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At 21, Kylie Jenner Becomes The Youngest Self-Made Billionaire Ever

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In mid-November, Kylie Jenner marked a milestone moment with a visit to a strip mall. For the past three years, her Kylie Cosmetics had only sold its makeup online and briefly in pop up shops.

But after signing an exclusive distribution deal with Ulta, the beauty retailer, Kylie Cosmetics was rolling its $29 lip kits—a matte liquid lipstick and matching lip liner—into Ulta’s 1,000-plus stores.

And Jenner showed up to the Richmond Avenue Ulta in Houston to greet customers, sign autographs on lip kits and, of course, pose for selfies with her fans.

Over the next six weeks, Kylie Cosmetics sold $54.5 million worth of products in Ulta, according to estimates from Oppenheimer. “I popped up at a few stores, I did my usual social media—I did what I usually do, and it just worked,” she says.

READ MORE | From Bitcoin To Bezos, The 18 Best Forbes Stories Of 2018

Fueled in part by the Ulta expansion, Kylie Cosmetics’ revenue climbed 9% last year to an estimated $360 million. With that kind of growth, and even using a conservative multiple from the booming makeup industry, Forbes estimates Jenner’s company is worth at least $900 million. She owns all of it.

Add in the cash Jenner has already pulled from the profitable business, and the 21-year-old is now a billionaire, with an estimated fortune of $1 billion. She’s the youngest-ever self-made billionaire, reaching a ten-figure fortune at a younger age than even Mark Zuckerberg (who was 23 when he hit that mark).

“I didn’t expect anything. I did not foresee the future,” says Jenner, who is the youngest billionaire in the world. “But [the recognition] feels really good. That’s a nice pat on the back.”

The beauty of Kylie Cosmetics, which Jenner started in 2015, is its minuscule overhead—and the outsize profits that go straight into Jenner’s pocket. Her empire consists of just seven full-time and five part-time employees. Manufacturing and packaging is outsourced to Seed Beauty, a private-label producer in nearby Oxnard, California. Sales and fulfillment are handled by online merchant Shopify.

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His Bosses Rejected His Idea. Then Hans Langer Became A Billionaire From His Plan For Giant 3D Printers

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Tucked away in the forests of Bavaria, in a building that once housed the printing presses for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, is one of the largest 3-D printer factories in the world. On a late-winter morning, it is quiet inside the cavernous space as workers install lasers and wiring in machines that are taller than a person and wider than a desk. When finished, these printers can make everything from parts for rockets to hip implants. The 100,000-square-foot factory is not quite half full, but when it reaches capacity, it will be able to ship 1,000 printers a year.

The man responsible for all this is 67-year-old Hans Langer, one of the original entrepreneurs in the 3-D printing world, who started the company that produces these machines, EOS GmbH, 30 years ago. “I was able to see that we could open up a totally new world of manufacturing,” says Langer from his company’s airy and modern headquarters near Munich. 

EOS founder Hans Langer.JAMEL TOPPIN FOR FORBES

The 3-D printing revolution heralded a few years ago never arrived. There are not printers in every home or on every desk. One of the largest of the public 3-D printer makers, $1.3 billion (market cap) 3D Systems, has lost more than 85% of its value since January 2014, when its stock hit a high of $97. It recently traded around $11.  

But while there is limited demand among consumers for 3-D printers, the industrial version of the technology is booming. Massive companies like Boeing and Zimmer Biomet, a medical device manufacturer, are increasingly using 3-D printers to redesign products and parts to make them lighter and more efficient. Sales of industrial 3-D printers could reach $11.7 billion this year, more than double their $5.2 billion in sales in 2015, according to industry research firm Wohlers Associates, which forecasts that they’ll more than double again, to $27.3 billion, by 2023.

The parts these printers churn out often look like something created by nature, with lattice-like structures and hollow spaces, yet can be stronger and more functional than traditional manufactured pieces that appear more solid. That allows manufacturers to reduce the weight of airplanes, increasing their fuel efficiency and lowering their carbon footprint, and make joint implants that are lighter and that allow bones to grow into the empty spaces in the metal.

Langer has positioned EOS perfectly to capture this demand. He was an early believer that 3-D printing could be used for more than just prototyping, one of its earliest uses in industry, and today EOS’s machines, which have a base price as high as $1.6 million, fill factory floors at Boeing, BMW and Siemens. It adds up. EOS Group (which includes 3-D printing company EOS GmbH and related businesses) has sales of $400 million, operating profit margins above 10% at a time when many 3-D printing companies are in the red, and, most years, double-digit revenue growth. In addition to the 3-D printing business, Langer has created an ecosystem of companies in related industries, such as coatings and scanning systems for lasers, that positions his group for future growth.

