Fast movers race up billionaires list

Forbes has published its annual list of the world’s wealthiest billionaires and it makes for an interesting read.

There’s some familiar names in there with Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim topping the list with a net wealth of $US73 billion followed by Microsoft’s Bill Gates. The highest ranking Australian is of course Gina Rinehart, who comes in at number 36 with $US17 billion.

But there’s also some names you may not be familiar with who have soared up the list quickly.

Zara fashion house boss Amancio Ortega of Spain comes in at third on the list after the phenomenal world-wide success of the fast fashion stores, which has included a major push in the Australian market.

You are probably familiar with former Facebook first president and Napster founder Sean Parker but it’s interesting to see he is still starting up new businesses.

He’s worth $US2 billion and is busy revamping his start-up video chat site Airtime with the hopes it will have the impact of his other web companies.

And while you may not be a regular customer of GoPro, its founder Nicholas Woodman has already amassed a fortune of $US1.3 billion.

He is new to the list but makes his debut thanks to his business which makes small, hardy video cameras of the type skiers and surfers strap on their helmets or boards.

Woodman sold his first camera in 2004 and since then his revenue has risen to $US521 million in 2012, with 2.3 million cameras sold.

He’s kept a significant stake in GoPro and has resisted much investment by outsiders in the business. 

Bringing a bit of glamour to the list is Tory Burch, the founder of her eponymous fashion brand.

Burch debuts on the list with a fortune of $1 billion and heads up the brand, which turned over $US800 million last year largely through sales of perfectly cut dresses and ballet shoes carrying the Tory Burch logo.

Of the Aussies on the list, a name you may not have heard of besides regular fixtures such as Packer and Lowy is Harry Triguboff, who just celebrated his 80th birthday with a fortune of $US 4.5 billion.

He just proves it’s never too late to speed up the billionaire’s list.

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