The Money Maker Brains

Amancio Ortega - $64,500,000,000

Amancio Ortega grew up the son of a railway worker and is now the world's richest retailer. He cofounded Zara in 1975 with lingerie and bathrobes he and his former wife Rosalia Mera made in their living room. By the mid-1980s, he had taken Zara all over Spain and was ready to expand overseas. As his empire grew, Ortega caught the retail establishment by surprise, limiting advertising, expanding aggressively, and controlling much of his own supply chain. Louis Vuitton fashion director Daniel Piette once called Inditex "possibly the most innovative and devastating retailer in the world." Ortega powered through the Spanish financial crisis, personally gaining $45 billion from 2009 to 2014 as his shares of Inditex defied the rest of the Spanish stock market. In the last decade, he has taken billions in Inditex dividends and reinvested the money into real estate in marquee cities, including Madrid, Barcelona, London, Chicago, Miami and New York.