The Patriot Institute of Journalism and Arts (PIJA), Lance Magazine is a public-centric independent media organisation dedicated to fighting injustice, fostering social justice and community development through the telling and retelling of the marginalised-oriented stories.
See New List of the Youngest Billionaires
These young billionaires, including a couple very well-to-do teenagers, got rich quick, Forbes wrote.
The average billionaire is 65 years old, according to Forbes’ latest ranking of the planet’s richest people, and the eldest is insurance tycoon George Joseph, who’s 101. But old age is not a requirement for amassing great wealth. In fact, there are 15 people around the globe who boast a three-comma fortune despite being 30 years old or younger.
The youngest of this mostly lucky bunch are Clemente Del Vecchio and Kim Jung-youn, neither of whom have hit their 20s yet. Both teens’ successful fathers, Leonardo Del Vecchio and Kim Jung-ju, died in 2022 and left them stakes in their respective companies. Del Vecchio, who turns 19 in May, gets his fortune from a share of his father’s holding company Delfin, which has a stake in eyewear giant Luxottica (known for brands such as Ray-Ban and Sunglass Hut). Not much is known about the young heir, whose six siblings (two of whom are also under 30) and stepmother also make their debut. Even less is known about Kim, whose fortune lies in Japanese-South Korean online gaming giant Nexon. She and her sister Jung-min are believed to be 19 and 21, respectively, but a representative for the company declined to comment on their ages, and Forbes could not find any primary source confirming their dates of birth.
The richest 30-and-under—by far—is Red Bull heir Mark Mateschitz, whose father Dietrich died in October 2022. With an estimated $34.7 billion fortune, he’s worth nearly ten times more than the next-richest young billionaires, Clemente Del Vecchio and his two siblings. Mateschitz is the richest of all 150 newcomers to the 2023 billionaires list.
Overall, 11 of these 15 inherited their fortunes. Just four are self-made entrepreneurs. That includes Ben Francis, who founded activewear maker Gymshark in 2012, when he was 19, and Palmer Luckey, who sold his first startup to Facebook and is back with a successful defense tech business. Both are new members of the billionaire ranks.
There were 15 total 30-and-unders last year, too—but the names have changed considerably thanks to nine newcomers and eight people who dropped out of the billionaire ranks completely, including Brex cofounders Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi, and DoorDash cofounders Stanley Tang and Andy Fang. They still have plenty of time to make a return—something that will be much more difficult for FTX cofounder Gary Wang, 29, who pleaded guilty to fraud charges in December.
As a group, these 15 youngsters are worth $64 billion in total, $10 billion more than in 2022, largely thanks to Mateschitz’s massive inheritance. Still, accumulating so much money so young remains a rare feat: Together, this exclusive group represents just 0.6% of the world’s 2,640 billionaires.
Here are the 15 members of the World’s Billionaires list who are 30 and under, ranked from oldest to youngest:
(NET WORTHS ARE AS OF MARCH 10, 2023)
Age: 30 | Citizenship: U.K. | Source of Wealth: Gymshark | Net Worth: $1.2 Billion
Francis was juggling college classes and delivering pizzas when he founded activewear maker Gymshark in 2012, at age 19. He sewed the first pieces together in his parents’ Birmingham, U.K. garage and guerilla-marketed his way into the workout gear scene, getting weightlifting influencers to pump up his brand. Gymshark did more than $500 million in 2021 sales. Francis sold 21% of the business to private equity firm General Atlantic in 2020 for $300 million but still owns 70%. The unicorn’s most recent move? A brick-and-mortar store: Gymshark London opened in 2022 and offers workout classes and the brand’s trademark apparel.
Age: 30 | Citizenship: U.S. | Source of Wealth: Virtual reality, defense contracting | Net Worth: $1.7 Billion
The former teen whiz founded VR headset-maker Oculus and sold it to Facebook for $2 billion in 2014, then began building weapons. His defense tech startup Anduril, which has systems on the ground in Ukraine and which aims to build drones and surveillance products for the DoD, raised $1.5 billion at an $8.5 billion valuation in December.
Age: 30 | Citizenship: Austria | Source of Wealth: Red Bull | Net Worth: $34.7 Billion
He inherited 49% of energy drink giant Red Bull after his father, cofounder Dietrich Mateschitz, died in October. Soon after, he resigned from his role as its head of organics to “concentrate on his role as shareholder.”
