1. AMANCIO ORTEGA, 78 years old, $63.2 billion, Retail (Spain)
World's richest retailer Ortega added $7 billion to his fortune this past year, expanding the gap between him and number four, Warren Buffett. He is up a total of $26.5 billion in the past two years. Though he stepped down as chairman of Inditex (best known for its Zara brand) in 2011, he still owns nearly 60% of its shares. He also has a growing real estate portfolio, estimated to be worth nearly $5 billion, much of it acquired at bargain prices during the financial downturn. He is reportedly planning to list his property holdings in a real estate investment trust. Among his properties: the iconic Torre Picasso, a 43-story skyscraper in Madrid (Google is a tenant). In the past year, he's bought four new buildings in Madrid, New York and London for around $830 million, taking the number of buildings he owns to 26. A railway worker's son, he started as a gofer in a shirt store. With then-wife Rosalia Mera, now deceased, he started making dressing gowns and lingerie in their living room. They had a daughter Sandra, and a son, Marcos. Ortega is now married to Flora Perez Marcote, with whom he had another daughter, Marta.
2. LILIANE BETTENCOURT, 91 years old, $35.6 billion, L’Oreal (France)
L'Oreal's grand dame Liliane Bettencourt is no longer the world's richest woman, though she grew wealthier this year thanks to the French cosmetics giant's stock price, up 9% since 2013. Bettencourt is no longer involved in running the company her father founded after a 2011 legal battle with daughter Françoise Bettencourt Meyers proved Liliane was unfit to manage her affairs. The elderly widow, who suffers from dementia, was replaced on the company's board by her 25-year-old grandson Jean-Victor Meyers in February 2012. The Bettencourt family is set to strengthen its hold on the L'Oreal empire in 2014 thanks to Swiss consumer goods giant Nestle's planned sale of its 8% stake. That will raise the family's holdings to 33%.
3. STEFAN PERSSON, 66 years old, $33.1 billion, H&M (Sweden)
The chairman of fast fashion favorite Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) Stefan Persson saw his fortune get a boost this year thanks to a 25% surge in the company's stock price. Persson also snapped up more English countryside to add to his portfolio: Sweden's richest person now owns 8,700-acre Savernake Estate in Wiltshire, not too far from Linkenholt, the Hampshire village he bought in 2009. Real estate investments aside, almost all his fortune still comes from the family's 38% equity stake (70% voting rights) in H&M, founded by his father, Erling, in 1947. Overseeing the day-to-day business since 2009 is Persson's 38-year-old son Karl-Johan, CEO and owner of a chunk of shares himself. The elder Persson enjoys downhill skiing, tennis and golf.
4. MICHELE FERRERO, 89 years old, $27.3 billion, Chocolates (Italy)
Michele Ferrero is the richest candyman on the planet. Now 89, he is the patriarch of the family that owns the Ferrero Group, maker of Kinder and Ferrero Rocher chocolates, Nutella and Tic Tac. He inherited the company from his father Pietro, who started making a hazelnut spread called Nutella when cocoa was rationed during World War II. Michele expanded the company and it continues to grow under the leadership of his son, Giovanni. Giovanni's brother Pietro, had shared control of the company for more than a decade but died, reportedly of a heart attack, during a humanitarian mission to South Africa in 2011. The company earned $10.5 billion in revenue during 2012, up 8% from the previous year thanks to growth in Asia, Russia and the United States. That boost pushed up the value of the group, and the Ferrero family's net worth, $6 billion since last year.
5. KARL ALBRECHT, 94 years old, $26.2 billion, Retail (Germany)
Germany's 94-year-old grocery king may not mind the store anymore, but his Aldi Sud shows no signs of slowing down, with plans to increase the number of Aldi mini-markets in the U.S. by nearly 50% over the next five years, while also expanding aggressively in Australia. With 4,800 locations in nine countries, including 1,300 locations in the U.S., the private company had estimated revenue of $50.54 billion in 2013, according to analysts. Albrecht and his late brother Theo took over their mother's corner grocery store in Essen, Germany in 1946 and turned it into a retail behemoth known for low prices and no frills. In 1961, the brothers split ownership: Karl took the more profitable stores in southern Germany, plus the rights to the Aldi brand in the U.K., Australia and the U.S., while Theo, who died in 2010, got the stores in northern Germany and the rest of Europe. (Theo's son Theo Jr. is also a billionaire.) Karl resigned from the operational business in 1994 and stepped down from Aldi Sud's advisory board in 2002.
