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Fictional Entrepreneurs vs Real-life Billionaires

By Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment

Would our favourite fictional characters be richer than the tech giants of today?

We’ve used extracts from books and films to work out the 2021 net worth of fictional entrepreneurs, comparing this against the October-2021 wealth of the real-life richest.

Putting all of this data together, we present the first real-life and fictional entrepreneur rich list:

How did we work out fictional characters wealth?

The study takes a fictional character in their prime and converts their wealth into 2021 purchasing power through historical inflation rates. USD is converted into GBP through a September-2021 exchange rate.

For example, see our workings out to evaluate Tony Stark’s wealth in £2021:

  • Assumption of Arc reactor being the only clean energy provider
  • Exxonmobil (largest energy supplier) usually makes NP of around $17bil, assume Stark Industries does +200% better as having clean energy monopoly $51b
  • Stark Industries primary weapons contractor since WW2: similar real-life company, Lockheed Martin have an annual NP of $6.83B, assume SI are slightly bigger player, circa 9b NP
  • Medical development: flesh healing serum adding an extra $14b NP p/a
  • Further 6 busineses in SI: add +$5b NP: total 79b
  • Business valuation of $395b
  • Stark family has always maintained majority shareholdings -51%: ownership value of 201.45b – convert to USD - £147.05billion

2024 Edit: Following this we have used the inflation rate from 2021 to 2024 to see how much our fictional entrepreneurs wealth would have increased.

The top 10 list

1) Bernard Arnault - net worth: £232 billion

Bernard Arnault manages an empire of over 70 brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora. His holding company, LVMH, completed the biggest luxury brand acquisition in recent times, completing a deal for Tiffany & Co for £11.50 billion.

2) Elon Musk - net worth: £195 billion

Tesla’s +1102% increase in share price since 2018 has rocketed Elon Musk up the real-life rich list, due to his 22.4% share in the company. Elon Musk’s unconventional and eccentric nature doesn’t put him far out of place with some of the comic book heroes in this list!

3) Mark Zuckerberg - net worth: £177 billion

Zuckerberg’s wealth comes from making Facebook public in 2012, which valued the company at £79 billion – the largest valuation to date for a newly public company.

However, the long-term longevity of Mark Zuckerberg on rich lists is in doubt – with him and his wife, Priscilla Chan, pledging to give away 99% of their Facebook stakes over their lifetime.

4) Jeff Bezos - net worth: £194 billion

Ahead of both Bruce Wayne (Batman) and Tywin Lannister (Game of Thrones) is the real-life richest entrepreneur, Jeff Bezos. His monumental wealth mainly comes from his 10.3% stake in Amazon. Putting Bezos’ wealth into proportion: he makes £110k per minute and £1,845 per second, very close to what the average UK salary is per month (£1,950).

5) Tony Stark - net worth: £173 billion

Tony Stark, Ironman, leads our fictional characters in terms of wealth, due to majority shareholdings in the massively successful Stark Industries. A monopoly in clean energy, the Ark Reactor, alongside the invention of flesh healing serum and continued supply of international arms would put him ahead of Bezos in the real world.

6) Bruce Wayne - net worth: £155 billion

Bruce Wayne (Batman) is touted as being 'richer than countries' in End Game. His wealth includes Wayne Enterprises, an international conglomerate with activity in the majority of the sectors of the economy. Wayne Tech in particular specialises in nanite and nanotechnology.

7) Bill Gates - net worth: £128 billion

Despite Bill Gates’ recent divorce from Melinda, the tech giant is still in our rich-list top 10 primarily due to his historical shares in Microsoft. 

8) Tywin Lannister - net worth: £96 billion

At the beginning of Game of Thrones we learn that Robert Baratheon puts the crown into a 3million gold debt to the Lannisters. Converting this into real money, alongside assets like Casterley Rock and the Golden Tooth mine, we think Tywin Lannister would be one of the richest men in the world.

9) Charles Foster Kane - net worth: £38 billion

The Kane family were initially poor, however received a mine which turned out to be full of gold. Charles Foster Kane capitalises on this massively by turning the gold into a media conglomerate. The story is loosely based upon William Randolph Hearst, a real-life media baron with a $3billion wealth in the 1940s.

10) John Hammond - net worth: £34 billion

From the Jurassic Park books we know that John Hammond had several previous scientific ventures to give him the wealth to build his final park. The cost of his Jurassic Park and the research involved would require more than a few billion in the bank.

View the full Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment fictional entrepreneur rich list

Aaron Wallis are a national specialist sales recruitment agency comfortable across many sectors, however more recently the majority of our clients utilise the below offerings:

Date published: 19th November 2023

Rob Scott, Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment, Author Photo

About the author

Rob Scott

Rob is the Managing Director of Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment, a national recruitment agency specialising in sourcing sales and marketing staff for businesses across a broad range of commercial sectors. Before setting up Aaron Wallis, Rob spent ten years at a specialist Sales and Marketing recruitment division of a £0.5BN recruitment group, leaving in 2007 as Marketing & Sales Director to establish Aaron Wallis.
With over 26 years of experience in sales recruitment, Rob is a History graduate with an MBA (Merit) and a PgCert in Management Practice.  In 2007, 2009 and 2013, Rob conducted the most extensive surveys of sales professionals in the UK and is a trusted authority in the sales industry. From guiding employers through the recruitment process to helping candidates find their dream job, Rob's advice has been quoted in leading publications such as the FT, Business Insider, Forbes and The Independent, as well as OnRec, which hosts The Online Recruitment Awards every year.