Age: 30 | Citizenship: Czech Republic | Source of Wealth: Weapons | Net Worth: $2 Billion
His Czechoslovak Group is one of the biggest suppliers of ammunition, ground equipment and artillery equipment to the Ukrainian army, which has helped double sales to $620 million in the first half of 2022. He took full control of the business, founded by his father, in 2018.
Gustav Magnar Witzoe
Age: 29 | Citizenship: Norway | Source of Wealth: Fish farming | Net Worth: $2.7 Billion
He owns nearly half of salmon farming company SalMar ASA, inherited from his father Gustav Witzoe, but does not have an operating role. Instead, he’s casting his line as a real estate and tech startup investor.
Age: 28 | Citizenship: U.S. | Source of Wealth: E-commerce | Net Worth: $1.1 Billion
The Stanford dropout founded three startups, four years apart: Bolt, which rocketed him to fame, Eco and Love, his 2022 venture. They aim to remove middlemen in payments processing, personal finance and pharmaceuticals, respectively. A fourth, nascent crypto project Movement DAO, was set to launch this year but instead led to a legal battle against a rogue engineer who allegedly stole two-thirds of its seed funding. The engineer’s attorney dismissed the allegations as “frivolous.”
Leonardo Maria Del Vecchio
Age: 27 | Citizenship: Italy | Source of Wealth: Luxottica | Net Worth: $3.5 Billion
Eyewear kingpin Leonardo Del Vecchio was Italy’s second-richest person when he died in June 2022, leaving 12.5% of his fortune—mostly shares of publicly traded Essilor-Luxottica, the world’s largest eyewear firm—to his widow Nicoletta Zampillo, six children and one stepchild. Leonardo Maria is his father’s only child with Zampillo and heads strategy for Luxottica.
Age: 27 | Citizenship: Norway | Source of Wealth: Investments | Net Worth: $1.5 Billion
Along with her younger sister Alexandra, Katharina is a sixth-generation owner of Ferd, the more than $4 billion (equity) investment company their father, Johan, runs. Katharina is a sustainability officer at an Oslo-based construction firm.
Age: 26 | Citizenship: China | Source of Wealth: Pigment production | Net Worth: $1.4 Billion
Wang’s fortune comes from a stake in Shenzhen-listed traded company CNNC Hua Yuan Titanium Dioxide—a chemical used to create white pigment for things like paint and paper.
Age: 26 | Citizenship: Norway | Source of Wealth: Investments | Net Worth: $1.5 Billion
Alexandra and sister Katharina own a 42% stake each in investment firm Ferd. Instead of holding the reins at Ferd, she holds actual reins: Alexandra is a three-time junior Norwegian champion in dressage riding and helms a horse breeding and training facility.
Luca Del Vecchio
Age: 21 | Citizenship: Italy | Source of Wealth: Luxottica | Net Worth: $3.5 Billion
One of two children between Leonardo Del Vecchio and Sabrina Grossi, a former Luxottica board member and the company’s former head of investor relations, Luca is not known to have a role at the eyewear company.
Age: 21 | Citizenship: South Korea | Source of Wealth: Online gaming | Net Worth: $1.7 Billion
Along with her younger sister, Kim Jung-youn, Jung-min inherited around a third of their family’s assets—including a 15% stake each in game maker Nexon—after their father Kim Jung-ju died in February 2022. Jung-ju founded Nexon, known for its massively multiplayer online games Kingdom of the Winds and MapleStory, in 1994. Forbes does not know her precise age.
Kevin David Lehmann
Age: 20 | Citizenship: Germany | Source of Wealth: Drugstores | Net Worth: $2.3 Billion
He inherited 50% of German drugstore chain dm-drogerie markt from his father at age 14. It remained under a trusteeship until his 18th birthday, when he became a billionaire. Neither Lehmann nor his father is operationally involved in the $14 billion (revenue) company.
Age: 19 | Citizenship: South Korea | Source of Wealth: Online gaming | Net Worth: $1.7 Billion
One of two teenage billionaires on this year’s rankings, Kim Jung-youn inherited a stake in her late father’s holding company, which in turn holds approximately half of online gaming giant Nexon. Both Kim sisters keep a low profile and are not known to have an active role in the company. Forbes does not know her precise age.
Clemente Del Vecchio
Age: 18 | Citizenship: Italy | Source of Wealth: Luxottica | Net Worth: $3.5 Billion
The world got a new teenage billionaire when Leonardo Del Vecchio died in June 2022. Clemente, the youngest Del Vecchio heir, is not known to have a role at Luxottica, which owns Sunglass Hut, Ray-Ban and Oakley, among others.