6. ALISHER USMANOV, 60 years old, $19.5 billion, Steel & Mining, Telecom, Investments (Russia)
The richest man in Russia, Alisher Usmanov made his fortune in metals (iron ore and steel) and now has interests ranging from telecommunications (Megaphone, Russia's #2 mobile phone operator) to media (Kommersant, the country's largest business daily). He also owns a stake in British soccer team FC Arsenal. In 2013 he finished forming USM Holdings, dividing with billionaire partners Andrey Skoch and Farhad Moshiri nearly all of his businesses. In 2013 the partners sold all the shares in Facebook they owned, and they bought and then sold a stake in Apple for a substantial profit.
7. JOHN FREDRIKSEN, 69 years old, $14.7 billion, Shipping (Cyprus)
John Fredriksen started trading oil in the 1960s in Beirut, bought his first tankers in the 1970s, ran crude oil for Iran in the 1980s, then in the 1990s, with Frontline Ltd., established himself as the king of the tanker trade. In 2005 he got into the deepwater drilling business with Seadrill; that company now puts $400 million a year in dividends in his pocket. In 2012, with the tanker business in the toilet, ship prices depressed, and his Frontline in need of recapitalization, Fredriksen spun off its young ships and newbuild orders as Frontline 2012. Shares surged on the Oslo exchange, and he expects to list the company on the NYSE soon. Fredriksen is also big in fish farming with Marine Harvest, which in 2013 bought Morpol and a stake in Grieg Seafood; aims to consolidate the industry. This son of a welder long ago gave up Norwegian citizenship for tax-haven Cyprus; he runs his empire from London mansion; relaxes in Marbella.
8. PALLONJI MISTRY, 85 years old, $13.8 billion, Construction (Ireland)
Irish citizen Pallonji Mistry, patriarch of Indian construction giant Shapoorji Pallonji Group, got a $2.3 billion boost to his wealth this year thanks to the rising value of his 18.4% stake in Tata Sons, holding outfit of the $100 billion Tata conglomerate run by his younger son Cyrus, who is chairman. Benefiting from a weaker rupee, its exports-led Tata Consultancy Services, which sponsors the New York city marathon, became the world's second most valuable IT services firm after IBM with a market cap of $69 billion. Cyrus also took charge of auto flagship Tata Motors, after its chief executive committed suicide in February. Older son Shapoor, a horse racing enthusiast, chairs and runs the family's privately-held construction to consumer goods empire.
|Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor
9. GERALD CAVENDISH GROSVENOR, 62 years old, $13.2 billion, Real Estate (United Kingdom)
The U.K.'s richest landlord, Gerald Grosvenor continues to benefit from the steadily improving real estate market for central London. Known formally as the 6th Duke of Westminster, he owns 190 acres in Belgravia, an area adjacent to Buckingham Palace and one of London's most expensive neighborhoods. His family also has 96,000 acres in Scotland, 32,000 acres in Spain and thousands elsewhere in England. Altogether, the private Grosvenor Group owns real estate on five continents and reports just under $20 billion in assets under management. In 2013 his son, Earl, became one of seven godparents to the new royal baby, Prince George. His daughter, Edwina, works on prison reform.
10. RINAT AKHMETOV, 47 years old, $12.8 billion, Steel, Coal (Ukraine)
Rinat Akhmetov has seen his fortune tumble this year with both his main steel and iron ore assets suffering from weak demand and slumping prices. To boot, he's had protestors outside his London mansion calling for him to take a stand into the ongoing battle over Ukraine's deposed president Viktor Yanukovich, who Akhmetov once called an ally. The pair reportedly had a falling out last year, which was followed by Akhmetov relinquishing his position in parliament. Soccer aficionado riding high after UEFA Euro 2012 games were played in his $400 million Donbass Arena. Son of a coal miner got his start buying up mining assets in Ukraine's 1990s privatization, today forming the basis of his SCM holding company.
