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Bill Gates joins Jeff Bezos in world's most exclusive 'centibillionaires' club

Olivia Feld
Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife created the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Getty Images North America

The world's most exclusive club now has two members. Bill Gates has joined Jeff Bezos as a "centibillionaire", meaning that they are each worth over $100bn (£76bn).

The Microsoft founder is the second wealthiest person on the planet, after the Amazon founder and chief executive.

Seattle born Mr Gates, 63, added $9.5bn to his wealth this year to take his personal net worth to $100bn, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index.

The number one spot on the wealth list has been occupied by Mr Bezos since becoming a "centibillionaire" in 2017. He added $20.7bn to his wealth this year alone, and now has a net worth of $146bn, according to the Index.

Mr Gates, 63, dropped out of Harvard University to found what would later became Microsoft. The company, which is now the world's largest software business, is today worth $906bn. Mr Gates stepped down as chairman in 2014 but remains a shareholder, as well as holding stakes in dozens of other publicly traded companies.

Mr Bezos, 55, started his career on Wall Street before leaving New York to found Amazon in his garage in Seattle in 1996. Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and raised in Houston, Texas, he currently owns 16pc of Amazon’s stock.

The father of four also owns space exploration company Blue Origin and newspaper The Washington Post.

Both men are set to lose significant chunks of their fortunes in the near future. Mr Bezos and his wife MacKenzie has announced in February that they are to divorce.

A settlement could see Ms Bezos become the wealthiest woman in the world. Meanwhile, Mr Gates, who founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife, has stated his intention to give away at least half of his wealth.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index ranks the world 500 wealthiest individuals, based on the publicly traded markets, the economy and reports. The net worth figure is adjusted each day after the close of trading on the New York Stock Exchange.