The billionaire list is a collection of individuals who have amassed their wealth through various means. Some have built successful pet food and soy sauce brands, while others have made their fortunes in mining copper and zinc, manufacturing eyeglasses, or developing real estate empires. Some have created new wealth while others have inherited old money. In this blog, we’ll look at the industries that produced the most billionaires in 2022, and the richest person in each of these industries.
1. Finance and investments
This industry is the sector with the most billionaires this year, with 393 billionaires accounting for almost 15% of the list. This represents an increase from last year when there were 371 finance and investment billionaires. This sector includes hedge fund and private equity tycoons, traditional bankers and fintech founders, money managers, venture capitalists, and billionaires who have made investments in a variety of sectors. The richest person in this industry is Warren Buffett, the CEO of investing conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, whose estimated net worth is $118 billion, up by $22 billion from last year, making him the fifth richest person in the world. Another notable billionaire in this industry is Chan Pen Zhao, also known as CZ, who founded cryptocurrency exchange Binance, which has become one of the world’s largest.
This industry has 337 billionaires, making it a close runner-up to finance and investments. Despite supply chain slowdowns and cargo ship sinkings, demand for goods from consumers and businesses remained high, contributing to the creation of 36 new manufacturing billionaires. The richest person in this industry is He Shinjang, the founder of appliance maker Media Group.
This sector has 332 billionaires, down by one from last year. The top 10 tech fortunes come from the founders of companies like Google, Oracle, and Microsoft, all launched decades ago. However, the richest person in this industry is Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. Social media tycoons like the founders of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and TikTok parent Byte Dance have been re-categorized to the media and entertainment industry to reflect how their companies are functioning.
Retailers, including luxury brands, sportswear companies, and grocery chains, make up the fourth industry on the list. Bernard Arnault, the head of luxury conglomerate LVMH, remains at the top with an estimated net worth of $158 billion. Falguni Nair, India’s richest self-made woman, is a newcomer to the list with an estimated net worth of $4.5 billion after building beauty and fashion retailer Nika, which went public in November 2022.
The sector has 217 billionaires. Cyrus Punawala, the founder of Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine maker by doses, is the richest person in this category with a net worth of $24.3 billion. Jeff Tangni, the founder of Doximeter, a social platform for doctors that went public in June 2022, is a top newcomer with an estimated net worth of $2.4 billion.
6. Food and beverage
The food and beverage industry accounts for 8% of the world’s billionaires. The richest person in this category is Zhang Chan Chan, the chairman of bottled water company NgfU Spring, who has a net worth of $65.7 billion. He also controls the publicly listed Beijing Wontai Biological Pharmacy.
7. Real estate
The real estate ranks number seven on the list with 193 billionaires. China’s Li Xiaoki is the wealthiest person in this industry, having co-founded property development company Sun Hong Kai and started Henderson Land Development, which makes up the majority of his wealth.
8. Diversified Holdings
The world is full of billionaires who have made their fortunes through diverse means, with 180 of them holding diversified holdings. At the top of this list is Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries, a company that has interests in petrochemicals, oil and gas, retail, and telecommunications.
9. Media and entertainment
Interestingly, only four percent of the billionaires list come from the media and entertainment sector. One of the most notable names in this category is Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York and presidential candidate, who has a net worth of Bloomberg LP, a financial information and media company.
The energy sector comes in at number 10 with only 95 billionaires, but Fan Hung Way of China leads the pack with a net worth of 18.2 billion dollars. She is the chair of Henley Petrochemical, a fiber supplier that produces polyester and textiles.
While industries like sports, media, and entertainment can create many millionaire athletes, actors, and producers, most billionaires are individuals with ownership stakes in lucrative brands and companies. Only one professional athlete, Michael Jordan, is among the 27 billionaires in sports, with a net worth of 1.7 billion dollars. The industry has three new billionaires this year, including Red Sox chairman Tom Werner and Arizona Diamondback’s managing general partner Ken Kendrick.