11. ERNESTO BERTARELLI, 48 years old, $12 billion, Biotech, Investments (Switzerland)
Ernesto Bertarelli inherited biotech giant Serono, maker of the billion-dollar multiple sclerosis drug Rebig, following his father's death in 1998. Along with his sister Dona, he expanded the company to $2.4 billion in revenues before selling it to Merck in 2007 for $9 billion. The siblings shared that sum with their mother, Maria Iris. Ernesto and Dona co-chair the Bertarelli Foundation, which focuses on marine conservation and life sciences research. A yacht enthusiast, his Team Alinghi races in the Extreme Sailing Series and is a rival of fellow billionaire Larry Ellison. He also owns the $100 million super yacht Vava II. The family's Waypoint Group has investments ranging from commercial real estate in London to drug companies. In 2013 Waypoint acquired a majority share of Euromedic, which does diagnostic imaging and cancer detection and treatment and all of immunotherapy drug company GREER Laboratories. Along with Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, Bertarelli is planning to open a biotech campus on the Geneva site once occupied by Merck Serono. Dona invests in hotels including the Grand Hotel Park in Gstaad. She also runs the Spindrift Racing sailing team, which won the 2013 Rolex Fastnet race. Mother Maria Iris runs the Colle Massari vineyard and estate in the south of Tuscany with her brother, Claudio. Kirsty, Ernesto's wife, is a former Miss UK and released her first single, "Send Out A Message (To The World)" in April 2013.
12. PETR KELLNER, 50 years old, $11.3 billion, Banking, Insurance (Czech Republic)
Petr Kellner made a big bet on telecommunications this year, buying Spanish giant Telefónica's Czech business for $3.2 billion, diversifying further from his insurance roots. Kellner got his start in the early 90's selling office supplies, then borrowed $1 million against that business and started an investment fund which he used it to buy a controlling stake in the biggest Czech insurer during its privatization; Kellner announced the sale of this insurance stake to partner, Italian insurer Generali, for $3.6 billion in a deal that will be completed next year. Kellner continues to develop his asset lender, Home Credit, in Asia where profits have buoyed the group. He is also investing in energy via EHP, Russian real estate and anti-cancer drug research. A dedicated philanthropist, Kellner, with his wife, endows scholarships at his Open Gate School and became the leading sponsor of a library- think-tank for Czech ex-president Vaclav Klaus.
|Charlene De Carvalho-Heineken
13. CHARLENE DE CARVALHO-HEINEKEN, 59 years old, $11.1 billion, Heineken (Netherlands)
Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken is one of the richest women in the world, thanks to her 25% controlling stake in Dutch brewer Heineken, which she inherited from her late father, Freddy Heineken, a decade ago. Her son, Alexander de Carvalho, assumed a board seat in April. The company has more than 170 premium brands in more than 65 countries. A mother of five, she studied law at the University of Leiden. She is a member of St. Moritz's elite Corviglia Ski Club and enjoys photography, music and architecture. Her husband, investment banker Michel de Carvalho, sits on Heineken's supervisory board. He's a former child actor who appeared in the 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia.
|Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen
14. KJELD KIRK KRISTIANSEN, 66 years old, $10.9 billion, Lego (Denmark)
The November 2013 IPO of Merlin Entertainments cast a spell on investors - and made Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen even richer. Through his investment company, Kirkbi, Kristiansen owned 34.6% of Merlin, which operates attractions like the Madame Tussauds wax museums, and then sold nearly £70 million in stock in the offering. The other part of Kirkbi is equally famous: the toy company LEGO. (Kristiansen is the grandson of the company's founder.) LEGO moved ahead of Hasbro in 2013 to become the second largest toy company by sales; it has long been the most profitable. The increase in sales comes from the success of movie tie-ins with Star Wars and Marvel, while LEGO hopes its new Friends line will make inroads with little girls. Creating Star Wars toys was actually dreamed up by Kristiansen during his quarter-century tenure as CEO. He stepped down in 2004 and remains deputy chairman and the company's majority owner.
15. DIETRICH MATESCHITZ, 70 years old, $9.2 billion, Red Bull (Austria)
Red Bull is the leading brand in a frothy energy drinks market, with company sales up an impressive 16% in 2012 to $6.7 billion- boosting co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz's net worth by an estimated $2.1 billion. Born in Styria, Austria to a family of Croatian ancestry, Mateschitz marketed detergents for Unilever and toothpaste for German cosmetics company Blendax. It was during his travels for Blendax that he discovered Krating Daeng, the drink that would become Red Bull. In 1984, he founded Red Bull GmbH with Thailand's Chalerm Yoovidhya, who died in March 2012. A Taurus (the zodiac sign of the bull), Mateschitz owns 49% of the company, which sold 5.23 billion cans of Red Bull worldwide in 2012 - with eye-popping revenue gains in South Africa (+52%), Japan (+51%) and Saudi Arabia (+38%). However, because of its contents, Red Bull is still banned in Iceland and Uruguay. The company has stakes in two soccer teams, Red Bull Salzburg and the New York Red Bulls, and a Formula One team, Red Bull Racing. Mateschitz's other interests include Seitenblicke magazine; Servus TV; a luxury resort on the island of Laucala in Fiji; and Hangar-7, the event center on the grounds of the Salzburg airport that houses his historical aircraft collection, the Flying Bulls.
