Friday, December 23, 2011

The Top Three Forbes Billionaires of 2011

business man with a dollar symbol
The prestigious Forbes Billionaires List is a yearly assessment of the world’s wealthiest business icons worldwide; this year’s much-anticipated list included no less than 1210 billionaires, with their combined wealth totalling a staggering $4.5 trillion. Below is an overview of the top three internationally renowned billionaires on this year’s Forbes list:  

warren buffetThird Place: Warren Buffett
The US business magnate, also known as the “Wizard of Omaha”, is a long-time fixture on the Forbes List of Billionaires. Warren Buffett is the chairman and CEO of multinational investment and insurance conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway; he first became a millionaire in 1962 and reached billionaire status in 1990.

Forbes named Warren Buffett as the world’s richest person in 2008, but the billionaire is known for having a heart of gold and donated a large portion of his fortune to charity the following year, so in 2009 he was only ranked at the second-wealthiest person in the USA. Today, Warren Buffett has a net worth of $50 billion, placing him third on the Forbes List of Billionaires for 2011. The 81-year-old business icon and philanthropist says he plans to leave the majority of his wealth to charity, and has urged fellow billionaires around the world - from executive suites Ontario to Omaha – to do the same.

Bill GatesSecond Place: Bill Gates
The Microsoft chairman currently has a net worth of $56 billion, ranking him just ahead of his long-time friend and associate Warren Buffett on the Forbes Billionaires List. He became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire at the age of 31 in 1987, when he made his debut on the Forbes 400 list, and has retained a ranking among the world’s wealthiest billionaires ever since.

Gates is another of the Forbes listed billionaires who has become just as renowned for his charitable contributions as his personal wealth. He and Buffett signed a Giving Pledge last year, stating that they would eventually donate half of their considerable wealth to charitable causes.

slimFirst Place: Carlos Slim Helú
This Mexican-born businessman leads the Forbes Billionaires List by a long way, with a remarkable net worth of $74 billion. This is the second year in a row that Helú has topped the Forbes list as the world’s richest man. He is currently chairman and CEO of telecommunications companies América Móvil and Telemex, as well as conglomerate Group Carso. The leading billionaire on the Forbes list is also on the Biggest Givers list after donating billions of dollars to charitable causes in 2011. That should serve as an inspiration to any CEO of serviced offices Glasgow!

Other entrepreneurs ranking high on the Forbes Billionaires List this year include Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google in 24th place, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who still has some catching up to do from 52nd place. With the 2011 Forbes Billionaires List breaking all previous records for the number of listed billionaires and the total combined wealth, next year’s list promises to be an impressive lineup indeed.

Nicky Warner is an enthusiastic, experienced writer looking to share news and views online.