Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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

#11 Charles Koch $47.8B

Random fact: Plans to raise $889 million in 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Overview

Koch is the chairman and chief executive officer of Koch Industries, the second-largest closely held business in the U.S. The Wichita, Kansas-based conglomerate operates in oil refining, pipelines, commodities trading, ranching and paper pulp and has annual revenue of about $100 billion. He owns 42 percent of the company.

As of July 24, 2017:
Last change -$85.0M (-0.2%)
YTD change +$2.19B (+4.8%)
Industry Industrial
Biggest asset Georgia-Pacific
Citizenship United States
Age 81
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Charles Koch's net worth of $47.8B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

0%
of the GDP of the United States
0%
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
0%
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
0%
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
0%
of U.S. existing home sales
0
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Koch's fortune derives from his 42 percent stake in Koch Industries, a closely held industrial conglomerate that reports annual revenue of "as high as $100 billion" on its website. The figure was used in the analysis as of Nov. 30, 2016, after the company lowered the figure on the site from "as much as $115 billion," citing commodity prices as the cause of the fall. Koch Industries is the second-largest closely held company in the U.S. based on sales, according to the PrivCo 250 ranking for 2016.

Paper and pulp producer Georgia-Pacific had $19.4 billion of revenue, according to an October 2015 credit report from Moody's, and polymer and fiber producer Invista had revenue of $5.4 billion, according to a September 2015 Moody's report. Combined revenue for Flint Hills Resources, Koch Pipelines and Koch Fertilizer is calculated to be $60.8 billion using the sales-per-barrel, sales-per-pipeline mile or sales-per-metric ton of select industry peers and the corresponding data reported by the Koch businesses. Revenue of $4.1 billion for electronic components manufacturer Molex was calculated by applying a 4 percent annual growth rate, derived from conversations with four industry analysts, to its last reported $3.6 billion of revenue in 2013.

The remaining group revenue -- $10.3 billion -- is attributed to Koch's commodity trading, financial services, ranching and pollution-control equipment subsidiaries and included at a price-to-sales multiple of one. Valuation details for the units analyzed individually can be found in the asset notes for each.

His cash investments were included at $2 billion in 2015, based on a March 2016 Bloomberg report and applied to a generalized asset allocation since then. His stake in the family's private equity fund, Koch Equity Development, is included at the cost of the fund's known investments, based on a June 2016 Bloomberg report.

The billionaire declined to comment through Koch spokesman Rob Carlton in November 2016.

Biography

Birthdate: 11/1/1935
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: 1958, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Master's Degree 1957, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering, Bachelor's Degree

Charles Koch was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1935, to Mary and Fred Koch, who had co-founded an engineering company that specialized in oil refining and oil-related processes. Charles attended military school and studied engineering at MIT. He joined the family business in 1961 and took over the company following his father's death in 1967.

A fraternal feud over control of the business erupted in 1980, when younger brother Bill and older brother Frederick tried to unseat Charles as CEO in a failed boardroom coup, while a fourth brother, David, sided with Charles. Bill and Fred agreed to sell their shares back to the company for $1.1 billion in 1983. They sued two years later, claiming they were underpaid. A 15-year legal battle ensued, which was decided in favor of Charles and David in 2000.

At the helm of Koch Industries for almost 50 years, Koch has made a number of acquisitions, including the 2005 purchase of Georgia-Pacific for $21 billion. One of the original founders of the Cato Institute, he remains a backer of Republican and libertarian causes.

Milestones
  • 1935 Charles Koch is born in Wichita, Kansas, to Fred and Mary Koch.
  • 1959 Graduates from MIT with two master's degrees in engineering.
  • 1963 Appointed president of Koch Engineering.
  • 1967 Takes over the family business after his father's death.
  • 1976 Establishes the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.
  • 1980 Brothers Bill and Fred attempt to oust him as CEO of Koch Industries.
  • 1985 Bill and Fred Koch sue Koch Industries over the value of their shares.
  • 2000 Bill and Fred Koch lose their lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • 2012 The Cato Institute settles two lawsuits with the Koch brothers.