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Monthly Archives: November 2013

As of March 2013, the 21st richest person in France sits on the 1342nd spot on the recent billionaire listing rolled out by Forbes. Alain Taravella is currently reported to have a net worth of $1 billion. His business is primarily operating in both France and in Italy.

Altarea Cogedim, the business he founded for $3.5 billion is considered the third largest retail property in Franche. He sits as the chairman and the CEO of the business. It was in 1994 that he started his venture and took it public in 2004. Three years later, he was able to acquire another business (Cogedim). Since then his business focused its operations in three major property markets: residential, offices and retail. Their retail-entertainment concept created Bercy Village and came up with edge-of town retail, Family Village shopping centers.

His company currently manages a portfolio of shopping centers valued at €4 billion and has operations in France, Italy and in Spain.


Listed by Forbes as one of the richest and most influential person in mainland China, Larry Yung sits as the 1342nd richest person in the world. As of October 2013, his net worth is valued to be around $900 million. He was once the chairman of CITIC Pacific, a conglomerate based in Hong Kong.

Born Larry Yung Chi-kin on January 1942, he is also known as Rong Zhijian in his home country. It was in 2009 that he vacated his post as chairman and he resigned whilst the company was in a financial turmoil. During his serve, CITIC Pacific made its first major loss which amounted to more than $2 billion. The incorrect speculation in the FX accumulators exposed the company’s lack of internal management controls. This lead to the temporary suspension of the company’s shares in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on top of the police raids that ensued.

Larry Yung came from a very colorful clan that etched their names in the history of the country’s business and political dealings. His grandfather Rong Desheng was hailed as one of the most successful business entrepreneurs in the country before the Communist revolution. He was born to Rong Yiren who stayed in the country while his family went abroad. It was during his stay that he became a guiding force in the economic reform after Deng Xiaoping consolidated power in the 1980s. Rong rose to power and became the vice president of the country during the 90s.

He finished his secondary education from Shanghai Nanyang Model High School and went Tianjin University for his electronic engineering degree. With the support of the government, Larry went to Hong Kong to start the foundation of what would soon become CITIC Pacific.

Because of his family’s ties to the Communist Party of China, he was branded as the Red Capitalist.

The world’s 65th richest man has a net worth of $13.5 billion and is Saudi Arabian/Ethiopian in lineage. Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Ali Al Amoudi was born in the city of Desie and was brought up in Woldia in north-central Ethiopia. His father was Saudi Arabian and his mother was Ethiopian. He was already 19 years old when he became a citizen of Saudi Arabia.

His fortune came from his construction firm in Saudi Arabia. He is also known for being the biggest investor in Ethiopia with a wide range of portfolio that spans from gold mines to hotels to agriculture and cement. He also owns thousands of acres of staples, rice, and corn plantation which produces he sells to his home market and exports to Saudi Arabia. In addition, he also has oil mills in Morocco and Sweden and owns oil fields in West Africa together with his stake in the National Oil Company in Ethiopia.

As part of his philanthropic work, he funded a breast cancer research center in King Abdulaziz University. He also supports healthcare and sports in the United States, Africa, Europe, and Saudi Arabia.

With an estimated net worth of $14.4 billion, Andrey Melnichenko is listed as the 56th richest man in the world and the 6th in Russia. He was born in Gomel, Belarus on March 8, 1972. He is known for his numerous notable assets including the Open Joint-Stock Company EuroChem, OOO Siberian Generating Company, and Open Joint-Stock Siberian Coal Energy Company.

He graduated from the Boarding School of the Specialized Education and Research Center. The school was formerly known as the Boarding School at Kolmogorov Physics-and-Mathematics School #18. After graduating, he went to the School of Physics at the Moscow State University and then later on transferred and finished his degree at the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics.

One of the largest private banks in Russia is MDM Bank which was founded in 1993. This venture grew to become one of the leading financial institutions in the country and Melnichenko was one of its co-founders.  From its founding until 1997, he sat in the management board of the business. It was also in that same year that he earned his Finance and Credit major from the Plekhanov Russian University. In addition, he also became the sole shareholder of the bank after he bought out his partners.

In 2000 and 2001, he co-founded the MDM Group which serves as the holding company of Siberian Coal Energy Company and EuroChem, a mineral and chemical company. He was also one of the founders of Pipe and Metallurgic Company, the country’s largest manufacturer and exporter of steel pipes. It was in 2004 that he let go of his stocks in the business. In 2011, he created the Siberian Generating Company, currently the leading electric company in Siberia.

Andrey Melnichenko currently chairs the board of directors for all three companies (EuroChem, OAO SUEK and OOO SGC). He is married to Aleksandra Melnichenko, a former Siberian pop singer and model.

Stefan Persson, reported by Forbes as being the 12th richest person in the world, made his fortunes through a fashion company established by his father called Hennes & Mauritz. However, H&M is only one of the companies in his portfolio.

Born in Sweden in 1947, Stefan Persson is the Chairman of H&M, a company that was established in the same year. He took control of the company in 1982 and was its CEO until 1998. He is still the Chairman of the company, and has been since 1979. Under his leadership, the company expanded internationally. They have over 2,600 stores in 45 countries.

