The Forbes 2015 Rich List includes five Irish money-makers in a year that lists a record 1,826 billionaires.
Top of the Irish rich list is the little known Pallonji Mistry, worth $16.3 billion, who comes in as the 55th wealthiest person in the world. Mistry, the head of the family-run Shapoorji Pallonji conglomerate, qualifies as Irish because of his marriage to Dublin-born Patsy Perin Dubash. The Shapoorji Pallonji conglomerate hold business interests in industries and companies such as construction, Tetley Tea and Jaguar Land Rover reports Independent.ie.
The wealthiest Irish-born billionaire on the list is businessman Denis O’Brien, founder of Digicel, with a $6.8 billion in his back pocket. The other three Irish entries come further down the list and they are Glen Dimplex founder, Martin Naughton, holding $2.8 billion to his name; American-born Irish citizen and Campbells Soup heir, John Dorrance III, coming in with $2.6 billion; and finally, businessman Dermot Desmond who is worth $1.8 billion.
The total number of billionaires on the list this year rose by 200 with a record 1,826 billionaires worldwide and a rise in net worth from $6.4 trillion to $7.05 trillion. The average net worth on the list is $3.86 billion, down $60 million from the 2014 average. An astonishing 1,191 of those on the list are self-made billionaires with a further 405 inheriting a percentage of their money but continuing to build their wealth.
U.S. billionaires fared better than their European counterparts this year, with thanks to the stronger dollar versus the euro, claiming 536 places on the list. California alone is home to 131 billionaires, more than any other country apart from the U.S. and China.
Bill Gates has yet again topped the list, despite the billions given to charity each year through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates topped the list on 16 occasions in the past 21 years and saw an increase in wealth this year from $76 billion to $79.2 billion.
Despite a record number of women making the list this year, they remain a significant minority with 197 female entries (15%). Of these, only 27 are self-made billionaires.
The social networking phenomenon Snapchat has proved a massive success for founder Evan Spiegel (No. 1250), who became the world’s youngest billionaire this year, worth $1.5 billion at age 24. There are 46 billionaires under 40 on the list.
Each February, the Forbes list of billionaires takes a look at worldwide wealth to compile a list of individuals who own large fortunes. The full list of billionaires (if you want to make yourself suffer further) can be seen at www.forbes.com/billionaires.
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