Forbes list of billionaires has a record number of immigrants

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Overall, nearly half of the foreign-born members of the North American billionaire club have made their fortune from technology.

When the founder and da Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, decided to move to the United States after graduating from college in 1990, was denied a visa eight times in 18 months. Determined to join idols like Bill Gates, the son of mining engineers from China’s Shandong province, he refused to take no for an answer.

“I said to myself: good, great. I will do my best until you tell me that I can never come here again,” Yuan told Forbes in 2019. “Otherwise I won’t stop.”

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Yuan’s perseverance paid off. He eventually got his visa and went to California in the summer of 1997 to work for WebEx as one of the company’s first employees. Two decades later, the rival video communications company he eventually founded revolutionized how we communicate in the midst of a global pandemic.

Yuan (whose net worth was estimated at $5.2 billion as of March 11, the date Forbes used to measure the net worth of the latest billionaire list) is just one of 92 foreign-born US citizens included in the Forbes list. United States. You heard right – 13% of the 735 US citizens on the list are immigrants.

With a combined net worth of $711 billion, these foreign-born US citizens make up 15% of the entire US billionaire fortune. And they built their fortune on their own — 92% of them started their business from scratch, compared to 71% among American-born billionaires.

These immigrants come from 35 different countries, from every continent except Antarctica. The richest man in the world Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX ($219 billion), is one of three names that were born in South Africa. Another five hail from other parts of Africa, including Awootona Tope ($1.4 billion)Founder and CEO of scheduling software company Calendly.

At the age of 12 in Lagos, Nigeria, Avotona witnessed her father being shot while stealing a car. Three years later, he and his family moved to Atlanta, Georgia.

“When you come from another country and you have to get used to new things, you learn to get along and empathize with people of all backgrounds,” Avutona says.

Other newcomers to the billionaire ranks include a mobile games billionaire. Adam Forugi of AppLovin ($1.3 billion)who was born in Iran a year after the 1979 Iranian Revolution and a Jordanian private equity magnate Ramzi Musallam ($4 billion)whose years of study were spent in emerging markets such as Saudi Arabia and Tanzania, where his father, a Palestinian Christian from Jerusalem, worked in the US Army Corps of Engineers.

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But Israel is the country that has produced the most immigrant billionaires on this year’s list, ten of them, including brothers. Tom and Alec Gora ($6 billion and $2.6 billion respectively)who filled the shelves of his father’s grocery store in Flint, Michigan before becoming a major private investor, and Oracle CEO Safra Katz ($1.5 billion)one of 10 immigrant women in the ranking.

Eren Ozmen ($2.6 billion), who, along with her husband Fatih Ozmen ($2.5 billion), owns and operates the private aerospace and defense company Sierra Nevada Corporation. Ozmen are Turkish immigrants who came to the United States for higher education in the early 1980s, attracted by the American land of opportunity.

“When we were kids on the other side of the world, we watched the moon landing on black and white TV. It gave us goosebumps. It was so inspiring,” Fatih Ozmen told Forbes in 2018. “Look at America and what women can do here compared to the rest of the world,” added his wife Eren.

Eight American billionaires were born in Canada, including real estate icon Mortimer Zuckerman ($3 billion), the son of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants who settled in Montreal and sold tobacco and candy, and Alberta natives Robin and Mark Jones ($3.1.8 billion). ), founders of Goosehead Insurance Company in Texas.

Seven immigrant billionaires were born in China. Weili Dai ($1.4 billion) As a teenager, she played semi-professional basketball in Shanghai and later founded the semiconductor company Marvell Technology with her husband Sehat Sutarja (an Indonesian-born US citizen with a net worth of $1.3 billion). Andrew Cherng, who shares a $3.2 billion fortune with his wife and Panda Express co-founder Peggy Cherng (an immigrant from Myanmar), was also born in the Asian country.

India ranks fourth on the list as the home of seven billionaires, five of whom made their fortune in technology, including venture capitalists. Vinod Khosla ($6.9 billion) e Ram Sriram ($2.6 billion)founder of cybersecurity firm Zscaler, Jay Chaudhry ($11.4 billion) and founder of AI company Amelia, Chetan Dube ($2.4 billion).

