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From the U.S. to China, 328 women made the Forbes billionaires list, up from 241 last year. As a group, the women on the list are worth $1.53 trillion, a nearly 60% increase over the past year. They collectively added $570.7 billion to their wealth, largely due to rebounding stock markets across the globe. Twelve of these women share their fortunes with either their husband, child or sibling, up from seven women who shared their fortunes last year, including Germany’s Beate Heister, an heir to the Aldi supermarket fortune, which she shares with her brother Karl Albrecht, Jr. One newcomer this year who shares her fortune: Keiko Erikawa of Japan. She and her husband Yoichi founded videogame developer Koei Tecmo four decades ago.
Erikawa is also one of 108 self-made women on our list, up from 67 women last year, attesting to the rise of women entrepreneurs who join the billionaire ranks. There were 66 women who despite inheriting their wealth, continued to grow it. Miuccia Prada, for example, has grown the family’s luxury fashion company Prada into a $2.9 billion (2020 sales) brand with her co-CEO husband, Patrizio Bertelli. Additionally, there were 154 women who inherited their fortune but are not actively involved in expanding it; such as Dagmar Dolby who owns about 36% of publicly-traded audio technology firm Dolby Laboratories, founded by her late husband, Ray Dolby (d. 2013).
The world’s richest woman, L’Oreal heiress Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, scored the biggest dollar gain among women whose fortune is tied to public stocks. The share price of L’Oreal, in which she and her family own a 33% stake, rose nearly 40% since last March, helping add $24.7 billion to Bettencourt’s net worth. MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, also got richer this year—despite her extensive philanthropic efforts during the pandemic. Scott, who has committed to giving her wealth away “until the safe is empty,” donated nearly $6 billion to charities across America in 2020. Yet, thanks to the skyrocketing Amazon stock she got in the divorce, she’s worth more now ($53 billion on this year’s list) than when she began ($36 billion on our 2020 ranking).
Read the full profile on Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/denizcam/2021/04/06/the-top-richest-women-in-the-world-in-2021/?sh=2d8856264598
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