Adrian Keppler, CEO of EOS GmbHJAMEL TOPPIN FOR FORBES

Industrial manufacturing isn’t as glamorous as creating consumer products, but Langer is the first person to have earned a billion-dollar fortune in 3-D printing. He is worth an estimated $2.6 billion. He and his family own all of EOS Group. “He’s built this really remarkable enterprise,” says John Dulchinos, vice president of 3-D printing and digital manufacturing at Jabil, the giant contract manufacturer, which has purchased numerous EOS machines.

“He’s very entrepreneurial, and he’s got one of the few companies in this market that actually makes money. That’s really impressive given how much money this industry has burned chasing the dream of 3-D printing.”

But EOS is both having a breakout moment and facing increased competition from both well-established giants, such as GE and HP, and venture-backed disruptors like unicorn Desktop Metal. Langer, a white-haired man with a penchant for ascots, isn’t rattled, arguing that his group of companies could increase its total revenues tenfold in the next ten years.

While he’d rather not talk about money or be outed as a billionaire, he’s clearly proud of what he’s built. “Most people have not understood the potential,” he says. “It’s not about the printers. It’s about the digital impact that starts with the digital-design software.”

Langer grew up in Bavaria, where his father owned a small business and taught glider pilots on the side. His dad taught him to fly, too, and at 14 Langer completed his first solo trip. He loved the silence of flight (“A special experience,” he says. “It’s totally silent and you fly over the glaciers.”) and was intrigued by the planes’ aerodynamics.

He received a Ph.D. from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, then continued his research at Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics, one of Germany’s top research institutions, specializing in lasers, which were emerging as a new tool. Langer thought he would become an academic, but a professor convinced him he could make a bigger difference in industry. In 1981, he joined laser entrepreneur Carl Baasel at the company he’d started, Carl Baasel Lasertechnik, as employee number 11.

While Langer saw himself as a physicist, he discovered he had a knack for sales by focusing on solving his customers’ problems. “Always start with why,” he says. “If you have a customer, why? Why do you talk to me?” On his first sales call to a professor at the Karlsruhe Nuclear Research Center, he sold not only the $5,000 laser bench the professor asked about but an entire laser system. Within three months, he’d met his annual target.

As Langer’s success at Baasel grew, executives at General Scanning, an American firm that dominated the market for scanning systems for lasers, took notice. In 1985, Langer joined General Scanning to run its European operations.

At the time, 3-D printing was in its infancy. 3D Systems’ Chuck Hull had invented stereolithography, a method of 3-D printing that used light-activated resins to build rapid prototypes layer by layer, and filed his first patent on the technology in 1984. Langer realized that parts built with this method could be designed in ways that would have been impossible with traditional manufacturing techniques. He pored over 3-D printing patents, going as far back as the 1950s, and met with other General Scanning customers exploring the technology.

Then he proposed that General Scanning start its own 3-D printing division, which he called EOS, for Electro Optical Systems. The board of directors said no. It would be too risky, they argued, because of the potential for patent litigation. After all, Hull had filed a patent on his technology and would likely try to enforce it.

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Richest Cities In The World: The Top 10 Cities With The Most Billionaires

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People with ten-digit fortunes can live pretty much anywhere they want. As it turns out, many like the same spots.

Of the 2,153 members of the 2019 Forbes World’s Billionaires List, 551 live in just 10 of the world’s 1,860 cities. Billionaires living in this relative handful of locations possess a collective $2.3 trillion of wealth, exceeding the GDP of all but seven nations on earth.

New York City again tops the list with 84 billionaires, whose combined net worth of $469.7 billion is greater than the GDP of Austria. The biggest city in the U.S. and home of the world’s two biggest stock exchanges, New York has housed the most billionaires for five years running.

The streak started in 2015 when it beat out Moscow, which has ranked as No. 3 since 2016. The Russian capital had 85 billionaires in 2014, 14 more than today.

China has the most cities in the top 10, with 145 of the nation’s billionaires living in just three places: No. 4 Beijing, No. 6 Shanghai and No. 8 Shenzhen. While all three Chinese cities have fewer billionaires than last year, they still account for 45% of the country’s list members.

That percentage may stand to grow even larger as China sprints toward further urbanization; the nation’s city-dwelling population has increased from 48% to 59% since 2009, per Chinese census data.

The same 10 sites were also the most popular on last year’s World’s Billionaires list, albeit with slightly shuffled rankings. San Francisco saw the biggest year-over-year jump, moving up from No. 10 to No. 7 and adding eight billionaires, including Coinbase cofounder Brian Armstrong and Levi Strauss heiress Mimi Haas.

Mumbai is the biggest loser, dropping from No. 7 to No. 10 with a net loss of eight billionaires. Nine fell off the list, including pharma bigwigs Samprada Singh and Basudeo Singh of Alkem Laboratories, whose stock price fell some 20%. Only one new billionaire emerged in India’s most populous city: paint company heir Mahendra Choksi.

