Down, out or De­ceased

Forbes - - Fact & Comment -

SEV­EN­TEEN BIL­LION­AIRES dropped from the ranks of The Forbes 400 this past year, with di­vorce, a sand­wich slump and phi­lan­thropy putting a dent in three prom­i­nent for­tunes. Many oth­ers sim­ply failed to keep up, fall­ing some­where south of this year’s $2.1 bil­lion cut­off for in­clu­sion.

Sub­way, the sand­wich chain co­founded by Peter Buck, is go­ing through tough times. Sales have slid for sev­eral years, and in 2017 the com­pany closed nearly 900 stores (net) across the U.S. In May it tapped its first CEO from out­side its found­ing fam­i­lies. Sub­way’s woes, plus some char­i­ta­ble giv­ing, sent Buck’s net worth down 35% over the past 12 months. Turns out Reid Hoff­man, co­founder of Linkedin (he sold it to Mi­crosoft in 2016), doles out do­na­tions the way his former busi­ness sprays emails. Forbes learned that he has qui­etly given away $1.5 bil­lion in re­cent years, leav­ing him with just $1.8 bil­lion. Hoff­man signed the Giv­ing Pledge this year, pub­licly vow­ing to part with more than half his life­time wealth. He’s get­ting close. The mar­riage of ex-pimco in­vest­ing baron Bill Gross ended with a nasty as­set tus­sle af­ter his wife, Sue, filed for di­vorce in 2016, cit­ing ir­rec­on­cil­able dif­fer­ences. She ul­ti­mately walked away with over $1 bil­lion, in­clud­ing a $36 mil­lion house in La­guna Beach, Cal­i­for­nia, half of the cou­ple’s $56 mil­lion art col­lec­tion and two of their three cats. That’s a lot of scratch.

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