Other than H&M, Stefan also has substantial investments in a Swedish technology company called Hexagon.

In 2009, Stefan decided to venture into another totally unrelated industry – real estate. He was reported to have purchased a village in Hampshire, England, and also a whole block in Paris, France, becoming the landlord of Bally, Burberry, and Moschino. Other than the village in Hampshire and an entire block in France, Stefan also owns other properties. Some of which is leased to H&M.

Born in February of 1954 in Perth, Western Australia, Georgina Rinehart is an Australian mining heiress described by Forbes Asia as the wealthiest person in Australia. She also holds the #36 spot on the Forbes list of the World’s Billionaires.

Georgina was born in the mining industry. Her father, Lang Hancock, owner of Hancock Prospecting Pty Limited, had mining operations in Australia’s Pilbara region. In fact, she dropped out of college to work for her father and learn a good deal about the mining industry.

The death of Lang Hancock paved the way for Georgina to take the top spot in the company, and she took on the position of Executive Chairman. Georgina decided to take the company a different route then what her father previously established. During her father’s reign, the company focused on obtaining vast quantities of mining leases. Georgina saw that the leases had great income potential and decided to develop the deposits.

The mining boom in Australia helped a good deal in increasing Georgina’s personal wealth. In 2013, her net worth was estimated to be at $17 billion, making her the 5th richest woman in the world, and the richest woman in Australia. She’s been holding the richest person in Australia title since 2011.

In addition to the mining industry, Georgina is also deeply involved in the country’s political affairs. She believes that the Australian Government should be doing more to promote and allow foreign investments, especially in the northern area of the country – especially now that the country’s debt is at record highs.

Analysts from Citigroup believe that if Georgina’s wealth continues at its current trend, she would be on the path to overtake Carlos Slim, the Mexican Telecommunications magnate, as the second richest person in the world. This would of course bring her closer to Bill Gates, who’s estimated worth is at $56 billion.

Elon Musk, born June 28, 1971, is an American engineer, inventor, and business magnate. He currently serves as the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, while he is also the CEO and Chief Product Architect at Tesla Motors.

Born in Pretoria, South Africa, Elon learned computer programming by himself and by the young age of 12 years old, he was already able to sell the computer code for a video game called Blastar for $500. He studied commerce at the Queen’s School of Business for two years but transferred to the University of Pennsylvania where he acquired a degree in economics and physics.

Musk founded Zip2, a web software company with Kimbal Musk, his brother. In March 1999, he then founded, an online financial services and email payment company. After a year, his company acquired Confinity which used to operate PayPal as its subsidiary. Musk decided to develop the person-to-person platform and finally adopted the name PayPal. In June 2002, he established his third company, SpaceX, also known as Space Exploration Technologies. He also led the Series A financing of Tesla Motors until he became its CEO.

Nobody would guess that Michael Rubin, CEO of Kynetic, was formerly working out of his parent’s basement. He may be a billionaire now who is included in the Forbes 400 list of American billionaires, but he wasn’t born with a silver spoon. What he was born with was a penchant for business and a heart that could handle the toughest of situations.

When Michael was 12 years old, he started a ski-tuning shop in the basement of his parent’s house in Lafayette, PA. At the age of 14 and with $2,500, he decided to open a formal shop in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, he found out how tough the business environment can really be and when he turned 16, he already had a debt of $200,000.

However, this didn’t stop Michael from pursuing success in the business. He just wouldn’t quit even though his father helped to bail him from his huge debt in exchange for his promise to go to college. It turned out that his persistence would pay-off. He continued to operate the business and before he even set foot in college, he had already managed to open five more stores.

After selling his ski tuning business for a huge gain, Michael turned his attention to the sports apparel industry. He opened a sports store named KPR. Before he turned 21, the store already hit $1 million in sales. Three years later, the store was already averaging $50 million annual sales and he created another company called Global Sports, which he later renamed to GSI Commerce.

The success of GSI Commerce turned it into a multi-billion dollar company and became very attractive to investors. eBay purchased GSI for $2.4 billion. However, eBay didn’t want some components of GSI Commerce so Michael used the proceeds from the initial sale to buy them. He turned these components into a holding company called Kynetic, which is now worth over $3 billion.

Claiming the 2nd spot on the 2012 Forbes list of the World’s Most Powerful Women is Indra Nooyi, Chair person and CEO of Pepsi, the second largest beverage manufacturer in the world. Indra was born in Madras, India in 1955, but later migrated to the United States where she successfully got a management degree from Yale School of Management.

As the CEO of Pepsi, Indra had a large challenge ahead of her. But, this was a challenge she did not back down from. In fact, she proved that challenges are just hurdles that she can easily jump over. However, nobody ever thought that increasing the company’s revenues by 1.2%, equivalent to $13 billion, is a mere hurdle.

Today, Indra has set her sights to taking the number one spot from Coca-Cola, their biggest rival in the industry. The company is believed to be developing sweeteners that would someday make this dream a reality.