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Economic miracles sometimes need course corrections, even in Singapore, which last year was home to more U.S. dollar-millionaire households per capita than any other country, according to Boston Consulting Group Inc.
Perry Vieth baled hay on a neighbor’s farm in Wisconsin for two summers during high school in 1972 and 1973. The grueling labor left him with no doubt about getting a college degree so that he’d never have to work as hard again for a paycheck. Thirty-eight years later, and after a career as a securities lawyer and fixed-income trader, Vieth is back on the farm.
Seth Abraham, former president of New York’s Madison Square Garden, has used the same barber for 37 years.
Carlos Rodriguez-Pastor says he never wanted the world to know how rich he is.
As confetti and balloons fall from the ceiling, scores of bankers dressed as characters from TV shows and movies hit the dance floor in a circus-sized party tent in Lima, Peru. Jedi knights from Star Wars wave glowing green light sabers while the Flintstones groove to blasting techno-pop. Carlos Rodriguez-Pastor, one of Latin America’s least known billionaires, joins the throng, wearing a white wig, a silly hat and a big smile.
At Brazilian real-estate company MRV Engenharia & Participacoes SA, electric fans whir in some rooms of its gray, low-slung building, saving the cost of air conditioning. That’s typical of Rubens Menin Teixeira de Souza’s approach to the business he founded in 1979 -- and which has since vaulted him into the ranks of the world’s billionaires, with an estimated net worth of at least $1.6 billion, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its September cover package: “Hidden Billionaires.”
Alain Taravella recalls how in late 2008, as France’s real-estate market slumped, he began doubting his biggest corporate acquisition. A year earlier, he’d bought apartment and office developer Cogedim from investors led by Italian insurer Vittoria Assicurazioni SpA. He outbid General Electric Co. and billionaires Bernard Arnault and Albert Frere to seal the deal.
We defined a hidden billionaire as an individual who has a net worth of $1 billion or more and who hasn’t appeared on a major international rich list. (A few of our billionaires have been mentioned in smaller regional rankings.)
On a warm evening in June at the Monaco Yacht Club, Elena Ambrosiadou stands in front of 200 guests assembled to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Ikos Asset Management Ltd., her $2.5 billion hedge fund. Wearing a beige skirt and top and snakeskin heels, with her long hair dyed platinum blond, Ambrosiadou is flanked by big plasma screens showing her 289-foot Maltese Falcon, the largest sailing yacht in the world, gliding past the Statue of Liberty.
At Ssangyong Motor Co., South Korea’s third-largest maker of sport utility vehicles, just about everything that could go wrong did in the past two decades. The company switched owners four times, faced bankruptcy and suffered one of the most violent strikes in modern Korean history in 2009.
Cargill Inc. Chief Executive Officer Greg Page, who runs the largest agricultural company in the U.S., has a good idea whom to blame for the global surge in food prices at the end of 2010: governments.
In a locked room on the 33rd floor of Societe Generale SA’s 36-story headquarters in western Paris, members of the bank’s fraud control team peer at their computers, scrutinizing the trades being executed by dealers in eight trading rooms on the floors below.
At Caffe Vivaldi in New York’s Greenwich Village, Peter Muller bangs out a repertoire full of Carole King riffs on the piano along with his own soft-rock compositions that draw on the likes of Van Morrison and Cat Stevens.
Andy Beal’s road to becoming a billionaire, doing deals with the likes of Carl Icahn and Donald Trump, runs straight through the slums of Newark, New Jersey.
ICICI Bank Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kochhar says it doesn’t seem so long ago that she was worrying that she wouldn’t be able to handle her job at what’s now India’s largest nongovernment lender while managing her household and caring for her infant son.
Money manager William Fries went to India in the summer of 2010 in search of investments for his Thornburg International Value Fund. Visiting companies in Mumbai and Delhi, he found they kept diesel backup generators on hand for the power interruptions that are common as the country struggles with an inadequate electricity supply.
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