The world’s top 10 billionaires: Who are they, what is their net worths and how did they build their fortunes?

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Elon Musk is the richest person in the world with an estimated fortune of £178b (AP) (AP)
Elon Musk is the richest person in the world with an estimated fortune of £178b (AP) (AP)

The rate of billionaires increases year on year, with the current number at 2,755 billionaires worldwide, according to Forbes magazine.

Here is everything you need to know about the top ten billionaires in the world, and how they acquired their wealth:

1) Elon Musk - £178 billion

With an estimated fortune of £178 billion, Elon Musk is the wealthiest person on the planet.

He was born and raised in South Africa, but he moved to Canada to study at Queen’s University, before eventually transferring to the University of Pennsylvania.

He then moved to California, where he decided to pursue his ideas for business, instead of his education, with great success.

His first software startup, Zip2 was bought in 1999 for £249 million, and he then went on to co-found Paypal, which sold to eBay in 2002 for £2 billion.

The same year, he founded SpaceX, and he runs electric vehicle maker Tesla, of which he is a shareholder.

In April 2022, Musk successfully bought the social media network Twitter for £36 billion.

Musk has been married twice and has eight children. His most recent relationship was with singer Grimes, with whom he has two children, a son named, X Æ A-12 and a daughter called Exa Dark Sideræl.

2) Jeff Bezos - £139 billion

Jeff Bezos is the second richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of £139 billion according to Forbes Magazine.

Bezos is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico and famously started the company from a garage in his home.

Amazon started off selling books, but by the early 2000s it had expanded to offering everything, from electronics to furniture and toiletries.

Jeff Bezos founded Amazon from a garage in his home, and the company started off selling books (AP)
Jeff Bezos founded Amazon from a garage in his home, and the company started off selling books (AP)

Bezos owns several apartments in New York City, homes in Washington, California and Washington DC and a ranch in Texas which is the private base for his company Blue Origin which ferried tourists into space in 2021.

He was married to MacKenzie Bezos for 25-years and the pair have four children together, but they announced their divorce in 2019, with Bezos announcing his relationship with Lauren Sanchez in the same year.

3) Bernard Arnault & family - £130 billion

According to Forbes Magazine, the third richest family in the world have an estimated net worth of £130 billion.

Bernard Arnault oversees the LVMH empire of 70 of the world’s most famous fashion and beauty brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora.

LVMH spent £2.6 billion in 2019 to acquire luxury hospitality group Belmond, which owns or manages 46 hotels, trains and river cruises, and in 2021 acquired American jeweler Tiffany & Co for around £13 billion, which is believed to be the biggest luxury brand acquisition ever.

Bernard Arnault is the CEO of luxury goods company LVMH, which oversees 70 of the world’s most famous fashion and beauty brands (Getty)
Bernard Arnault is the CEO of luxury goods company LVMH, which oversees 70 of the world’s most famous fashion and beauty brands (Getty)

The 73-year old French billionaire came from a wealthy family who owned a successful construction business, from which he used £12 million to buy Christian Dior in 1984.

He is currently based in Paris with his wife, concert pianist Helene Mercier, and they have five children, four of whom work in the family business.

4) Bill Gates - £105 billion

Gates can attribute his wealth to software company Microsoft, which he co-founded with Paul Allen in 1975.

He was married to Melinda Gates for 27 years, and they formed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which they still co-chair together following their 2021 divorce.

Bill Gates and his wife Melinda formed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which supports global health intiatives (AFP via Getty Images)
Bill Gates and his wife Melinda formed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which supports global health intiatives (AFP via Getty Images)

The foundation supports such global health initiatives as improving global sanitation and the eradication of diseases like Malaria and Aids.

Gates is estimated to have donated £29 billion worth of Microsoft stock to the Foundation, which is currently the largest private donor to the World Health Organisation.

5) Warren Buffet - £96 billion

Warren Buffet was the son of a US congressman, who earned the nickname the, ‘Oracle of Omaha’ when he bought and sold his first stock at just 11 years old.

He runs Berkshire Hathway, which owns companies including Dairy Queen.

Warren Buffet was dubbed the ‘Oracle of Omaha’ after buying and selling his first stock at just 11 years old (AFP via Getty Images)
Warren Buffet was dubbed the ‘Oracle of Omaha’ after buying and selling his first stock at just 11 years old (AFP via Getty Images)

Buffet pledged to give away 99% of his fortune in 2006, and he has so far given away £36 million.

Also, unlike many other billionaires, Buffet still lives in the same house in Omaha, Nebraska that he bought for £25,500 in 1958, before he made his fortune.

