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May 22, 2011

The World’s Biggest philanthropists 2011

At Forbes we spend a lot of time calculating the billions that people have amassed. We also track what they give away. Based on our recent analysis, we have identified what looks like a pretty elite club: 19 people who have already donated at least $1 billion each to charities or foundations.  That is five more than we found two years ago. More than two-thirds of these philanthropists (13 to be exact) are from the U.S. and all but one is a self-made entrepreneur. No surprise at the very top of the list: Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates is the most generous person on the planet in dollar terms, having gifted $28 billion to his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has become the preeminent philanthropic institution in the world.  He has given away more than three times as much as his good friend Warren Buffett, who moves up two spots to number two, ahead of George Soros ($8 billion) and Intel co-founder Gordon Moore ($6.8 billion).
Buffett used to famously brag that he wouldn’t give his money away until after his death. He had a change of heart and in 2006 announced he’d transfer $30 billion in stock over 20 years into the Gates foundation. He has since given away $8.3 billion including $1.9 billion last year.
Click here to read bios of the World’s Biggest Givers
Now he and Gates are trying to get others to follow suit. Last year they created the Giving Pledge to spur America’s wealthiest individuals and families to give away the majority of their fortunes to charity, [either during their lifetimes or after they die.] So far 69 have signed up including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and hedge fund tycoon Ray Dalio.  But many are still in the early stages of giving it away. We count just 10 on the Giving Pledge, including Gates and Buffett, who have already handed over $1 billion or more.  (Not to be confused with the size of their foundations, we are measuring what they personally handed over at time of gift on non-inflation adjusted basis.)
Some of the others are New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Ted Turner, James Stowers and Jon Huntsman. Stowers is probably the least known of that bunch but in percentage terms is the most generous. The mutual fund tycoon who has not been a member of the Forbes 400 since 2000 has given away roughly 95% of his fortune to endow the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City, which performs genetic research targeted at advancing the understanding of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other conditions.
A 1992 cancer diagnosis turned chemicals mogul Huntsman into one of the world’s most generous philanthropists.  On the way to the hospital for his first treatment of prostate cancer  he made three stops, dropping $1 million at a homeless shelter,  $1 million at a soup kitchen and 500,000 at the clinic that had found the malignancy. Nearly two decades later, he’s given away $1.2 billion, mostly to his cancer foundation. “The time to give away money is when you make it,” he told my colleague David Whelan who spoke with him recently about his philanthropy.
Recent gifts including $26 million to Washington State University to complete its School of Global Animal Health have pushed Paul Allen into the ranks of billion-dollar donors. In a note to Whelan, who compiled most of the charitable giving numbers for the Americans, the Microsoft co-founder said that science had become a priority for his personal giving. His foundation gives grants to those exploring “edgy neuroscience.” His Brain Institute just released a $55 million digital atlas of the brain. He also continues to support Pacific Northwest charities, explaining that he thinks “it’s important to give at home.”
One of the biggest donors of 2010 was India’s Azim Premji, the head of outsourcing firm Wipro. Premji started his foundation in 2001 with shares worth $125 million. Last year he donated shares worth $2 billion to a trust that will go to the foundation to help public schools in India’s heartland by training teachers and improving curriculum.  His new Azim Premji University to train teachers is opening this July.
Perhaps the most unexpected member of this elite group is the richest person in the world, Carlos Slim Helu. At Forbes’ Global CEO conference in Sydney last year, Slim scoffed at the “trillions of dollars” given to charity that have yet to “solve any of the world’s problems.” Weeks later at a conference in the U.S. he questioned Gates and Buffett’s decisions to give away their personal wealth, saying that it was “an interesting idea… but it won’t solve any problems.”
Still he has put $4 billion, mostly from dividends, into his foundation, and is working alongside well known philanthropies such as the Clinton Initiative and the Gates Foundation.

