10 Sep Amancio Ortega, Founder Of Zara Overtakes Bill Gates As World’s Richest Man
What’s more, His daughter, Marta, is expected to take over management of the business .
Amancio Ortega, whose personal fortune leapt by $1.7billion this week to $79.5billion – taking the Inditex owner past the Microsoft co-founder’s estimated $78.5billion hence his take over as world’s richest man . This isn’t the first time that the founder of the world’s largest apparel retailer, Zara is topping the world’s richest list . He was briefly aheadof Bill Gates in October before a surge in Microsoft shares put him back in second place.
Ortega can be described as a rare self-made mogul . Why not ? The son of a railway worker from La Coruna in Spain, Ortega transformed clothing group Inditex from a tiny family dressmaker into Spain’s biggest company. Blessing us with runway design imitations which are more accessible and affordable, Zara has become synonymous to the word Fashion , style even.
The son of a railway worker started his professional life at 14 as a delivery boy with a shirt-maker in the northern city of Coruna. After just a few years, he set up a workshop which sold Night gowns, lingerie and baby wear . The first Zara shop opened up in Spain in 1975.
A man of privacy, Ortega is seldom photographed and never grants interviews . there have been speculations over succession ever since his first ex-wife and co-founder of Inditex (world’s largest Fashion group) died . His second wife Flora Perez sits on the board .
Selection of designs based on feedback from shop assistants who zero in on shoppers’ reactions is peculiar to the billionaire.
‘If he speaks to a shop assistant and he likes what they hadto say, he will pay more attention to that than to any of his managers,’ a former Inditex director told Reuters.
Ortega’s majority stake in Inditex is held through another company, Pontegadea Inversiones, which Ortega has also used to channel the steady flow of dividends and build up a real estate portfolio with assets worth 8 billion euros at end-2014.
In July it was reported that Ortega’s real estate assets in 2015 topped 6billion euros alone.
Using massive dividend payouts from Inditex, which have nearly doubled over the last five years, Ortega has made largely debt-free purchases of prime buildings from London to New York, becoming a major commercial real estate player over that period.
‘All the buildings he buys are in prime districts. It’s a steady, reliable income stream, almost like a sovereign bond,’ said Carles Vergara, finance professor at IESE Business School.
For those of you who thought Fashion is a joke, you’d better think again .
Imagaes : Daily Mail