Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

#43 Carl Icahn $19.3B

Random fact: Manhattan's Il Tinello restaurant offers pasta alla Icahn.

Overview

Icahn is a diversified investor with holdings in biotechnology, petroleum refining, scrap metal and auto parts. His investments are made through publicly traded Icahn Enterprises and closely held Icahn Partners and include Tropicana casinos, telecommunications company XO Holdings, real estate and thousands of railcars.

As of May 30, 2017:
Last change +$23.4M (+0.1%)
YTD change -$1.25B (-6.0%)
Industry Diversified
Biggest asset IEP US Equity
Citizenship United States
Age 81
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Carl Icahn's net worth of $19.3B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Icahn owns 92 percent of Icahn Enterprises, according to a Dec. 21, 2016 filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company is a publicly traded master limited partnership that controls majorities of the shares in Federal Mogul, Tropicana Entertainment and American Railcar and holds other wholly owned businesses. His stake in IEP continues to expand through regular partnership distributions and his preference to receive dividends as shares instead of cash, according to the company's annual report released February 2016.

The billionaire invests his personal funds through several entities, including Icahn Partners, in which Icahn Enterprises is the only other investor, according to annual SEC disclosures. The value of Icahn Partners' holdings is disclosed in Icahn Enterprises regulatory filings about once a quarter.

Icahn invests in equities, futures, options and debt through High River, a series of entities that are held apart from Icahn Enterprises and Icahn Partners. These are valued based on information provided by a person familiar with the company's investments who asked not to be identified because the transactions are private.

Icahn bought telecommunications company XO Holdings in 2011 and owns it all, according to Federal Communications Commission disclosures. A deal to sell most of XO for $1.8 billion to Verizon is pending FCC approval and expected to close in 2017. Icahn retains XO's wireless spectrum rights. An option in the purchase agreement gives Verizon the right to buy Icahn's lease for $200 million, according to Verizon spokesman Robert Varettoni in a September 2016 phone call.

Icahn also has many long-held assets that are difficult to value, including railcar company ACF, which he acquired in the 1980s. These are valued on information provided by the person familiar with Icahn's investments who asked not to be identified, and included in cash and other assets.

Biography

Birthdate: 2/16/1936
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: 1957, Princeton University, Bachelor's Degree

Born in Queens to a synagogue cantor and a high school teacher, Icahn attended public school before enrolling at Princeton to study philosophy. After stints in medical school and the army, he discovered his passion lay in investing. Icahn started on Wall Street in 1961 as a registered sales representative and leveraged his client base to form his own brokerage firm by decade's end.

He began taking individual positions in companies in 1978, making his mark in 1984 with a large stake in Texaco during its failed merger with Pennzoil. His ensuing proxy fights with TWA, Nabisco, Gulf & Western and Uniroyal landed him the moniker of corporate raider, a title he shuns. Often controversial, his activist investing usually pays off. He doubled his money on Texaco in the 1980s, cleared $800 million on Nabisco and has made almost $3 billion on CVR Energy.

Today, his fortune is split between holdings in publicly traded Icahn Enterprises, his family office Icahn Partners, in which Icahn Enterprises invests (outside investor money was returned in 2011) and personal investments, including telecom XO Holdings, as well as a wide collection of assets encompassing real estate and railcars.

Recipients of his charitable giving include shelters for single mothers, medical facilities and public and private educational institutions in the New York City region.

Milestones
  • 1936 Carl Celian Icahn is born in Bayswater, Queens, N.Y.
  • 1957 Graduates from Princeton University with a degree in philosophy.
  • 1961 Hired by Dreyfus & Co. as a registered representative.
  • 1968 Borrows $400,000 to buy NYSE seat, starts brokerage Icahn & Co.
  • 1979 Wins first proxy fight over stove maker Tappan for 193 percent profit.
  • 1985 Takes over airline TWA. Begins buying regional airlines.
  • 2011 Exits the hedge fund business after returning $1.76 billion to investors.
  • 2013 Buys almost $2 billion in Dell stock as company plans to go private.