Orange County Business Journal

10 OC Billionaires on Forbes List

Jane Yu Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ten of Orange County’s wealthiest were named on Forbes’ latest list of top billionaires in the world.

The local names were featured in the Business Journal’s annual OC’s Wealthiest issue in August, which included 36 individuals—15 of them billionaires—with $250 million or more in net worth.

The Forbes list included 1,645 billionaires in the world. The entries combined for $6.4 trillion in net worth, up from $5.4 trillion a year ago.

The 10 OCers accounted for a total of $38.7 billion on the Forbes list, up 21% from their share a year earlier.

Donald Bren, chairman of Newport Beach-based real estate developer Irvine Company, stayed at No. 69 on the Forbes list, the highest ranking among OC residents and U.S. real estate developers. Forbes estimated his fortune at $14.4 billion, up from its $13 billion a year ago, “thanks to the rising tide of property values.”

The Business Journal had Bren at $14 billion in its August list.

John Tu and David Sun were tied at No. 328 on the Forbes list, a jump from a year-earlier ranking of No. 554. Forbes estimated $4.5 billion for each, up from a year-ago figure of $2.6 billion.

Tu and Sun, cofounders of Fountain Valley-based memory products maker Kingston Technology Corp., were ranked No. 3 on the Business Journal list last year, each with $2.9 billion in net worth.

James Jannard, founder of Oakley Inc. and Red Digital Cinema Camera Co., slipped 17 spots to No. 520 on the Forbes list despite an 11% gain in estimated net worth to $3.1 billion.

The Business Journal last year pegged Jannard’s net worth at $2 billion, based in part on his statement that he gave away a significant amount of his fortune in recent years.

Forbes estimated Igor Olenicoff’s net worth at $2.9 billion, putting the founder of Newport Beach-based Olen Properties Corp. at No. 580, up from No. 613 last year.

The Business Journal last year had Olenicoff as the second-wealthiest individual in OC, with $3 billion in net worth.

Real estate and private equity investor George Argyros moved up slightly on the Forbes ranking, to No. 731, with $2.4 billion in estimated wealth.

The Business Journal’s latest calculation for Argyros’ fortune was $1.8 billion.

Bill Gross, chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., fell more than a hundred spots to No. 764 on the Forbes list, with an estimated net worth of $2.3 billion, unchanged from a year ago. The Business Journal ranked the Pimco cofounder at No. 5 last year, with the same net worth.

Forbes estimated $1.95 billion for Henry Samueli, cofounder of Irvine-based Broadcom Corp., good for the No. 925 spot. The Business Journal had estimated $2.2 billion for Samueli last year.

Henry Nicholas, cofounder of Broadcom, came in at No. 1,284 on the Forbes list, with $1.3 billion in estimated wealth, down from $1.4 billion a year ago. Nicholas was No. 9 on the Business Journal list, with an estimated $1.5 billion to his name.

Arte Moreno also ranked at No. 1,284 on the Forbes list, with $1.3 billion. Moreno, owner of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, was No. 12 on the Business Journal list last year, which estimated $1.1 billion for his wealth.

The Business Journal’s list of OC’s Wealthiest featured other billionaires who were not named in the Forbes list, including Paul Merage, Vinny Smith, Anne Catherine Getty Earhart and Caroline Getty.

Bill Gates, with $76 billion in estimated net worth, reclaimed the title of the wealthiest person in the world from Mexico’s telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu, who had held that seat for the past four years.