The 92 listed do not include another 36 non-citizen billionaires living and working in the US, including brothers. John and Patrick Collison (Estimated $9.5 billion each)Irish co-founders of digital payments giant Stripe and pop star Rihanna ($1.7 billion)who lives in Los Angeles and is the first person from Barbados to make it to Forbes.

Overall, nearly half (41) of the foreign-born American billionaire club members made their fortunes in the tech business. The finance and investment industry ranks a distant second with 16 immigrant billionaires. In fact, Silicon Valley has become so dependent on immigrant entrepreneurs that locals have begun to look for a less political term for immigration.

“It’s really a matter of framing. We should not call the highly skilled workforce that comes here immigration,” said venture capitalist and Uber startup investor Jason Calacanis on a recent episode of the All-In podcast. “We have to promote this to attract talent. We should look at it this way: “The US is trying to attract more talent so we can win over the most important industries.”

There is always a risk that students from economic rivals like China will take their tech skills home—six billionaires who acquired US citizenship while studying in the US have founded or run Chinese companies.

Li Ge ($8.8 billion) received a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Colombia before co-founding WuXi AppTec, which provides R&D and manufacturing services to the global pharmaceutical, biotech and medical industries. (Forbes did not consider Lee and 14 other foreign-born U.S. citizens living out of the country to be immigrants.)

But many other Chinese people have stayed in the US after graduating from American colleges, including the co-founder and CEO of DoorDash, Tony Xu ($1.3 billion), whose mother gave up her career in medicine to work in a Chinese restaurant in the US, and whose husband received his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois. She ended up opening her own medical and acupuncture clinic, which continues to operate in the San Francisco Bay Area over 20 years later.

“DoorDash exists today to enable people like my mother who came here with a dream to do it on their own,” Xu wrote in the company’s 2020 IPO prospectus. We protect as a company.”

Here is the full list of immigrant billionaires from the Forbes Annual List of World Billionaires 2022 (as of March 11):

1. Elon Musk

Net Worth: $219 billion.
How He Got Rich: Tesla and SpaceX
Country: South Africa

2. Sergey Brin

Net Worth: $107 billion.
Source from Fortune: Google.
Country Russia

3. Miriam Adelson

Net Worth: $27.5 billion.
Source of luck: casino
country: Israel

4. Rupert Murdoch and family

Net Worth: $20.8 billion.
Source of wealth: newspapers and TV channels.
Country: Australia

5. Jensen Huang

Net Worth: $20.6 billion.
Source of wealth: semiconductors
Country: Taiwan

6. Thomas Peterfi

Net Worth: $20.1 billion.
Source of wealth: discount brokerage.
Country: Hungary

7. Jay Chaudhry

Net Worth: $11.4 billion.
Source of luck: security software
country: India

8. Pierre Omidyar

Net Worth: $11.3 billion.
Source of luck: eBay and PayPal
Country: France

9. Jan Koum

Net Worth: $9.8 billion.
Source of luck: whatsapp
Country Ukraine

10. George Soros

Net Worth: $8.6 billion.
How He Got Rich: Hedge Funds
Country: Hungary

11. Shahid Khan

Net Worth: $7.6 billion.
Source of wealth: auto parts
country: pakistan

12. Patrick Sun Siong

Net Worth: $7.3 billion.
Source of wealth: pharmaceuticals
Country: South Africa

13. Douglas Leone

Net Worth: $6.9 billion.
Source of wealth: venture capital
Country: Italy

14. Mickey Arison

Net Worth: $6.9 billion.
Source of wealth: cruises
country: Israel

15. Vinod Khosla

Net Worth: $6.9 billion.
Source of wealth: venture capital
country: India

16. Philippe Laffont

Net Worth: $6.5 billion.
Source of wealth: hedge fund
Country: Belgium

17. Rocco Comiso

Net Worth: $6.1 billion.
Source of wealth: telecommunications
Country: Italy

18. Tom Gorse

Net Worth: $6 billion.
Fonte da fortune: private capital
country: Israel

19. Michael Moritz

Net Worth: $5.9 billion.
Source of wealth: venture capital
Country: Wales

20. Charles Simonyi

Net Worth: $5.8 billion.
State Source: Microsoft
Country: Hungary

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