Here are 10 cities with the most billionaires from No. 10 to No. 1:

10. Mumbai, 37 billionaires (-8 since 2018)

Total net worth: $184.4 billion

Richest resident: Oil and gas heir Mukesh Ambani, $50 billion

Mumbai is home to what is likely the most expensive residence on earth: Ambani’s $1 billion 27-story palace. It was also the site of one of the biggest, costliest weddings ever, again courtesy of Ambani. He hosted the week-long blockbuster celebration for his daughter Isha and the son of fellow billionaire Ajay Piramal in December 2018.  

9. Seoul, 38 billionaires (-3)

Total net worth: $99.9 billion

Richest resident: Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee, $16.9 billion

All but one of South Korea’s billionaires reside in its biggest city, and all are South Korean citizens. Seoul’s richest people control the nation’s biggest businesses, including global powerhouses Samsung and Hyundai. South Korea is also the world’s fourth-largest online gaming market (over $5.7 billion in revenue, per Newzoo), and the sector has produced five Seoul billionaires, including Maple Story-maker Kim Jung-ju.

8. Shenzhen, 39 billionaires (-5)

Total net worth: $190.5 billion

Richest resident: Tencent CEO Ma Huateng, $38.8 billion

Designated as a “special economic zone” during Chinese economic reforms of the 1980’s, the Hong Kong-bordering city has become an economic and tourist hub. Every listmaker from Shenzhen is a self-made billionaire, with its second-richest resident Hui Ka Yan working as a factory technician for ten years before founding one of China’s foremost real estate developers. Dorm room founder Frank Wangbecame the world’s first drone billionaire in 2016, along with an early investor and his marketing chief, both Shenzhen residents.

7. San Francisco, 42 billionaires (+8)   

Total net worth: $109.2 billion

Richest resident: Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskowitz, $11.1 billion

The heart of America’s tech revolution, San Francisco is homebase for founders of Uber, Airbnb and Pinterest. The region’s influx of digital-age companies has made it the most expensive city in the U.S. (The entire Bay Area, including San Francisco and nearby cities, has 82 billionaires, still fewer than New York). One escapee: PayPal cofounder and Trump backer Peter Thiel, who moved to Los Angeles in 2018, reportedly for its greater political diversity.

6. Shanghai, 45 billionaires (-5)

Total net worth: $110.7 billion

Richest resident: Ecommerce entrepreneur Colin Huang, $13.5 billion

As ecommerce surges worldwide, so do fortunes like Huang’s, which is tied to internet retailer Pinduoduo. All those online-purchased items have created a massive package delivery market. Shanghai, also the world’s biggest port, is home to four major package delivery companies, each with a pair each of billionaires. The city’s richest logistics duo is tied to Yunda Express; its cofounding spouses Nie Tengyun and Chen Liying are worth a combined $5.1 billion.

5. London, 55 billionaires (+0)

Total net worth: $226 billion

Richest resident: Russian bank founder Mikhail Fridman, $15 billion

London, with more five star hotels than any other city, is a mecca for the uber rich. While 20 Brits call the cosmopolitan city home, 35 expatriate billionaires from 23 countries including India, Iceland and Russia have relocated to London. Five, including two Ikea heirs, come from high-taxed Sweden, more than any other nation. Four are Russians, including Russia’s richest woman Elena Baturina, whose husband was removed as mayor of Moscow in 2010. And though he’s not a resident, Chicago hedge fund head Ken Griffin bought a $122 million property just a ten minute walk from Buckingham Palace this January.

4. Beijing, 61 billionaires (-3)

Total net worth: $193.3 billion

Richest resident: Commercial real estate titan Wang Jianlin, $22.6 billion

Beijing is home to China’s two youngest billionaires, both products of the internet era: 33-year-old cryptocurrency miner Jihan Wu and 35-year-old ByteDance chair Zhang Yiming. The success of his $75 billion internet-era content creation hub has launched Zhang from the city’s No. 13 to No. 2 richest in just a year. He’s only topped by Wang, whose fortune comes from real estate. Tech (17) and real estate (12) are the most popular industries for billionaires in the Chinese capital.

3. Moscow, 71 billionaires (-6)

Total net worth: $336.5 billion

Richest resident: Natural gas oligarch Leonid Mikhelson, $24 billion

Nearly 80% of all billionaires in Russia live in its capital, which is also its most populous city. Moscow is home to five billionaires sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury in April 2018: suspected election meddler Oleg Deripaska, Michael Cohen-tied Viktor Vekselberg, legislative official Andrei Skoch, former Putin judo partner Arkady Rotenberg and trained economist Suleiman Kerimov. Russia’s Great Gatsby (as he’s been called) Kerimov faced money-laundering charged in France that were dropped in June.

