Jeff Bezos closed the year 2019 retaining the top spot in the list of richest people in the world. He narrowly took the first position beating his Microsoft rival, Bill Gates, by about $2 billion. The feat is remarkable because of the events of loss incurred by Bezos in the past year.
The Amazon founder’s net worth was down $10.1 billion since the beginning of the year. The major contributing factor being his divorce from his wife of 25 years that gulped a chunk of wealth off his assets and saw a massive decline in his net worth.
In mid-2019, Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos finalized their divorce with a notable settlement of $38 billion. The announcement of the divorce agreement details back in April disclosed that MacKenzie would grant Jeff all of interests in the Washington Post and Blue Origin, and voting control over her stake in the company. While The Amazon CEO would keep 75% of the Amazon stock their co-owned, and MacKenzie would keep the rest of the stock.
The rest of the Amazon stock valued at 4% was worth $38 billion, just enough to shoot Ms. MacKenzie up to the list of the richest women in the world, she was the fifth in the Bloomberg index, sitting a little behind Francoise Bettencourt Meyers and Alice Walton.
But MacKenzie’s fortune brought misfortune to Jeff at the tune of $45 billion, reducing his net worth to $121 billion from its $165 billion peak.
The decline in Bezos’ fortune was second to the highest in 2019, just a little behind Rupert Murdoch’s heart-wrenching loss. The media mogul whose net worth fell from $18 billion to $7.8 billion bore the greatest loss of the past year.
Despite losing a huge sum in the biggest private financial event of the decade, Jeff Bezos ended the 2019 as the richest person in the world, with a net worth of $115 billion.
The only other billionaire who incurred huge losses in the past year according to Bloomberg was Chinese Hui Kai Yan, who also experienced a decline in his net worth. Many others had a good year with notable increases in their net worth.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg saw an increase of $26 billion; Microsoft’s Bill Gates upped his figures by $22.7 billion. Google founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin enjoyed fortune soar of $13.3 billion and $12.8 billion respectively.
From Asia, the wave of fortune placed China on the table as the figures soared to its highest rank in time. The nation’s contingent rose to 54, following the U.S closely. He Xiangjian led the surge that increased his fortune by 79%, adding a whopping $23.3 billion to his net worth.
Russia’s richest also added $51 billion, as emerging market assets from currencies to stocks and bonds rebounded in 2019, with a collective increase of 21%.
In Africa, there is a significant rise from the previous year. The African richest man Aliko Dangote witnessed a substantial growth that resulted in addition of $4.3 billion to his net worth.
So collectively, 2019 was a good year for billionaires around the world, though there were cases of loss, but there were not bold enough to trump the significant growth that the year witnessed, surpassing largely the numbers from the previous year.
Here is the list of top 50 richest people in the world according to Bloomberg Index.
Rank Name Total net worth
1 Jeff Bezos $115 billion
2 Bill Gates $113 billion
3 Bernard Arnault $105 billion
4 Warren Buffett $89.3 billion
5 Mark Zukerberg $78.4 billion
6 Amancio Ortega $75.5 billion
7 Larry Page $64.6 billion
8 Sergey Brin $62.7 billion
9 Charles Koch $62.0 billion
10 Julia Flesher Koch $62.0 billion
11 Carlos Slim $60.2 billion
12 Francoise Bettencourt
Meyers $59.0 billion
13 Larry Ellison $58.8 billion
14 Mukesh Ambani $58.6 billion
15 Steve Ballmer $58.1 billion
16 Rob Walton $54.2 billion
17 Jim Walton $54.1 billion
18 Alice Walton $53.0 billion
19 Jack Ma $46.6 billion
20 Jacqueline Mars $42.5 billion
21 John Mars $42.5 billion
22 Francois Pinault $41.8 billion
23 Pony Ma $38.6 billion
24 Sheldon Adelson $38.6 billion
25 MacKenzie Bezos $37.1 billion
26 Phil Knight $36.6 billion
27 Giovanni Ferrero $32.0 billion
28 Michael Dell $30.9 billion
29 Tadashi Yanai $30.7 billion
30 Alain Wertheimer $30.1 billion
31 Gerard Wertheimer $30.1 billion
32 Hui Ka Yan $30.1 billion
33 Li Ka-Shing $29.7 billion
34 Vladimir Potanin $28.0 billion
35 Elon R Musk $27.6 billion
36 Yang Huiyan $26.9 billion
37 Laurene Powell Jobs $26.5 billion
38 Len Blavatnik $25.9 billion
39 Leonardo del Vecchio $25.4 billion
40 Dieter Schwarz $24.8 billion
41 Leonid Mikhelson $24.5 billion
42 Lee Shau Kee $24.1 billion
43 He Xiangjian $23.6 billion
44 Jorge Paulo Lemann $23.6 billion
45 Leonard Lauder $22.6 billion
46 Vagit Alekperov $22.3 billion
47 Pallonji Mistry $21.5 billion
48 Vladimir Lisin $21.4 billion
49 Elaine Marshall $21.4 billion
50 Jim Simons $20.9 billion.