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 Michael Dell $20.9B

Random fact: Tried to take a high school equivalency test at age 8.

Overview

Dell is founder and chief executive officer of Dell Technologies, the world's largest closely held tech company, which had revenue of $62 billion in the year ended Jan. 31, 2017. His New York-based investment firms MSD Capital and MSD Partners manage more than $16 billion of assets, including stakes in Alphabet and JPMorgan.

As of Sept. 21, 2017:
Last change -$60.5M (-0.3%)
YTD change +$2.03B (+10.8%)
Industry Technology
Biggest asset Dell Inc.
Citizenship United States
Age 52
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Michael Dell's net worth of $20.9B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

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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:

The majority of Dell's fortune is derived from investment firms MSD Capital and MSD Partners, his closely held investment companies that manage more than $16 billion in assets, according to a September 2015 press release. Their holdings are valued based on May 2017 13-F filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ending March 30, 2017, and an analysis of share sales and purchases as well as market performance.

Dell owns all of MSD Capital and is personally credited with about 65 percent of MSD Partners' assets, which is in line with comments made by managing partner John Phelan in a 2013 interview with Bloomberg News. The calculation also removes $762 million held by Dell and his wife's charitable foundation as disclosed on its 2015 IRS return.

Dell is valued in three parts. MSD Capital led a consortium that took Dell Inc. private for $25 billion in October 2013. Dell had a 75 percent stake, according to an April 2016 SEC filing. Its value has been indexed to the performance of the S&P 500 Technology Hardware & Equipment Index since April 25, 2016. The base valuation was calculated using the company's January 2016 financials and the average enterprise value-to-sales and enterprise value-to-Ebitda multiples of three peers: HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lenovo. Publicly traded subsidiary Secureworks has been valued separately since its April 2016 listing. Its results have been omitted from Dell's private company valuation to avoid double counting.

Dell bought EMC Corp. for $67 billion in October 2015 to form Dell Technology, the world's largest private technology company, according to a September 2016 press release. The EMC unit is valued using Dell's calculated 75 percent share of the $4.25 billion equity contribution that supported the company's purchase of EMC.

Todd Fogarty, a Dell spokesman, declined to comment on the billionaire's net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 2/23/1965
Family: Married, 4 children
Education: The University of Texas System

The Houston-born technology titan enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin in 1983 intending to study biology and pursue a career as a doctor. He was soon sidetracked selling computers. Armed with $1,000 in start-up money, Dell began selling upgraded personal computers and components to customers on and off campus from his freshman dorm.

He sold shares in a 1988 initial public offering, and eight years later his stake was valued at more than $1 billion. He created the investment firm MSD Capital in 1998 to oversee his family's growing fortune. He stepped down as CEO of Dell in 2004 but returned to the top spot three years later, after shrinking sales and an accounting scandal prompted the company's board to request his return. Since then, Dell has been expanding the company's product lines beyond PCs and laptops into servers, computer storage and networking products.

The billionaire took the business private in 2013, retaining a 75 percent stake. He agreed to buy EMC Corp. for about $67 billion in the largest technology acquisition ever in October 2015.

Most of his charitable giving is done through the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of children living in poverty around the world.

Milestones
  • 1965 Michael Dell is born in Houston to Alexander and Lorraine Dell.
  • 1983 Enrolls at the University of Texas. Assembles computers in his dorm room.
  • 1984 Changes company name to Dell Computer. Drops out of college.
  • 1988 Following an initial public offering, Dell begins trading on NASDAQ.
  • 1999 Establishes the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
  • 2004 Steps down as Dell CEO.
  • 2007 Returns as Dell CEO following an accounting scandal.
  • 2015 Agrees to buy EMC Corp. for $67 billion.