North Texas again on Forbes billionaire list

It’s that time again to gawk at billionaires courtesy of Forbes’ 30th annual ranking of the world’s wealthy. No. 1 is still Bill Gates who has topped the list for 17 of the last 22 years, so some things don’t change. No. 2 is Spanish clothing retailer Amancio Ortega (best known for the Zara fashion chain), up two spots, increased his net worth $2.5 billion for a total of $67 billion. But get out the handkerchiefs for Warren Buffett, who remained in the third spot, despite having his net worth drop $11.9 billion to $60.8 billion.

Telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu (No. 4) dropped two spots, and his net worth decreased to $50 billion from $77.1 billion last year. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos (No. 5) moved up to fifth from the fifteenth spot last year; his net worth increased to $45.2 billion.

Topping the list locally is Fort Worth’s Alice Walton, whose fortune comes from her stake in retailer Wal-Mart, which her father Sam founded back in 1962. She comes in at No. 16 worldwide, but No. 12 in the U.S. Unlike her siblings Rob and Jim – also billionaires – she doesn’t take an active role in the company. In 2011, she opened the Crystal Bridges Art Museum in her hometown of Bentonville, Ark. Later this year, the museum will open a New Jersey home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that was moved to the museum’s campus.

At No. 258 worldwide and No. 87 in the U.S. is Trevor Rees-Jones, who is a Dallas resident, but has been very involved at TCU’s Energy Institute.

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At No. 270 worldwide and No. 91 in the U.S. is Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys.

At No. 612 worldwide and No. 225 in the U.S. is Robert Bass of the Fort Worth Bass family, while Edward Bass, Sid Bass and Lee Bass are all listed at No. 1011 worldwide and No. 350 in the U.S., each listed with a net worth of $1.8 billion. TPG’s David Bonderman, also of Fort Worth, is listed at No. 688 worldwide and No. 248 in the U.S. with a net worth of $2.5 billion.

At No. 906 worldwide and No. 321 in the U.S. is Gerald Ford, the Dallas bank owner. At No. 1198 worldwide and No. 401 in the U.S. is H. Ross Perot Jr. of Dallas with a net worth of $1.5 billion.

At No. 1367 worldwide and No. 449 in the U.S. are Cisco brothers Dan and Farris Wilks who made their fortune with natural gas, primarily with Frac-Tech, which they sold a few years ago. They are listed as both having a net worth of $1.3 billion.

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Other facts from the list:

• 1,810 billionaires (down from 1,826 in 2015) made the list, with an average net worth of $3.58 billion (down $280 million from $3.86 billion in 2015).

• Added together, the total net worth for this year’s billionaires was $6.48 trillion, down from $7.05 trillion last year.

• 1,186 members, or roughly two-thirds of the list, were self-made billionaires. 228 inherited their wealth; another 396 inherited at least a portion but are still growing it.

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• There was a scramble at the top of the list this year. Only 2 in last year’s top 20 held onto their ranks: Bill Gates (No. 1) and Warren Buffett (No. 3). Jeff Bezos (No. 5) and Mark Zuckerberg (No. 6) move into the top 10 for the first time. Wang Jianlin (No. 18) from China, with $28.7 billion, and Jorge Paulo Lemann (No. 19) from Brazil, with $27.8 billion, made it into the top 20 for the first time. Sheldon Adelson (No. 22) fell out of the top 20.

• The volatility in global markets had a significant effect on this year’s list.


• The biggest gainer on the 2016 list is Mark Zuckerburg (No. 6), whose fortune is up $11.2 billion for a total net worth of $44.6 billion. He is the sixth richest in the world.

• The biggest loser was Carlos Slim Helú (No. 4), whose fortune dropped from $77.1 billion in 2015 to $50 billion this year.