Ireland’s billionaires see wealth grow by more than €15bn last year

Forbes annual billionaires list features a record 2,781 people after two years where numbers fell

All but one of Ireland’s billionaires grew or maintained their wealth over the past year, according to Forbes’ annual billionaires list, with the Collison brothers retaining their position as the wealthiest people born in Ireland.

Taylor Swift unsurprisingly became the headline act as she joined the billionaires list for the first time after her record-breaking ErasTour - one of 14 celebrities on a list that expanded for the first time in three years.

After two years where numbers fell, the latest ranking of the world’s wealthiest people shows there are now more billionaires than ever, 2,781 to be exact, including 265 newcomers. Their total wealth is now $14.2 trillion (€13.19 trillion) in aggregate, up by $2 trillion from 2023 and $1.1 trillion above the previous record set in 2021.

There are now a total of 11 Irish citizens on the exclusive list of billionaires, all men, including two new entrants who are both aged in their twenties. Their total net worth reached $52.9 billion (€49.12 billion) in 2024, a significant increase on $36.2 billion (€33.61 billion) last year.


The Collison brothers saw their net worth rebound to $7.2 billion apiece in 2024. The co-founders of payments giant Stripe, John (33) and Patrick (35), had been hit hard last year by ongoing turbulence in the tech industry, and their net worth shrank from $9.5 billion to $5.5 billion each.

A funding round in 2023 valued Stripe at $50 billion, down from its peak valuation of $95 billion in 2021. Earlier this year, a subsequent funding round raised this valuation to $65 billion, and the recovery in their net worth in 2024 has seen them rise to 373rd place on the global list from 466th last year.

Shapoor Mistry (59) remains the wealthiest Irish citizen, ranked 228th richest person in the world with a fortune of $9.9 billion. He controls the 157-year-old engineering and construction giant Shapoorji Pallonji Group, having inherited it in 2022 from his father Pallonji Mistry, and has seen his fortune jump from $7 billion last year.

Mr Mistry is an Irish citizen by way of his father, who married Irish-born Pat “Patsy” Perin Dubash.

The two sons of his brother, Cyrus Mistry, who died in a car crash shortly after his father’s death, are among the newcomers on the list. Firoz (27) and Zahan Mistry (25) inherited their father’s 18.4 per cent stake in Tata Sons and are worth $4.9 billion apiece, ranking them 624th on the global list.

Sandwiched between the Collisons and the younger Mistrys is John Grayken (67), founder of Dallas-based private equity business Lone Star Funds, and an active investor in the Republic.

Mr Grayken saw his wealth rise to $6.9 billion in 2024, from $6.3 billion a year previously, and ranks 398th on the list. Originally from Boston, he renounced his US citizenship for tax purposes in the 1990s and became an Irish citizen.

Kingspan founder Eugene Murtagh (81) has risen to seventh among the Irish billionairs, with his net worth rising to $2.8 billion from $2.1 billion last year. Murtagh currently ranks as the 1,187th richest person in the world.

Eighth on the list is Digicel founder Denis O’Brien (65), who is also worth $2.8 billion, up from $2.7 billion last year. He ranks 1,187th globally.

Number nine is John Dorrance III (80), with a net worth of $2.6 billion, unchanged from last year. Heir to the Campbell’s Soup empire founded by his grandfather, he ranks 1,286th on the global list.

In tenth place is serial investor and financier Dermot Desmond (73), who has a number of business interests and is worth $2.2 billion, unchanged from 2023. Mr Desmond started his career in finance at Citibank, and later worked for the Investment Bank of Ireland and PwC. He ranks 1,496th globally.

Rounding out the list of Ireland’s 11 billionaires is John Armitage (64). Co-founder and chief investment officer of hedge fund firm Egerton Capital, which has $14 billion under management, he is the only one of the Irish billionaires to see his wealth decline since last year. Mr Armitage’s net worth is now calculated at $1.5 billion, down from $2.3 billion, making him the 2,046th wealthiest person in the world.

The richest person on the planet is Bernard Arnault, owner of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, with a net worth of $233 billion, followed by Tesla founder Elon Musk at $195 billion and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos at $194 billion.

The richest woman in the world and number 15 on the overall list is Françoise Bettencourt Myers, the granddaughter of the founder of L’Oréal, who is worth $99.5 billion.

The collective wealth of the world’s billionaires has risen by 120 per cent in the past decade, at the same time as billions of people across the world have seen their living standards decrease in the face of inflation and the cost of living crisis.

“It’s been an amazing year for the world’s richest people, with more billionaires around the world than ever before,” said Chase Peterson-Withorn, Forbes’ wealth editor. “Even during times of financial uncertainty for many, the super-rich continue to thrive.” - Additional reporting, Guardian.

Ellen O'Regan

Ellen O’Regan

Ellen O’Regan is an Irish Times journalist.