6) Larry Page - £90 billion

Lawrence Edward Page is an American computer scientist and internet entrepreneur who is best known as one of the co-founders of Google.

Page, whose father was a computer science professor at Michigan State University, obtained a computer engineering degree from the University of Michigan in 1995, before entering into the doctorate programme at Stanford.

He co-founded Google in 1998 with fellow Stanford Ph.D. student Sergey Brin, and together they invented Google’s PageRank algorithm, which powers the search engine.

Larry Page, the co-founder and former CEO of Google, is the 6th richest person in the world (AFP/Getty Images)
Larry Page, the co-founder and former CEO of Google, is the 6th richest person in the world (AFP/Getty Images)

Google went public in 2004 and began trading as Alphabet, a newly created parent company, in 2015.

Page was CEO until 2001, when the role was taken over by Eric Schmidt, and then from 2011 until 2015, when he became CEO of Alphabet.

In 2018, Page stepped down as CEO of Alphabet, but he remains a board member and a controlling shareholder.

He is a founding investor in space exploration company Planetary Resources, and is also funding “flying car” startups Kitty Hawk and Opener.

7) Sergey Brin - £87 billion

Google co-founder Sergey Brin is the 7th wealthiest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of £87 million, according to Forbes.

He stepped down as the president of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in December 2019, but like his co-founder Larry Page, he remains a controller shareholder and a board member.

Larry Page’s Google co-founder, Sergey Brin, is the 7th wealthiest person on the planet (Getty Images for Breakthrough Pr)
Larry Page’s Google co-founder, Sergey Brin, is the 7th wealthiest person on the planet (Getty Images for Breakthrough Pr)

Brin was absent from public Alphabet events for much of 2019, instead spending his time on Alphabet’s moonshot research lab X, and he is reportedly funding a high-tech airship project.

8) Larry Ellison - £86 billion

Larry Ellison is the chairman, CTO (chief technology officer) and co-founder of software giant Oracle.

After 37 years as CEO, he stepped down in 2014, but according to Bloomberg he owns over 40% of the company.

Oracle’s growth can be partly attributed to its steady acquisitions of software companies, the biggest of which was its £8 billion acquisition of NetSuite in 2016.

Oracle co-founder, chairman and CTO Larry Ellison has an estimated net worth of £86 billion (Getty Images)
Oracle co-founder, chairman and CTO Larry Ellison has an estimated net worth of £86 billion (Getty Images)

In 2012, Ellison bought nearly all of the Hawaiian island Lanai for $300 million, and in 2020, he relocated there permanently.

The 77-year-old joined Tesla’s board in December 2018, after purchasing 3 million Tesla shares earlier that year.

9) Steve Ballmer - £74 billion

Steve Ballmer was the CEO of Microsoft from 2000 to 2014.

He joined the company in 1980 as an employee after dropping out of Stanford’s MBA program, and eventually became president in 1998, before replacing Bill Gates as CEO in 2000.

Ballmer oversaw Microsoft after the first dot-com crash, and through efforts to catch up to Google in search capabilities and Apple in mobile phones.

He retired from Microsoft in 2014, and that same year bought the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers for £1.6 billion.

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is the current owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers (Getty Images for The New York Ti)
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is the current owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers (Getty Images for The New York Ti)

The 66-year-old has ramped up his philanthropy since 2014, putting around £2 billion into a donor-advised fund, with a focus on lifting Americans out of poverty.

In 2018, he invested £48 million in Social Solutions, which makes software for nonprofits and government agencies.

10) Mukesh Ambani - £73 billion

With an estimated net worth of £73 billion, not only is Mukesh Ambani the 10th wealthiest person in the world, he is also the richest person in India.

He chairs and runs Reliance Industries, which has interests in petrochemicals, oil and gas, telecom and retail, and which generates around £60 billion in revenue.

Reliance Industries chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani is the 10th wealthiest person in the world and the richest person in India (REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File Photo)
Reliance Industries chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani is the 10th wealthiest person in the world and the richest person in India (REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File Photo)

Reliance was founded in 1966 by Ambani’s late father Dhirubhai Ambani, a yarn trader, as a small textile manufacturer, and, following his death in 2002, the empire was divided up by Ambani and his younger sibling Anil.

Reliance sparked a telecom price war with the launch of 4G phone and broadband service Jio in 2016, and today, Jio investors include Google and Facebook.

Ambani is pivoting Reliance into green energy, and the company will be investing £65 billion over the next 10-15 years on renewable energy and building a new complex next to its refinery.

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