This is not an easy list to make. Forbes honed in on individuals, not large, extended families. Only gifts, not pledges, that have been paid out during the person’s lifetime were counted. So Blackstone cofounder Peter Peterson, who has pledged $1 billion of his fortune but has so far donated an estimated $450 million, does not yet make the list.
Forbes also valued the donations at the time they were made and therefore did not adjust for inflation, which excluded some philanthropists whose giving, when adjusted, would exceed $1 billion.  Exchange rates too were calculated at the time of the gift. SAP cofounder Hasso Plattner who gave $900 million in 1998, easily equivalent to more than a billion today, doesn’t make the cut.
Click here to read more about the World’s Biggest Givers

Research for this report by David Whelan, Kerry Dolan, Naazneen Karmali, Luisa Kroll & Cristina von Zeppelin
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The Companies That Have Minted The Most Billionaires

 Commodities trading firm Glencore released its much anticipated 1,600 page prospectus in early May 2011.

In it, the firm revealed the identity of its biggest shareholders including five individuals who are now worth, based on the listing price, at least one billion apiece. My colleague Chris Helman wrote an informative post on these new individuals, which got me wondering about what other companies had produced as many or more 10-figure fortunes.
Using Forbes’ comprehensive wealth database, I came up with the following list. A few caveats: the list is based on folks who ranked among the 2011 billionaires. Excluded are heirs to company founders who largely inherited their stakes thanks to good genes. Among those family firms that have indeed spawned multiple billionaires are (nyse: WMT) Wal-Mart (7), Brazil’s Itau Unibanco Holdings (7), Cargill (7), Turkey’s Koc (6),and S.C. Johnson (5).
Leading the pack of non-family firms is online search giant (nasdaq: GOOG) Google, with 7 billionaires. Among them are the cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, their top hired executive Eric Schmidt and Stanford U. professor David Cheriton (full list below). Not counted is legendary venture capitalist John Doerr, who has a stake in Google, but was already a billionaire when the company went public in 2004.
Close on its heels is California neighbor and rival, social networking site Facebook. Valued at $50 billion thanks to a Goldman Sachs investment announced in January, it has already pushed 6 into billionaire ranks including Mark Zuckerberg, two of his former Harvard buddies and the firm’s first president. It could easily pass Google in terms of number of billionaires when it goes public, likely in 2012.
TNK-BP, the joint venture between a leading Russian oil firm and BP, ties Facebook with six billionaires, despite frequent dramas. Most recently, the Russian partners behind TNK quashed BP’s deal with state-controlled Rosneft, which would have given the company access to Russia’s offshore Arctic oilfields; they argued that BP had no right to negotiate a new deal in Russia without them.  But TNK’s original investors have all extracted fortunes, both prior to the 2003 joint venture and since.
Indian outsourcing firm (nasdaq: INFY) Infosys, founded in 1981, counts five of its founders among the world’s super rich. For now, it is tied with Glencore. But there is a good chance that when the commodities firm starts trading later this week, it may well move up these ranks.
Here is a complete list of the top five companies and their respective billionaires.
GOOGLE (7 billionaires)
Sergey Brin, $19.8 billion
Larry Page, $19.8 billion
Eric Schmidt, $7 billion
Andreas von Bechtolsheim, $2.3 billion
Michael Moritz, $1.8 billion
David Cheriton, $1.8 billion
Kavitark Ram Shriram,  $1.6 billion
Facebook, (6 billionaires)
Mark Zuckerberg, $13.5 billion
Dustin Moskovitz, $2.7 billion
Eduardo Saverin, $1.6 billion
Sean Parker, $1.6 billion
Peter Thiel, $1.5 billion
Yuri Milner, $1 billion
TNK-BP (6 billionaires)
Viktor Vekselberg, $13 billion
Leonard Blavatnik, $10.1 billion
Mikhail Fridman, $15.1 billion
German Khan, $9.6 billion
Alexei Kuzmichev, $7.5 billion
Pyotr Aven, $4.5 billion
Glencore, (5 billionaires)
Ivan Glasenberg, $9.5 billion
Daniel Francisco Mate Badenes, $3.6 billion
Aristotelis Mistakidis, $3.6 billion
Tor Peterson: $3.2 billion
Alex Beard: $2.8 billion
Infosys (5 billionaires)
N.R. Narayana Murthy, $2 billion
Nandan Nilekani, $1.8 billion
Senapathy Gopalakrishnan, $1.6 billion
K. Dinesh 1.2 billion
S.D. Shibulal, $1.1 billion

*We valued the net worths of the Glencore billionaires using the recently released prospectus. For all other billionaires we took their net worths from the 2011 Billionaires list, which were calculated in February 2011.

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