16. AMERICO AMORIM, 79 years old, $5.8 billion, Energy, Investments (Portugal)
Portuguese mogul Americo Amorim started out in his family's cork business, Corticeira Amorim, and now has stakes in energy companies and banks all over the world. His grandfather started Corticeira Amorim in 1870 and the business still processes about one-quarter of the world's cork. Americo's biggest asset is an 18% stake in Portuguese energy company Galp Energia, worth $2.7 billion. Galp has operations on every continent but is especially active in oil reserves off the coasts of Brazil and Angola. In 2005 Amorim started Angola's Banco Internacional de Credito with Isabel dos Santos, the billionaire daughter of Angolan president Jose Eduardo Santos. The bank was an immediate success in large part thanks to $450 million of loans it made to her father's government.
|Stein Erik Hagen
17. STEIN ERIK HAGEN, 57 years old, $5.5 billion, Retail (Norway)
Stein Erik Hagen founded discount supermarket Rimi with his father in the 1970s. Dutch retailing giant Ahold later acquired Rimi. Hagen sold out his Rimi stake in in 2004 and now has various investments across Scandinavia. He is chairman of consumer goods manufacturer Orkla ASA and owns hardware store chain Jernia. In January 2014 he donated $16 million to found the Norwegian Prostate Cancer Institute, which will fund research into the disease. He has been diagnosed with the disease and has sought treatment in the U.S. His wife, Mille-Marie Treschow, inherited substantial forestry assets from her family. The couple reportedly separated in 2012 but remain involved in each other's investments.
18. BIDZINA IVANISHVILI, 58 years old, $5.2 billion, Investments (Georgia)
Bidzina Ivanishvili, who lives in a 108,000-square-foot compound in the mountains overlooking Tbilisi, became the prime minister of Georgia in October 2012, after his Georgian Dream coalition won the election. Thirteen months later, he stepped down after his party won the presidential elections, saying he'd fulfilled his task. Georgia's richest person by far, he made his money in Russia and moved back home in 2003. Over the years, he sold off his businesses and reinvested proceeds in gold, Russian and American equities, and art (he has a collection worth $1 billion that includes Dora Maar with Cat by Pablo Picasso, which he bought at Sotheby's in 2006 for $95 million). He says he also spent or invested $3 billion of his own money on several social and charitable projects in Georgia.
19. ALBERT FRERE, 88 years old, $4.9 billion, Investments (Belgium)
Last year Albert Frère bought back BNP Paribas' 30% stake in Compagnie Nationale a Portefeuille (CNP), acquired when Paribas and Frère took the company private in 2011. Frère now owns 100% of the media, utilities and oil empire which he built from the family's scrap-metal business. In July 2008 he helped push through the stalled mega-merger of CNP subsidiary Suez with French utility Gaz de France. The merged company, European energy giant GDF Suez, is one of the largest independent electricity suppliers in the world. He and good friend Bernard Arnault together own Chateau Cheval Blanc in France.
20. JAN KULCZYK, 64 years old, $4 billion, Telecom/Oil/Beer (Poland)
Investor Jan Kulczyk began to pass the management mantle of his diverse portfolio to his children last July when his daughter Dominika joined his holding company's supervisory board. In January his son Sebastian stepped in as CEO of the holding company making this a family affair. The new energy may be merited. Currently over half of Kulczyk's investments are tied up in beermaker SABMiller whose stock price is down 30% over the past year. He is looking to new ventures to lift returns; son, Sebastian, has already invested in an interactive marketing agency and a data processing center. This new structure may mean Kulczyk can use his yacht, plane and homes in Florida and France more.
