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Forbes’ billionaires list has 30-plus Palm Beachers; Trump’s worth drops


If money is power, then Palm Beach is home to plenty of powerful people, including its most influential part-time resident, President Donald Trump.

But when judged solely by his net worth, Trump’s isn’t nearly as powerful as some of his Palm Beach neighbors — or as many of the 2,042 other billionaires worldwide who joined him in Forbes’ 31st annual ranking of the richest people on the planet, released today and based on estimates made on Feb. 17.

> PHOTOS: Palm Beach residents on Forbes' 2017 billionaires list

Forbes estimates the president’s net worth at $3.5 billion, down from $4.5 billion a year ago. That ties him in 544th place with five other U.S. billionaires on the latest global list. Trump made the list even though he has announced he has separated his personal finances from his business empire by shifting assets and turning control of his companies over to his children. A year ago, Forbes tied Trump in 324th place with seven other billionaires.

>> DONALD TRUMP IN PALM BEACH: Latest news, photos, videos

Energy magnate David Koch is in his customary spot at the top of the list the billionaires who are known to have strong ties to Palm Beach, either by owning property or frequently leasing a residence here. Forbes’ magazine and its website put Koch’s net worth at $48.3 billion, up from $39.6 billion last year.

Koch this year is ranked No. 8 of the world’s richest people, moving from the ninth spot last year. He once again is tied with his brother Charles Koch, 82, with whom he runs Koch Industries. Charles Koch owns no property in Palm Beach.

David Koch’s twin brother, William “Bill” Koch, who has a home in Palm Beach and whose wealth also is tied to the energy industry, always ranks much lower than his brothers on the list. He is tied in the 1,567th spot with an estimated net worth is $1.3 billion, which dropped from $1.9 billion last year.

Once again leading the overall list of the world’s wealthiest people is Microsoft founder Bill Gates of Medina, Wash., whose net worth is estimated at $86 billion, up from $75 billion last year. Gates has headed the list for 18 of the last 23 years.

The total number of billionaires — the most ever, as recorded by Forbes — rose 13 percent over the 1,810 who made the list last year. The list has grown by 233 billionaires since last year.

The Palm Beachers are among 565 U.S. billionaires on the list. Many locals also are on the Forbes 400 list of the nation’s billionaires released each fall.

In addition to the president and Bill Koch, a few other Palm Beachers saw their personal assets shrink, including real estate mogul Stephen Ross of Related Companies, whose net worth fell from $12 billion last year to $7.4 billion this year, according to the list. Investor and newly confirmed U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Jr. also saw a decrease, from $2.9 billion to $2.5 billion. And so did Dmitry Rybolovlev, the Russian businessman who is selling off the Palm Beach estate he bought from Trump in 2008 for a recorded $95 million. Rybolovlev’s net worth dropped from $7.7 billion last year to $7.3 billion this year, according to Forbes.

But the majority of the Palm Beachers on the latest list enjoyed a boost to their assets. Among those who saw their net worth rise significantly were those who make their money via investing — not surprising, given Wall Street’s record-setting performance of late. Discount brokerage entrepreneur Thomas Peterffy, for instance, saw his net worth jump from $11.1 billion last year to $13.8 billion on the latest list. Likewise, investor Stephen Schwarzman’s net worth got a boost from $9.5 billion to $11.8 billion, while investor George Lindemann saw his assets jump by $1 billion, to $3.4 billion.

One notable Palm Beach name is missing from this year’s list. Jack Taylor, founder of Enterprise Rent-a-Car, died last July at 94. In 2016, he was ranked in 248th place, with an estimated net worth of $5.3 billion.

Palm Beach families represented on the list include members of the Lauder clan. Leonard and Ronald Lauder, whose mother was the late Estee Lauder, founder of the cosmetics empire, have side-by-side Midtown homes on the ocean. Their children – Aerin Lauder Linterhofer, Jane Lauder and William P. Lauder – also are involved in the beauty industry and all made the list.

*

The Palm Beach Forbes List

Here’s are Palm Beach billionaires ranked by Forbes’ among the world’s richest people — some with primary homes here, some seasonal residents or frequent visitors and still others who simply own property on the island.

Industrialist David Koch, 76, in eighth place, with $48.3 billion

Investor Carl Icahn, 81, in 55th place, with $16.6 billion

Discount broker Thomas Peterffy, 72, in 82nd place, with $13.8 billion

Private equity titan Stephen Schwarzman, 70, in 112th place, with $11.8 billion

Cosmetics executive Leonard Lauder, 84, in 145th place, with $8.9 billion

Cox Enterprises heiresses Katharine “Kathy” Rayner, 72, and Margaretta Taylor, 74, tied in 159th place, each with $8.1 billion

Hedge-fund manager Ken Griffin, 48, tied in 166th place, with $8 billion

Real estate developer and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, 76, tied in 186th place, with $7.4 billion

Russian fertilizer mogul Dmitry Rybolovlev, 50, in 190th place, with $7.3 billion

Tire king Bruce Halle, 86, tied in 219th place, with $6.5 billion

Money manager Charles Johnson, 84, tied in 250th place, with $5.8 billion

Robert Kraft, 75, New England Patriots owner, tied in 315th place, with $5.1 billion

Financier Henry Kravis, 73, tied in 324th place, with $5 billion

Hedge-fund manager Paul Tudor Jones II, 62, tied in 348th place, with $4.7 billion

Consumer products titan Leandro Rizzuto, 78, tied in 367th place, with $4.5 billion

Medical equipment heiress Ronda Stryker, 62, tied in 385th place, with $4.4 billion

Marvel Entertainment owner Isaac Perlmutter, 74, tied in 441st place with $4 billion

President Donald Trump, 70, tied in 544th place, with $3.5 billion

Real estate investor Jeff Greene, 63, and investor George Lindemann, 80, tied in 564th place, each with $3.4 billion

Cosmetics executive Ronald Lauder, 73, tied in 603rd place with $3.2 billion

Real estate asset manager Jane Goldman, 61, tied in 660th place with $3 billion

Investor Wilbur Ross Jr., 79, and casino and hotel developer Steve Wynn, 75, tied in 814th place, each with $2.5 billion

Investor C. Dean Metropolous, 70, tied in 867th place, with $2.4 billion

Liquor magnate Charles Bronfman, 84, tied in 896th place, with $2.3 billion

Slim-Fast founder S. Daniel Abraham, 92, tied in 973rd place, with $2.1 billion

Netscape founder and investor James Clark, 72, tied in 1,030th place, with $2 billion

Jeffrey Lurie, 65, owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, tied in 1,161st place, with $1.8 billion

Cosmetics executiveJane Lauder, 44, tied in 1,290th place with $1.6 billion

Cosmetics executive Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, 47, tied in 1,290th place with $1.6 billion

Money manager Mario Gabelli, 74, industrial equipment magnate Mitchell Jacobson, 65, and investor Nelson Peltz, 74, tied in 1,376th place, each with $1.5 billion

Oilman and investor William “Bill” Koch, 76, tied in 1,567th place with $1.3 billion

William P. Lauder, 56, in 1,795th place with $1.1 billion

Reebok founder Paul Fireman, 73, tied in 1,940th place, with $1 billion

*

Note: Forbes based the list on data collected on Feb. 17, 2017, and updates the list in real time, based on factors contributing to the billionaires’ net worth. As a result, the list provides a single-snapshot of the billionaires’ wealth. See the complete list at Forbes.com.

Did we overlook a Palm Beach billionaire on the Forbes list? Email dhofheinz@pbdailynews.com.



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