Iran may be known mostly for its oil, but the richest Iranians have varied interests beyond the black gold. In fact, most of them have little to do with it, as you will see from this list of the top 10 richest Iranians.
1. Asadollah Asgaroladi
Top of the list of richest Iranians is Asadollah Asgaroladi, with a net worth of $9 billion. Through his company, Hasas Co., Asgaroladi made Iran the ‘king of nuts’, through the export of nuts, dried fruits and pistachios. The company has been active since 1953, but the main increase in his wealth came in the 1990s. During the time, Iran had two parallel exchange rates for the dollar, Asgaroladi managed to purchase large quantities of the US dollar at the lesser exchange rate and reselling it for more than 300% in profits. Today, Asgaroladi has other interests in banking, real estate and healthcare.
2. Pierre Morad Omidyar
Although currently a US resident, Omidyar was born by Iranian parents. In 1995, he founded eBay, although at the time it was known as AuctionWeb. In 1995, eBay went public and Omidyar became a billionaire at 31 years of age. Now at age 50, Omidyar has a net worth of $9.3 billion.
3. Ghermezian family
From Iranian Jewish roots, the Ghermezian family moved to Canada and built their fortunes through the construction industry. The family is well known for building some of the world’s largest malls like the Mall of America in Bloomington. The patriarch of the family was Jacob Ghermezian, but now his four sons run an empire worth $4 billion.
4. Farhad Moshiri
After being born in Iran in 1955, Moshiri and his family left in 1979 before the Iranian revolution. Now at age 62, Moshiri lives in Monaco and has a net worth of $2.1 billion. His interests are primarily in steel and energy, where he has stakes in Russian and British companies in those industries. However, he also owns part of Everton football club after selling his shares in Arsenal FC.
5. Omid Kordestani
Born in Iran, he came to the US while 14, and now at 53 he is worth $1.9 billion. At the number 5 spot of the richest Iranians, Kordestani has worked for various tech companies including Netscape, Google and now Twitter as the Executive Chairman.
6. Hassan Khosrowshahi
An Iranian-Canadian businessman, he has an estimated net worth of $1.8 billion. Today he is primarily known for his Future Shop business which has over a hundred stores around Canada. Before this, he had founded Persis Holdings, which dealt in real estate, retail and pharmaceuticals.
7. Merage family
After moving to the US, the two brothers Paul and David Merage founded Chef America, which is known for creating Hot Pockets. Chef America was then sold to Nestle for $2.6 billion, and the brothers invested in capital markets through MIG Capital. Now the family has an estimated $1.8 billion.
8. David Alliance
Aged 85, David Alliance is worth about $1.5 billion, a fortune he built from the apparel industry. He has a 33% stake in N Brown group and a 22% stake in Coats plc as well as a valuable art collection and several private firms. He was knighted in 1989 and also received a CBE from the Queen of England.
9. Manny Mashouf
After founding Bebe Stores, Manny Mashouf at 79 is worth $1.3 billion. Bebe Stores announced they would be closing their land-based stores to focus on online retail, but Mashouf has other interests in film production too.
Ending our list of the top 10 richest Iranians is Isaac Larian aged 63, with a net worth of about $1.1 billion. He is the CEO of MGA Entertainment – the biggest privately-owned toy company in the world.