Five billionaires who live in Orange County, and three executives who made their fortunes in O.C., are included in Forbes’ 32nd annual list of the 400 richest people in America.
Our eight Forbes 400 list members are worth a total of $33.9 billion, which is $4.5 billion more than they were worth last year. Six of them got richer, but not all of the gains were large enough to keep pace with the rest of the list. Only three gained ground in the Forbes 400.
Henry Nicholas, the co-founder of Irvine-based semiconductor maker Broadcom, was the only O.C. rich person to fall off the list. He retired 10 years ago, but his wealth is tied to the company he founded, and Broadcom shares dropped 28 percent in the last year. That brought his net worth down to a measly $1.15 billion, below Forbes’ $1.3 billion minimum.
Donald Bren, the 81-year-old owner and chairman of Newport Beach-based Irvine Co., was again O.C.’s richest man, and the only local business leader to make it into the top 100. Forbes estimates Bren’s net worth at $14 billion, up from $13 billion last year, which makes him the 27th richest person in the United States. He was No. 24 in 2012.
David Sun and John Tu, the co-founders of flash memory company Kingston Technology in Fountain Valley are the next wealthiest in O.C. Chief operating officer Sun is a 61-year-old resident of Irvine. Kingston president Tu lives in Rolling Hills. Each leader is worth $4 billion, up from $2.6 billion last year. They share the 110th spot on the Forbes 400 list, up considerably from 170 last year.
James Jannard, 64, made most of his $3billion – up from $2.8 billion in 2012 – from the Foothill Ranch-based Oakley Inc.sunglasses company he founded. He used some of his riches to start Red Digital Cinema, a camera company also in Lake Forest, and to buy Speiden Island in Washington state, where he lives now. Jannard ranked 166 on the Forbes list, down 16 notches from last year.
Igor Olenicoff, the 70-year-old creator of the Olen Properties commercial real estate company in Newport Beach moved up six spaces to No. 184. His fortune is valued at $2.9 billion, up from $2.4 billion last year. Olenicoff now lives in Lighthouse Point, Fla
Bond king Bill Gross, 69, slipped 46 spots to No. 252. The Laguna Beach resident founded Pacific Investment Management Company LLC, better known as Pimco, in Newport Beach, where he serves as co-chief investment officer. Gross is worth $2.2 billion, down from $2.3 billion.
George Argyros, 76, had a net worth of $2.1 billion, up from $1.9 billion last year, landing him 260th. That’s down 10 places from 2012. He’s the CEO of Arnel & Affiliates, a firm in Costa Mesa that manages apartments and commercial properties. Argyros, who lives in Newport Beach, once owned the Seattle Mariners baseball team and later served as U.S. ambassador to Spain.
Newport Beach’s Henry Samueli is the youngest member of the O.C. Forbes club at 58. The co-founder of Broadcom fell 56 spots to number 327 with a net worth of $1.7 billion, down from $1.8 billion last year.
On the move