21. Alain and Gerard Wertheimer
Ages: 62, 60. Net worth: $7.5 billion.
Born in France, Alain and Gerard Wertheimer inherited the luxury brand company Chanel, which was co-founded by their grandfather Pierre. Alain, the elder of the brothers, is the chairman of the company and resides in New York. Gerard chairs Chanel’s watch division and lives in Switzerland.
Very little is known about Chanel’s owners, who will only speak to the press to further their wine and equestrian interests, but according to The New York Times they live “like Old World aristocrats,” indulging their passions for horse racing, shooting, fine wines and art collecting. They own vineyards in Margaux and Saint-Emillon; horses that have won the French Derby, the Breeders’ Cup and Royal Ascot, and an art collection that includes pieces by Picasso and Matisse.
22. Philip Green
Age :58. Net worth: $6.7 billion.
Dropping out of the exclusive Jewish boarding school Carmel College at 15, Philip Green began his working life as an apprentice for a wholesale shoe trader, and by 23 had set up his first fashion business, importing jeans from the Far East. The London-born Green today controls 12% of the UK clothing retail market, with 2,300 stores. Knighted in 2006, he was recently named as an adviser to the British government to help drive efficiency savings in the private sector.
Green is said to have spent some $6 million on son Brandon’s bar mitzva in 2005 – a three-day event on a private peninsula between Nice and Monaco, that featured live concerts by Andrea Bocelli and Destiny’s Child. Green gives a million pounds a year to the Jewish Care health and social welfare charity. Four years ago he paid £60,000 to kiss supermodel Kate Moss – though he ceded the privilege to another bidder, model Jemima Khan – at a charity auction event in support of Palestinian refugee children.
23. Sammy Ofer and family
Age: 88. Net worth: $6.5 billion.
Starting out as a delivery boy and then a shipping agent, Romanian-born, Haifa-raised shipping magnate Sammy Ofer, together with his brother Yuli Ofer, built up a global empire, the Ofer Brothers Group, with holdings in banking and real estate. Last September, though, he announced his formal retirement, handing over to his two sons. Eyal runs the real estate business.
Israel-based Idan is chairman of Israel Corp., which holds strategic stakes in chemicals, energy, technology and shipping through the Zim Shipping Group.
Ofer, whose family moved to Palestine in 1924 and who served in the Royal Navy during World War II, later served in the Israel Sea Corps in the War of Independence. Two years ago, he was awarded a knighthood for his services to UK maritime heritage. He has donated £20 million to Britain’s National Maritime Museum and $25 million to Haifa’s Rambam Hospital. Ofer, who spends much of his time in Monte Carlo, owns an extensive collection of impressionist, post-impressionist and modern paintings.
24. Steven Cohen
Age: 54. Net worth: $6.4 billion.
Aself-made billionaire, Steven Cohen lives in a 30-room mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. Born in Great Neck, New York, Cohen started out trading with his tuition money while at the Wharton School of Business. He famously made an $8,000 profit on his first day at the job at Gruntal & Co. where he worked for almost 25 years before setting up his own hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors, which now manages some $14 billion. Cohen is said to have spent $700 million on his art collection.
Cohen and his third wife, Alexandra, the mother of five of his seven children, earlier this year made a donation of $50m. to fund pediatric care at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center.
25. Viktor Vekselberg
Age: 53. Net worth: $6.4 billion.
Born in western Ukraine in 1957, Viktor Vekselberg is chairman of the board of Renova, one of Russia’s most progressive investment and business development companies.
He rose to prominence when Russia’s aluminum industry was privatized in the 1990s, co-founding SUAL Holding, the country’s second largest aluminum business, and becoming co-owner and chairman of Tyumen Oil.
Vekselberg made headlines in 2004 when he purchased nine of the Fabergé eggs and 180 other Fabergé pieces that once belonged to the family of Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, from the US Forbes publishing family, placing them on exhibit in the Kremlin.
26. Alexander Abramov
Age: 51. Net worth: $6.1 billion.
