Jan. 31, 2013 -- intro:
Money may not be everything, but maybe power is. According to a new list of the most influential and wealthiest people, you don't have to be the richest to be the most "influential."
Wealth-X, a company based in Singapore which has a propiertary databse of individuals worth $30 million or more, has compiled a list of the 50 most influential ultra high net worth individuals, based on the collective net worth of their social and professional networks.
Interestingly enough, Wealth-X said it ignored family connections when compiling the list, hoping not to distort the list of family members who are all ultra high net worth individuals.
For Gates, the first person on the list, Wealth-X Research said it considered the following when assessing his known associates: board members, non-profit associates (trustees and board members), friends and associates in companies that Gates or his investment vehicle 'Cascade Investments' invest in.
Full List: The 50 Most Influential Networking Tycoons
In the collection of this list, who you know, not who you are related to, mattered most.
Here are the top 10 most influential people and the value of each person's "circle of influence," according to Wealth-X:
quicklist:title: Bill Gatescategory: $261 billionmedia: 18357740text:William Henry Gates III, 57, is co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and founder of Microsoft. His net worth is $66 billion, according to Forbes, making him the richest person in the country. The value of Gates's "circle of influence," according to Wealth-X, is $261 billion.
quicklist:title: Bill Clintoncategory: $227 billionmedia: 18357895text:William Jefferson Clinton is founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and a former U.S. president. Financial news site 24/7 Wall Street estimates his net worth at around $38 million. However, the value of his circle of influence is $227 billion, according to Wealth-X.
quicklist:title: William Albert Ackmancategory: $194 billionmedia: 18357842text:
Bill Ackman is founder and CEO of the hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management. He and his wife, Karen, established The Pershing Square Foundation and have signed the Giving Pledge, which invites the wealthy to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Wealth-X estimates the value of Ackman's sphere of influence at $194 billion. But that doesn't mean Ackman plays nice with his contacts. Last week, he famously got into a verbal spat with billionaire Carl Icahn live on CNBC. The two accused each other of lying and having poor business practices.
quicklist:title: Eli Broadcategory: $148 billionmedia: 18357772 text:
Eli Broad, 79, is founder of the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, Sun America Inc. and KB Home. His net worth is $6.3 billion, according to Forbes, which would make him the 55th richest person in the country.
quicklist:title: Warren Edward Buffettcategory:$146 billionmedia: 18357623text:The second richest person in the country according to Forbes with a net worth of $46 billion, Warren Buffett is chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. The 82-year old has worked with the richest person in the country, Bill Gates, donating billions of dollars to the Gates Foundation and other causes.
quicklist:title: Peter George Petersoncategory: $145 billionmedia:text: Peter George Peterson, 86, is co-founder of financial service company the Blackstone Group. He left the firm in 2008 and has a net worth of $1.2 billion, according to Forbes, which ties him with Jorge Perez and T. Boone Pickens as the 360th richest people in the U.S. The Peter G. Peterson Foundation focuses on the nation's "key fiscal challenges threatening America's future."
quicklist:title: Michael Terry Dukecategory: $136 billionmedia: 18357661text:As CEO and president of Walmart, Michael Duke, 61, earned about $18.7 million in 2011. He leads the country's largest retailer with 4,500 retail facilities in the U.S. alone.
quicklist:title: Keith Rupert Murdochcategory: $133 billionmedia: 18357651text:
As chairman and CEO of News Corp., Rupert Murdoch, 81, owns a global media empire and is the 36th richest person in the country, according to Forbes.
quicklist:title: Thomas Boone Pickens Jr.category: $132 billionmedia: 18357638text:
T. Boone Pickens Jr., 84, made a name for himself in the energy industry, working at Phillips Petroleum then later starting Mesa Petroleum. He is now chairman of BP Capital Management. He has a net worth of $1.2 billion and is tied for 360th richest person in the country, according to Forbes.
quicklist:title: Linda S. Wolfcategory: $131 billionmedia: 18357825text: The only woman in Wealth-X's top-10 list, Linda Wolf, 63, is a director on Walmart's board, as well as a number of other organizations.
She is also former chairwoman and CEO of Leo Burnett Worldwide, Inc., the advertising agency.