RAPAPORT... Forbes magazine published its annual list of the world's richest players for 2011, adding 199 newcomers to the billionaire club. The publishing group listed 1,210 billionaires who had a combined net worth of $4.5 trillion, up from $3.6 trillion in 2010.
The world's wealthiest man again was Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico, with an estimated fortune of $74 billion, an increase of nearly $21 billion from 2010. The list included a number of executives involved, one way or another, in the diamond and jewelry industry.
Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway was ranked as the world's third-richest man with $50 billion. Bernard Arnault of LVMH moved up three spots to No. 4 with a net worth of $41 billion. Walton family members, who hold controlling share in Walmart, held top spots at 10, 20, 21 and 22. Amazon.com's Jeffrey Bezos fell five spots to No. 30, but his net worth improved to $18.1 billion from only $12.3 billion in 2010.
Facebook has become an increasingly important tool to the retail side of our industry. For this reason, we list several new billionaires this year from the social networking website starting with Mark Zuckerberg who ranked No.52 with a net worth of $13.5 billion.
Francois Pinault and family of the retailer PPR were rated at No.67, up 10 spots from 2010, for having a net worth of $11.5 billion.
Nicky Oppenheimer and his family increased their net worth in 2010 by $2 billion and moved up to No. 136 with $7 billion. In 2010, Oppenheimer was ranked at No. 154. Giorgio Armani also ranked at No. 136 this year with $7 billion.
Pierre Omidyar of eBay was No. 145 with $6.7 billion. Beny Steinmetz of the Steinmetz Diamond Group was assigned No. 162 with a net worth of $6 billion, up from No. 488 and a net worth of $2 billion in 2010.
Ralph Lauren ranked No. 173 with $5.8 billion and Johann Rupert, of Richemont Group, ranked No. 219 with a net worth of $4.8 billion. Dustin Moskovitz of Facebook ranked No. 420 with $2.7 billion. Laurence Graff dropped from No. 374 in 2010 to 459 in 2011 with net worth of $2.5 billion.
Lev Leviev fell 127 spots to No. 782, but his wealth improved to $1.6 billion from only $1.5 billion one year ago. Eduardo Saverin and Sean Parker, both of Facebook, shared the same rank with Leviev each with a net worth of $1.6 billion. Jack Ma of the Internet retailer Alibaba Group was ranked number 782, with a net worth of $1.6 billion.
Other contenders included Meg Whitman of eBay with net worth of $1.3 billion and a ranking at No. 938. Mohamed al Fayed of Harrods ranked No. 993 with net worth of $1.2 billion. Charles Munger of Berkshire Hathaway ranked No. 1,140 with net worth of $1 billion.