21. ANTTI HERLIN, 57 years old, $3.1 billion, Elevators/Escalators (Finland)
Antti Herlin, Finland's richest man, amassed his fortune via the $9.5 billion (2013 sales) Kone Corporation, a Finnish elevator and escalator manufacturer, installation and maintenance firm. Herlin's grandfather founded the company in 1924. After being appointed deputy chairman and CEO in 1996, Antti expanded operations through a series of acquisitions, alliances and technological advancements. The company is making a push into eco-efficient "people flow solutions," or elevators that will increase the speed and ease of people moving through some of the tallest buildings in the world. Antti stepped down as CEO in 2006. He has been chairman since 2003, the year his father Pekka died. He is also the chairman of Security Trading Oy, and sits on the board of Finnish construction firm YIT. He holds shares in Finnish media firm Sanoma. Antti received the Nordic 2012 Chair of the Year award, an honor given to the best chairman of a publicly listed company in the region.
22. SPIRO LATSIS, 67 years old, $2.8 billion, Banking, Shipping (Greece)
Spiro Latsis is the only Greek billionaire that still hold an important stake in the shipping industry, yet the bulk of his wealth has been diversified elsewhere. The son of shipping tycoon John S. Latsis, Spiro has been managing the family fortune ever since his father passed away in 2003. The Latsis' family's largest position is in Hellenic Petroleum, one of Greece's major oil refining companies. He also holds a substantial stake in EFG International, a global private banking group headquartered in Zurich. Latsis, who is a three-time graduate of the London School of Economics and currently lives in Geneva, is also involved in Lamda Development, a publicly traded real estate company in Greece and South Eastern Europe that was responsible for building The Mall Athens, one of the largest shopping malls in the region. Intensely private, Latsis does have a stake in the shipping business that made his father a wealthy man, owning Consolidated Marine management, which runs a 15 vessel fleet of product tankers and liquefied petroleum gas carriers.
23. STEPHEN LANSDOWN, 61 years old, $2.3 billion, Financial Services (Guernsey)
Stephen Lansdown is co-founder of $60 billion (assets under management) U.K. financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown. He stepped down as non-executive director in 2012 but still owns just under 19% of the firm's shares. His fortune has risen by nearly $1 billion as the firm's stock has doubled in the past year. He is also the majority owner of soccer team Bristol City FC and has a stake in Bristol Rugby. In 2013 he relocated from the U.K. to Guernsey, a small island off the coast of Norway, apparently to minimize his tax burden. His co-founder Peter Hargreaves is also a billionaire.
24. DAVID NAHMAD, 67 years old, $1.8 billion, Art (Monaco)
Art dealer David Nahmad and his brother Ezra own a huge stockpile of modern and impressionist art that they store in a duty-free warehouse next to the airport in Geneva, Switzerland. Their inventory includes work by more than 400 blue chip artists, from Monet and Matisse to Renoir and Rothko. They buy and sell most of their works at auction. Among the holdings: 300 Picassos, worth some $900 million. The whole collection is worth at least $3 billion. The brothers hold the art assets jointly, split 50/50. David also trades a currency and stock portfolio worth an estimated $250 million. David's son Hillel, 35, known as Helly, whose assets are separate from his father's and uncle's, runs the Helly Nahmad Gallery in the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan.
25. IOAN NICULAE, 59 years old, $1.2 billion, Agriculture (Romania)
Founder of Interagro, Romania's leading agricultural and fertilizer conglomerate, Ioan Niculae faced negative press in the fall of 2013 after state prosecutors alleged two Romanian politicians gave Interago favorable discounts on gas transfers from 2006 to 2010. Niculae is plowing ahead with investments in a cogeneration plant and upgrades to a Black Sea hotel property. He founded the Romanian Investors Council, which aims to be a leading think tank. He got his start at a state-owned agricultural company, then branched out on his own. He is an avid hunter who prefers home to travel.
26. NERIJUS NUMAVICIUS, 47 years old, $1.1 billion, Retail/Pharmacy (Lithuania)
Nerijus Numavicius joins the billionaires list this year for the first time as his Baltic food and pharmaceuticals retailer expands it businesses into Poland and Bulgaria. His Vilniaus prekyba group holding company is the umbrella for the Maxima and Euroapotheca chains. He partnered with his two brothers and six others to found the precursor to the current group holding company. The university buddies, nicknamed the VP-9, started in real estate and moved to retail, investing in stocks during the post-Soviet privatization campaigns. In 2010 he consolidated his majority position in the holding company, which resulted in a falling out with his brother Julius, who now lives in Florida. Julius is suing VP Group for more than $150 million.