San Diego Business Journal

Forbes Billionaire List Includes 5 With San Diego Ties

By Lou Hirsh Monday, March 20, 2017
   
Alexander Spanos

Alexander Spanos

Five people with San Diego County ties made this year’s annual list of the world’s billionaires, published by Forbes magazine.

The 2017 ranking, which lists 2,043 billionaires, includes Rancho Santa Fe resident Gwendolyn Sontheim Meyer, at No. 402 with a reported net worth of $4.3 billion as of March 20. She inherited an estimated 7 percent stake in the family-owned food giant Cargill, founded by her great-grandfather in 1865, though she is not currently involved in the company’s management, according to Forbes.

Also on this year’s list is San Diego Chargers owner Alexander Spanos and his family, at No. 867 with a net worth of $2.4 billion. Spanos’ net worth also stems from nationwide real estate investments. The NFL team, which recently relocated to Los Angeles, is now led by Spanos’ son Dean.

The billionaire ranking also includes Osman Kibar, founder and CEO of San Diego-based biopharmaceutical firm Samumed LLC, at No. 1,030 ($2 billion); Qualcomm Inc. co-founder Irwin Jacobs at No. 1,567 ($1.32 billion); and Charles Brandes, founder and chairman of Brandes Investment Partners LP, at No. 1,678 ($1.19 billion).

Forbes reported that Microsoft Inc. co-founder Bill Gates retained the top spot on the global billionaire list for the fourth consecutive year, with a net worth of $86 billion. He was followed in the top five by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. CEO Warren Buffett ($75.6 billion); Amazon Inc. founder and CEO Jeff Bezos ($72.8 billion); Spanish clothing retailer Amancio Ortega, whose stores include the Zara fashion chain ($71.3 billion); and Facebook Inc. founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg ($56 billion).

There are now 140 billionaires in California, the magazine reported.