2. Hong Kong, 79 billionaires (+2)

Total net worth: $355.5 billion

Richest resident: Conglomerate kingpin Li Ka-shing, $31.7 billion

Housing prices in the city have quadrupled since the Great Recession, thanks to its government’s tight grip on supply. The booming market has vaulted the fortunes of developers like Lee Shau Kee and Peter Woo, and 29 Hong Kong billionaires (and half of its top-ten richest) count real estate as their chief source of wealth. But a correction may be imminent—a Citigroup survey says that 57% of Hongkongers anticipate a drop in residential real estate prices during 2019.

1. New York, 84 billionaires (+1)

Total net worth: $469.7 billion

Richest Resident: Media magnate Michael Bloomberg, $55.5 billion

Some Big Apple billionaires were born and raised in New York, including Estee Lauder heir Ronald Lauder, JPMorgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon and Highbridge Capital cofounder Henry Swieca. Dimon and Swieca are two of 40 billionaires in the city whose fortunes were built in finance, the richest of whom is Carl Icahn, one of few hedge fund managers to make money in 2018. And though the city’s most famous landlord now calls the White House home, 17 other real estate billionaires live in New York City. That includes native New Yorker Steven Roth, whose real estate company Vornado owns 70% of Trump’s skyscraper at 1290 Avenue of Americas. But just like in London, NYC’s priciest residence, a $238 million Central Park penthouse, is owned by out-of-towner Ken Griffin (he calls Chicago home).

-Carter CoudrietForbes Staff

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The Richest Woman In The World

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Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s L’Oréal? In Francoise Bettencourt Meyers case, it’s both. The L’Oréal heiress, who is also the chairwoman of her family’s holding company, is the world’s richest woman, with a fortune of $49.3 billion.


Bettencourt Meyers, who is the 15th-richest person in the world, leads the women on the 2019 Forbes World’s Billionaires list.

The granddaughter of L’Oréal’s founder Eugène Schueller (an inventor of hair dyes), and a member of the company’s board since 1997, Bettencourt Meyers debuted on the billionaires list last year following the death of her mother, Liliane Bettencourt, in September 2017. Liliane had been on the list every year since Forbes published its first World’s Billionaires List in 1987.

Bettencourt Meyers’ fortune increased by $7.1 billion, or 17%, since last year thanks to stellar results at the makeup giant, of which she and her immediate family own a 33% stake.

READ MORE | At 21, Kylie Jenner Becomes The Youngest Self-Made Billionaire Ever

An estimated 90% of her wealth is tied to shares of the company, which recorded its best sales growth in more than a decade last year with total revenue coming in at $30.6 billion. Revenue in Asia Pacific jumped 20%, driven by China; the region has now overtaken North America in terms of sales.

Bettencourt Meyers, who lives in Paris, is the president of her family’s Bettencourt Schueller Foundation. The philanthropic foundation encourages French progress in science and the arts, giving money and support to projects in life sciences, social progress and traditional crafts.

The foundation has donated to projects including the research of neurons, support for families of autistic children and French choirs. She is also a writer and has authored a book on the Greek gods and another with commentary on the Bible.

While it’s Bettencourt Meyers’ first official year as richest woman, her name is no stranger to the spot. For the past decade, the world’s richest woman has either been a Bettencourt or Walton. In fact Bettencourt Meyers first overtook Alice Walton, last year’s richest woman, in March 2018, just days after we finalized our annual list.

READ MORE | Fewer Billionaires, Poorer Billionaires On African Continent In 2019

Bettencourt Meyers’ mother Liliane Bettencourt, the daughter of L’Oréal founder Scheuller, spent most of her life working at L’Oréal; late in life she suffered from dementia. She and Walmart heiresses have taken turns holding the title of richest women for most of the past three-plus decades that Forbes has been tracking the wealthy.

Liliane Bettencourt was the richest woman for most of the first 14 years Forbes published the billionaires’ list. In the years following 2001, she was overtaken some years by Walmart founder Sam Walton’s daughter Alice Walton and other years by Sam’s widow Helen Walton. Bettencourt took back the number one spot in 2006. She and Alice Walton’s sister-in-law Christy Walton took turns holding the title for the remainder of the past decade.

In 2010, buoyed by strong Walmart stock, Christy Walton, Sam Walton’s daughter-in-law, became the richest woman. Forbes understood at the time that she received the bulk of her husband John’s fortune when he died in a plane crash in 2005.

She continued as the world’s richest woman for the next four years, but in 2015, previously sealed documents revealed that she had inherited just one-sixth of his fortune. Christy and John’s son, Lukas, received one-third of John Walton’s estate, while the rest went to charity.

The Forbes World’s Billionaires list is a snapshot of wealth using stock prices and exchange rates from February 8, 2019. Some people will become richer or poorer between then and the publication of the rankings, or within days of publication.

-Madeline Berg; Forbes Staff

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