Five Austinites make Forbes billionaires list


Austin now can count five billionaires among its residents, according to new data from Forbes magazine.

The magazine on Monday released its annual billionaires list of the wealthiest people on the planet, and Austin-area residents Michael Dell, John Paul DeJoria, Robert F. Smith, David Booth and Bryan Sheffield made the list.

Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Technologies, remains Austin’s wealthiest resident. With a net worth estimated by Forbes at $20.4 billion, Dell ranks No. 38 in the world. Dell, 52, a longtime Austin resident, has about a 70 percent ownership stake in Dell Inc., but has the majority of his wealth in his two investment firms, MSD Capital and MSDC Management, which have interests in real estate, banks, automotive businesses and energy companies.

Dell is the second-wealthiest person in Texas, according to Forbes, behind Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton, a Fort Worth resident who ranks No. 17 in the world with a net worth of $33.8 billion.

Following Dell among Austin residents was DeJoria, who ranked No. 630 in the world with an estimated net worth of $3.1 billion, according to Forbes. DeJoria, 72, co-founded hair-care company John Paul Mitchell Systems in 1980 and later founded tequila distiller Patrón Spirits.

Smith, 54, co-founder of private equity firm Vista Equity Partners, was the third Austin resident to make the list. Smith, whom Forbes ranks as the second-wealthiest African-American in the United States, ranked No. 814 in the world with an estimated fortune of $2.5 billion.

Booth, co-founder of Austin-based Dimensional Fund Advisors, ranked No. 1,290 on the list of the world’s wealthiest people, with a fortune Forbes estimates at $1.6 billion.

A relative newcomer to the list is Sheffield, the CEO of Austin-based Parsley Energy. Sheffield, 38, ranks as No. 1,567 on the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people, with an estimated net worth of $1.25 billion.

A record 2,043 billionaires made the Forbes list for 2017, up 233 from the 2016 list and the largest increase in 31 years, according to the magazine.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates retained the top spot on the Forbes list with a net worth of $86 billion, up $11 billion from the previous year. Gates is followed by investment guru Warren Buffett at $75.6 billion and by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos at $72.8 billion.



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