Born in 1959 in Moscow, Abramov is a graduate of the elite Moscow
Institute of Physics and Technology with a PhD in physics and
mathematics. Starting as a research scientist for Russia’s space and
defense program, he went into business in the early 1990s when research
funding dried up. Abramov became a metal trader and built a monopoly for
rail and steel construction products, eventually becoming an industrial
magnate as the head of Evraz Holding, Russia’s largest steel producer.
In 2006, Roman Abramovich became Abramov’s partner in Evraz, boosting
the company’s standing within Russia and abroad.27. Eli Broad
Age 77. Net worth: $5.7 billion.
The son of Lithuanian immigrants, Eli Broad grew up in Detroit and was
the youngest Michigan native to become a certified public accountant.
Broad made his initial fortune in real estate and is the founder of
insurance corporation SunAmerica.
Residing in Los Angeles for the last 40 years, Broad and his wife Edythe
are the founders of The Broad Foundations, whose mission is to advance
entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science and the arts.
They established the Broad Art Foundation, an innovative lending
library for contemporary art, which since 1984 has made more than 7,000
loans to museums and galleries worldwide.
The Broads recently pledged to distribute 75 percent of their total wealth, “during and/or after our lifetimes.”
Approximately $1 million of $60m. to $400m. per year of foundation
donations go to overtly Jewish causes, such as the American Jewish
Committee, the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,
the Anti- Defamation League and B’nai Brith. In 2006, they gave $100,000
to Friends of Israel Arts.28. Dorothea Steinbruch
Age: Unconfirmed. Net worth: $5.5 billion.
With her three children and brother-in-law Eliezer (also a billionaire),
Dorothea Steinbruch has inherited one of Brazil’s largest steelmakers,
Companhia Siderurgica Nacional (CSN). She is not directly involved in
running the business. Steinbruch is also the co-founder of Vicunha
Group, the largest textile company in Brazil, which has recently
expanded operations throughout Asia.29. Ira Rennert
Age: 75. Net worth: $5.3 billion.
Ira Rennert controls one of the US’s largest privately held industrial
empires. Born in Brooklyn in 1934, Rennert began his career, after
graduating from NYU’s Stern School for Business, as a credit analyst on
Wall Street. After brief stints as typewriter salesman and then
securities broker, he opened his own securities brokerage, then entered
the private equity market, and built his company, Renco, by using junk
bonds to finance his acquisition of struggling firms, amassing
significant holdings in mining and metals.
Rennert and his wife, Ingeborg, donated $5 million to establish the
Wiesel Center at Boston University and established the Rennert
Entrepreneurial Institute at Yeshiva University.
They have endowed chairs of Jewish studies at Barnard College and at the
Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the US. In Israel, they founded
the Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies at Bar-Ilan
University, and helped fund restoration projects at the Western Wall via
the Western Wall Heritage Foundation (the visitors’ center is called
The Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Hall of Light). Rennert was among a group
of US donors who together last year pledged a reported $25.4m. over five
years to build Jewish homes in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City and
the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of east Jerusalem.
30. Michael Kadoorie
Age: 69. Net worth: $5.1 billion.
Born in Hong Kong in 1941, the Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie is the chairman
of CLP Holdings Ltd. (China Light and Power Holdings), a Hong Kong
utilities company founded by his family in 1890. The fourth wealthiest
person in Hong Kong and the Greater China region, Kadoorie is a
descendant of Iraqi Jews whose roots in business in the Far East date
back to his grandfather, the late Sir Elly Kadoorie, who settled in
Shanghai in 1880. Kadoorie also has interests in power plants in China,
Southeast Asia, Australia and India, and is the owner of Hong Kong and
Shanghai Hotels Ltd.
A helicopter pilot and classic car fan, Kadoorie was knighted for his
philanthropic activities in 2005 largely through the Kadoorie Charitable
He has served as a committee member of the Jewish Community of Hong Kong and is a member of the Ohel Leah Synagogue there.