ten youngest billionaires in 2020 among others.

There are 178 billionaires who made this list of Forbes’s richest individuals for the first time. Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom, debuts on the list as Zoom gains mass popularity while many companies are shifting to a remote workforce.

The richest newcomer is Julia Koch, who inherited a 42% stake in Koch Industries from her late husband, David, who died last year. Her $38.2 billion fortune puts her at No. 18 on the ranking, tied with her brother-in-law, Charles Koch. Julia’s inheritance makes her the third richest woman in the world, after Walmart’s Alice Walton and L'Oréal’s Francoise Bettencourt Meyers. Another notable newcomer: MacKenzie Bezos, ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, who lands at No. 22 on the list with a total net worth of $36 billion.

Approximately 70% of the list is made up of self-made billionaires. Those 1,457 listers are people who have built a company or established a fortune on their own. There are a total of 241 women on the 2020 list, including seven who share their fortunes with their husband, child or sibling.

Regionally, Asia-Pacific boasts the most billionaires, with 778, followed by the United States with 614 and Europe with 511. By country, the U.S. leads with the greatest number of billionaires, with 614 (up from 607 last year), followed by China with 389 (up from 324 last year); Germany with 107 (down from 114), India with 102 (down from 106) and Russia with 99 (up from 98).

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