Step aside, Buffett. Today’s money moguls are moving fast.
From the Medicis to the Morgans, the business of lending, trading or investing money has long been a path to astonishing riches. The largest fortunes go to the risk-takers and innovators who are comfortable at the cutting edge of mainstream finance. To learn how such wealth is built today, Bloomberg Markets identified 25 financial titans* who’ve ascended to the top of the list within the past decade.
This generation of megarich is being powered by computer-driven trading companies, led by Ken Griffin’s Citadel Securities and Jeff Yass’s Susquehanna International Group. Alex Gerko was the UK’s biggest taxpayer last year after his quantitative trading firm XTX Markets paid out a dividend of more than £1.3 billion ($1.6 billion).
Although none of the billionaires on this list have yet surpassed Warren Buffett, the 92-year-old known for his savvy in managing conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc., they represent a new era of financial wealth accumulation. Buffett and private equity moguls such as Blackstone Inc.’s Steve Schwarzman built their fortunes through long-term investments; Griffin, Yass and Gerko have leveraged technology to make superfast decisions about where prices are going, moving in and out of positions in fractions of a second. If you need to worry about where prices are going long term, you’re not doing it right.
Some hedge fund and private equity investors made the list, though they tend to share an interest in buying emerging technology companies. These include Tiger Global Management’s Chase Coleman and Vista Equity Partners’ Robert Smith. (Griffin also founded a hedge fund, Citadel.) Startup founders such as Guillaume Pousaz of Checkout.com and Stripe’s Patrick and John Collison also made the cut. One group that’s absent from the list: women.
The following is derived from Bloomberg’s daily ranking of the world’s billionaires as of March 23. To maintain a focus on the new builders of wealth, the list excludes people who (1) were already among the 300 richest at the end of 2013, (2) inherited a significant portion of their fortune, (3) are age 70 or older or (4) have retired from their businesses.
*Actually 26, to include both Collison brothers.
Photos: Bloomberg (23), Jeff Yass: Courtesy Susquehanna International Group, Qi Shi: VCG/Getty Images, John Overdeck: Getty Images.