Skip to main content

The Top 100 Billionaires of 2019 - How Did They Get So Rich?

How to become a billionnaire - flash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To become one of the 100 richest people in the world in 2019, you have to be worth at least £11 billion. 

To put this into proportion, this is over 41,000 times wealthier than the average UK household wealth (£262k) from the Office For National Statistics1.

Here at Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment, we’re interested as to how the wealthiest top 100 of 2019 got so rich – and the correlations between your first career steps and how rich you become.

Where were the top 100 born?

Interestingly, the number of Chinese billionaires’ is on the rise, rising from 7 to 10 in the last three years.

Males also dominate the wealthiest individuals of the world with only 8 out of the top 100 billionaires being female.


 

Starting education – do you need a degree?

80% of the top 100 billionaires have at least an undergraduate degree – a clear indicator between higher education and wealth.

But which degree types did the top 100 2019 billionaires’ study?

First career path – who did the top 100 start working for?

How many of the top 100 made their own wealth or inherited a family fortune?
From our research 54% starting working in another business before making their billions, with 32% inheriting their money from a family source.

14% started their billion-pound businesses before any other career step.

First jobs – which job type do billionaires’ start working in?

Is there a trend between the skills you learn in your first job and the wealth you attain? Our research on the top 100 billionaires of 2019 suggests that individuals starting in an engineer or stock trading role.

Conclusions

2019 trends

Are billionaires getting younger? In 2017, Mark Zuckerberg was the only individual in the wealthiest 100 in the world under the age of 40.

In 2019, there are now five top 100 billionaires below 40, with a trend of software entrepreneurs like Zhang Yiming (TikTok), Ma Huateng (WeChat) and Colin Zheng Huang (Pinduodou) joining the list. If you want to become one of the economic elite, starting up a viral digital media platform like Facebook or TikTok isn’t a bad way to start – if only it was that easy…

Similarly, the wealth of China is becoming more prominent in the billionaire list. Over the last 2 years China has moved from having the 4th most individuals in the wealthiest 100, up to 2nd, only behind the United States.

With the growth of a huge potential customer base in Asia, both in terms of audience size and purchasing power, the number of Asian individuals in the wealthiest 100 in the world is set to rise. If you have a business idea just waiting to take-off, tapping into the Asian customer base wouldn’t be a bad strategy.

General trends

Billionaires tend to have studied an engineering or a finance role at university. Billionaires are likely to be good with numbers… developing ‘money’ skills through a finance role in your education has a correlation with the wealth you attain in your following career.

Technical starting careers can lead to great wealth. The rise of software entrepreneurship is replacing traditional wealth from resources like minerals and oil – engineers and software developers are producing a wave of ‘new money’ billionaires that have the skills to develop leading software products.

One of the most indicative stories of the rise to billionaire status in 2019 comes from Chinese born, Ma Hauteng, starting his career as a software developer for pager technology and only earning $176 per month2. Jump forward to present day and Ma Hauteng is worth over $35 billion, after setting up internet conglomerate Tencent, the world’s largest gaming company and massive social media platform.

Dataset

We welcome use of our data in other studies or articles. Please reference Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment and www.aaronwallis.co.uk as the author of the study.


Sources

Data on the individual billionaires was collected through mixed sources; reviewing online biographies, profiles and news reports.

Data comparing the last 3 years uses this report combined with the Aaron Wallis billionaires’ report published in September 2017.

1) ONS – Personal & Household Finance UK

2) Australian Business Review – Tencent’s Ma Becomes China’s Second Richest Man

Published: 29th November 2019

Search jobs

With hundreds of jobs available, now is the time to look for your perfect position

Recruit sales staff

Just fill in your details below to get started

The 'Name' field is required
Please enter a valid Email address
Rob Scott - Aaron Wallis

by Rob Scott

Managing Director

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 24 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 Business Insider and The Independent, as well as OnRec, which host The Online Recruitment Awards every year.

Our employers say...

In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.

Sales Manager, TR Fasteners

I really liked the YouTube presentations which made the service seem both simple and accessible. The company came to see me, and my management team, at short notice to present their service and I liked the support and advice that I received about maximising the results from the applicant.

Managing Director, Leisuresec plc

Thank you for your dedicated help during the recruitment process - we came to you after unsuccessfully searching elsewhere, and hired, not one, but two! Quick response times, and a really personal approach, without being pushy.

Managing Director, Accora Ltd

We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.

Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management

Really good service. Just the right amount of contact and easy to deal with.

HR Manager, Zircon Software Ltd

Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.

Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment

Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.

CEO, Friday Ad Online Services

We appointed Aaron Wallis in February and the successful candidate, out of the six which Aaron Wallis introduced, was able to join Alphametrics before the end of April. The whole process took less than three months. I would recommend Aaron Wallis' services to others without hesitation.

Chief Financial Officer, Alphametrics

Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.

Sales Director, Inside Business

Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.

UK Sales Manager, Nexcom

I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.

HR and General Manager, THK

Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.

Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions

I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!

Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd

Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.

Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd

Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.

Senior Recruitment Consultant, DSG International

I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.

HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd

As always we were extremely impressed with Rob's understanding of the role and our specific needs.

Managing Director, Speck & Burke

Generally good standard of candidates. Especially liked the personality profile. Overall good value for money and will certainly use you again.

Managing Director, Medicash

Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.

Marketing Director, City of London Police

I could not suggest anything I would like you to do better. The service you provided materially exceeded my expectations. I would especially like to commend Simon Bonner; he is easily the best recruitment consultant I have ever dealt with. I particularly valued his advice and guidance throughout the recruitment process. 

UK Sales Manager, BTS Holdings Limited 

I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.

HR Business Partner, Greene King

Our candidates say...

Really excellent experience dealing with Aaron Wallis. Liam Oakes who helped me get a great job was brilliant. Kept me up to date during the process and offered great help and advice, and a thoroughly nice guy. Highly recommended!

J. Hathaway, Candidate

For anyone looking for work, I can't recommend Aaron Wallis highly enough.

C. Rockliffe, Candidate

The detail put into the preparation for interviews and the detail of the job description was first class. Rob and Simon in particular are amongst the best I've ever dealt with.

K. Peacock, Candidate

Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dewrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.

R. Sealy, Candidate

The staff at Aaron Wallis were fantastic. Throughout the process, they maintained excellent communication and I always knew where I stood.

M. Owusu, Candidate

Aaron Wallis have provided me with an excellent service, Giles went out of his way to help me preparing for my interview and supported me through all the processes. If you need an agency to give you a fully professional and consultative approach to finding you a new career move, the Aaron Wallis can certainly provide this for you.

D. Richards, Candidate

The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!

A. Callaby, Candidate

A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!

A. Bauchet, Candidate

Fantastic customer service, communication was brilliant, happy polite people to talk to, made everything a lot easier and smoother. Thank you for all your help getting me back in the work force, Keep up the good work :-)

K. Everitt, Candidate

Fantastic service, helped me find my ideal job quickly and smoothly. Would highly recommend them.

C. Caine, Candidate

Friendly, proactive, communicative. Overall a really positive experience.

R. Houston, Candidate

I've had a really good experience working with Giles Phillips at Aaron Wallis. From initial contact to the finer details of securing the job, he has been very professional and a pleasure to work with.

M. Shutt, Candidate

Wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with.

J. Marcinkiewicz, Candidate

Excellent experience from first contact to ultimately securing a suitable placement. Giles looked after me in a very professional and friendly manner. He used his expertise and experience to ensure I was put forward for the most suitable positions for my skill set and found me a new role very quickly. I can't recommend Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment highly enough.

M. Green, Candidate

I had the absolute pleasure of working with George Humphries on finding a placement best suitable for me.

A. Van Der Mescht, Candidate

Rob was really helpful when I was putting together a presentation for the second stage interview. Overall their communication was great and kept me updated of any progress

J. McGrattan, Candidate

Simon was knowledgeable on his clients history, background and what their requirements were and he worked around time zones, holidays and a pandemic to get the right result.

J. Tooze, Candidate

Darren at Aaron Wallis was really encouraging and helpful. He was very responsive and regularly made phone calls to explain the job opportunities available, and guided me through the application process.

A. Brown, Candidate

Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.

R. Speakman, Candidate

I had a very good experience with Aaron Wallis. The company itself is offering great content for all things related to the hiring process. I definitely recommend.

J. Ostermeier, Candidate

I would highly recommend Aaron Wallis Recruitment, Darren was extremely helpful and provided me with plenty of advice and support throughout the whole process.

D. Bretherton, Candidate

I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!

D. Burgess, Candidate

I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.

S. Akers, Candidate

Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.

M. Crisp, Candidate

I had a great experience. Helped me every step of the way to get my new job. Sophie was very polite, kind and helpful!

J. Parnham, Candidate

Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.

M. White, Candidate 

Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.

C. Hoy, Candidate

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.

R. Buckley, Candidate

Aaron Wallis helped me secure a position I really wanted. Giles sought to keep me updated with all the details preceding interviews and after with feedback. I would highly recommend Giles and Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment.

L. Taylor, Candidate

Tom was a great help in finding me employment

N. Lignier, Candidate

Sophie has been fantastic and always so attentive, highly recommend.

T. Ashbourne, Candidate

George Humphries was a complete professional at every point, from our first phone conversation to his “good luck tomorrow” text on Sunday before I started in my new role.

E. Fry, Candidate

The service provided by Aaron Wallis has been just great. I was constantly informed about what was going on with the process interview and the agent has always been supportive and kind to me.

L. Colagrossi, Candidate

The most professional recruitment agency I've ever worked with. Robert Scott was extremely proactive and send me a detailed briefing before each interview, ensuring I was well prepared.

D. Bermant, Candidate

Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.

E. Heley, Candidate

When talking with Simon you felt relaxed cared to help you find a position that suited your needs

D. Pinder, Candidate

Good swift process with Aaron Wallis, informative regarding the role and the process was moved at a good pace with healthy interaction. Would recommend them to anyone pursuing a change.

S. Bartlett, Candidate