The Richest Asian Americans of 2013

Forbes recently published their list of the wealthiest Americans for 2013, coinciding with their annual compiling of the world’s billionaires, a massive list of more than 1,300 of the richest people around the globe. We scoured the list of America’s billionaires and found 14 Asian American names or families whose estimated net worth comes in north of $1.2 billion.


A handful of names are familiar but most you’ve probably never heard of. The ethnic breakdown of the 14 billionaire Asian Americans is as follows:

* 9 ethnic Chinese
* 3 Indian
* 1 Korean
* 1 Pakistani

Other fun facts from which you can make your own conclusions include:
* Every billionaire on the list is an immigrant and a self-made billionaire
* Two were born in Africa
* The majority of Chinese were either born in or lived in Taiwan before coming to the United States
* Most likely due to the decline in stock price of Amkor Technology, founder and CEO James Kim misses the list for the second consecutive year.

Here’s the list of the richest Asian Americans, in reverse order of wealth:

#14. Sun Hongbin
Chairman, Sunac China Holdings
Net worth: $1.2 billion
World ranking: #1175
U.S. ranking: #377
Age: 50
Source of Wealth: Real estate, self-made
Background: Mainland Chinese, may have received citizenship as late as 2009

Sun Hongbin, the chairman of property developer Sunac China Holdings, debuts on the Forbes Billionaires list this year. Shares in Sunac more than doubled in value in the past year amid hopes for recovery in China’s real estate market. Headquartered in Tianjin, the company took advantage of the stock rally to raise cash through a January 2013 stock sale that led Sun’s stake in the company to fall to…

#13. Vinod Khosla
Partner, Khosla Ventures
Net worth: $1.5 billion
World ranking: #974
U.S. ranking: #328
Age: 58
Source of Wealth: Venture capital, self-made
Background: Born in India, received master’s degrees from Carnegie Mellon and Stanford Business School

Vinod Khosla continues to advocate for greener energy sources and has shown his willingness to bet on them. His Khosla Ventures was a big backer of biofuel producers Kior and Gevo, both of which went public in 2011. Khosla made his early money as a co-founder of Sun Microsystems and later as a venture capitalist with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Khosla Ventures-funded server builder SeaMicro was…


#12. Jerry Yang
Net worth: $1.5 billion
World ranking: #974
U.S. ranking: #360
Age: 44
Source of Wealth: Yahoo, self-made
Education: Master of Science, Stanford University; Bachelor of Arts / Science, Stanford University
Background: Born in Taiwan, moved to the United States at the age of 10

After resigning from Yahoo’s board in January 2012, co-founder Jerry Yang has completely removed himself from Silicon Valley business dealings, stepping down from the board of Cisco in November. That move was more ceremonious than his exit from Yahoo, which capped a gradual fall from grace that began with his 2009 replacement as CEO by Carol Bartz. Yahoo is now led by former Googler Marissa Mayer, who…

#11. Kavitark Ram Shriram
Managing Partner, Sherpalo Ventures
Net worth: $1.65 billion
World ranking: #922
U.S. ranking: #298
Age: 56
Source of Wealth: Venture capital, Google, self-made
Background: Born in India, immigrated after college, received an MBA from the University of Michigan

One of the first people to write a check to Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Kavitark “Ram” Shriram advised the pair weekly in their Menlo Park, Calif. garage. He is still a Google board member, but since March 2012 he has sold or given away more than 70% of his shares. Shriram’s investment firm, Sherpalo Ventures, cashed in on Mint Software, which sold to Intuit for $171 million in 2009.

#9. (tied) Bharat Desai & family
Chairman and Co-founder, Syntel
Net worth: $2 billion
World ranking: #736
U.S. ranking: #239
Age: 60
Source of Wealth: Outsourcing, self-made
Education: Master of Business Administration, University of Michigan; Bachelor of Arts / Science, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
Background: Born in Kenya, spent teenaged years in India, moved to the States in his early 20s

Bharat Desai’s fortune comes from Syntel, an information technology and outsourcing company in Troy, Michigan, that he founded with his wife in 1980. Born in Kenya, he spent his teenage years in India where he attended the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai. He moved to the U.S. in 1976 as a programmer for Tata Consultancy Services. Four years later he left to start Syntel while earning his M.B.A…


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