Forbes 2024 rich-list

The world's richest

Image of billionaire Mark Zuckerberg. Credit: JD Lasica/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

On Forbes’ latest list of billionaires, unveiled this year, Bernard Arnault, hailing from Roubaix, France, has seen his wealth soar to an extraordinary £233 billion.

This growth is attributed to his successful oversight of the LVMH luxury conglomerate, which boasts over 75 distinguished brands such as Louis Vuitton, Sephora, and Tiffany & Co.

Now aged 75, Arnault’s net worth is £22 billion more than it was just a year ago, placing him £38 billion ahead of the second-richest individual, Elon Musk.

The luxury empire’s success

LVMH’s record-breaking year has added a hefty £22 billion to Arnault’s wealth. His lead over tech giants like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg has widened significantly.

Arnault’s life of luxury includes a historic castle in Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, owned by his family since 1998, and a prestigious residence in Les Parcs de Saint-Tropez.

Musk and Bezos

Elon Musk, the dynamic force behind Tesla, SpaceX, and now X (formerly Twitter), remains in second place with a fortune of £195 billion. He held the top spot in 2022 with $219bn but his acquisition of Twitter (now X) for $44bn dropped him into second place.

Musk’s wealth has seen a rollercoaster of highs and lows, peaking in 2022 before a slight recovery this year. At 52, his determination and innovative ventures continue to make headlines.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, ranks just behind Musk with £194 billion. After stepping down as CEO in 2021, Bezos has enjoyed life with significant contributions to worthy causes.

Despite personal setbacks, including a high-profile divorce, Bezos’s wealth has surged from £114 billion in 2023 to £194 billion this year, demonstrating the enduring power of his e-commerce empire.

The World’s top richest people

1. Bernard Arnault and family (France) – $233bn; LVMH owner

2. Elon Musk (US) – $195bn; Tesla/Space X founder

3. Jeff Bezos (US) – $194bn; Amazon founder and executive chair

4. Mark Zuckerberg (US) – $177bn; Meta owner, Facebook founder

5. Larry Ellison (US) – $141bn; Oracle founder

6. Warren Buffett (US) – $133bn; Berkshire Hathaway

7. Bill Gates (US) – $128bn; Microsoft former CEO

8. Steve Ballmer (US) – $121bn; Microsoft former MD

9. Mukesh Ambani (India) – $116bn.

10. Larry Page (US) – $114bn; Google former MD

Other notable entries include Spain’s Amancio Ortega, CEO of Zara, in 13th place with $103bn and the UK’s Sir James Ratcliffe with $16.5bn.

A new era of billionaires

The world now has more billionaires than ever before, with Arnault, Musk, and Bezos leading the charge. Their remarkable financial achievements highlight not only their business acumen but also a shifting landscape of global wealth and influence.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.