For one week each year, Davos may lay claim to being the wealthiest place on Earth.
This year, about 80 billionaires have joined more than 2,500 business and political leaders in the Alpine ski resort for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. Of them, more than a dozen are ranked on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily tally of the world’s 100 richest people compiled by Bloomberg. Their combined net worth: more than $260 billion.
The wealthiest person in town is Bill Gates, the second-richest man in the world, with a $64.1 billion fortune. Hovering over his portfolio analysis on his Bloomberg Billionaires page shows that less than a quarter of his net worth is derived from Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, which he co-founded with Paul Allen.
Gates is followed by Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in India, who has a net worth of $27.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg ranking. India’s richest man controls about 45 percent of Reliance Industries, and also owns a 27-story Mumbai home valued at about $500 million. Here’s a look at how Ambani’s ranking on the Bloomberg index has changed in the last three months.
George Soros is the third-richest man in town. The money manager, who made $1 billion selling short $10 billion British pounds in 1992, is hosting a cocktail party tonight at the Hotel Seehof. In this view, readers can discover that Soros is the second-richest man in finance over age 80, behind Warren Buffett.
One of the benefits of the new Bloomberg.com data visualization tool is the ability to create daily wealth rankings for every country that is home to billionaires.
Alisher Usmanov, valued at $19.8 billion, decided to come to Davos earlier this week. By sorting for Russian citizens, users find he is the country’s richest man.
With a $18.8 billion net worth, Lakshmi Mittal rounds out the top-five richest in Davos. The steel tycoon owns about $500 million in property on London’s so-called Billionaires Row on Kensington Palace Gardens. Featured on Mittal’s profile in the possessions section is picture of one of the homes.
Why do billionaires show up in Switzerland every January?
“Going to Davos is a good way to get a lot done in a short period of time,” said billionaire Adi Godrej, the 70-year-old chairman of Mumbai-based Godrej Consumer Products Ltd., India’s second-largest consumer goods maker by value, in a phone interview on Jan. 10. “You can see a large number of people in one place, and it’s a good learning holiday. There are interesting sessions on many subjects. It’s a nice place.”
Billionaire Ross Perot Jr., 54, whose father, Ross Perot, twice ran for U.S. President as an independent candidate, said he comes to save time on travel — and get a sense of what other powerful people are thinking.
“I also go to see what the conventional wisdom is among all the political leaders,” he said. “The conventional wisdom normally isn’t accurate, and I usually do the opposite. But it’s a good thing to know.”
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