Orange County Business Journal

9 OC Billionaires on Forbes 400

Jane Yu Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nine of Orange County's 12 billionaires made Forbes' list of the 400 wealthiest individuals in America.

Donald Bren, chairman of Newport Beach-based developer Irvine Company, once again led the local contingent.

Bren topped the Orange County Business Journal’s ranking of the wealthiest individuals here, published in early August, when we estimated his net worth at $12.5 billion.

Forbes ranked Bren 26th nationwide, with an estimated $12 billion.

Both our list and Forbes use a variety of methods to come up with rankings, and variances between the two are common. Forbes' list reflects estimates as of September, a time frame that takes in a recent run of tumult in the stock markets, which likely affected some estimates.

Second on the Business Journal’s list was Oakley Inc. founder Jim Jannard, with an estimated worth of $3.1 billion. Jannard, who sold Oakley to Italy-based Luxottica Group SPA in 2007, ranked No. 117, with a net worth of $3 billion.

David Sun and John Tu, co-owners of Kingston Technology Co. in Fountain Valley, shared a No. 3 ranking on Business Journal’s list, each with fortunes estimated at $2.75 billion.

Forbes listed Sun and Tu at $2.8 billion each, good for No. 130 on its list.

Igor Olenicoff of Newport Beach-based Olen Properties Corp. was listed as the fifth richest individual here with $2.5 billion. Forbes had him at No. 150, with net worth of $2.6 billion.

Broadcom Corp. cofounder and Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli was estimated to be worth $2.3 billion and listed No. 6 on our list. Forbes had him as No. 263 nationwide, with a net worth of $1.7 billion.

Broadcom cofounder Henry Nicholas was No. 8 on the Business Journal’s list with an estimated $1.6 billion. Forbes placed him No. 331, with a net worth of $1.3 billion.

Bill Gross, cofounder of Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co., the world’s biggest bond fund, was No. 7 on the Journal’s list. We estimated his worth at $2.2 billion. Forbes listed Gross as No. 188, also at $2.2 billion.

We put George Argyros, owner of Arnel & Affiliates, at No. 9 on our list, with an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion. Forbes had Argyros at No. 260, with net worth of $1.75 billion.

A few others who we estimated to be billionaires this year did not appear on the Forbes list, including Caroline Getty and Ann Catherine Getty Earhart, heiresses of J. Paul Getty, as well as Paul Merage of Newport Beach-based MIG Capital LLC. They were newly called "billionaires" on this year’s Business Journal list with an estimated net worth of $1 billion each.

The cutoff to make Forbes’ list of 400 was $1.05 billion.

Bill Gates topped their list this year, with an estimated net worth of $59 billion.