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Chinese next-gen revealed as world’s youngest billionaire

A reclusive second-gen to Chinese real estate agent Logan Properties has been declared the youngest billionaire on the planet by Forbes World’s Billionaires List, which includes a number of family business members.

At age 24, Hong Kong native Perenna Kei is an 85% shareholder in the family business and a non-executive director. Her father, Ji Haipeng, is chairman and chief executive of the company.

According to Forbes, Kei has a net worth of $1.45 billion (€1.1 billion). Beyond her wealth little is known of the Hong Kong native, except that she reportedly studied economics and finance at the University of London.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates knocked last year’s wealthiest individual, Mexican telecoms chief Carlos Slim from the top perch, with an estimated net worth of $76 billion compared to Slim’s $72 billion.

Family business founder Amancio Ortega, founding chairman of Inditex, which owns Zara, rounded out the top three with an estimated $64 billion to his name.

Other family business members in the list include LVMH’s Bernard Arnault ($33.5 Billion), the Koch brothers (worth an estimated $40 billion each), and Stefan Persson of H&M, who is worth $34.4 billion, according to Forbes.

Christy Walton, who owes her fortune to Walmart, was the wealthiest woman and the only one to make the top 10 with a net worth of $36.7 billion. Women barely accounted for 10% of the billionaires list with 172 making the cut, but this was up 25% from last year’s 138.

L’Oreal heir Liliane Bettencourt who reportedly has a net worth of $34.5 billion was the second wealthiest woman on the list.

Walton, who married into the Walmart family, was also the wealthiest member of the family on the list, but her in-laws were not far behind with Jim Walton worth $34.7 billion, Alice Walton worth $34.3 billion and S Robson Walton worth $34.2 billion.

A total 1,645 billionaires made the 2014 list, with an aggregate net worth of $6.4 trillion, up from $5.4 trillion last year. Approximately two thirds of the list were self-made billionaires, but 207 inherited their wealth and another 352 inherited a portion but are still growing it. 

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