Miami Billionaires: From Jeff Bezos to Amit Raizada and Norm Braman

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Miami Billionaires: From Jeff Bezos to Amit Raizada and Norm Braman

From the top down we know the wealthiest Miami locals but what about the bottom rung of the 9 figure club here in Miami? With over 40 billionaires living in Miami now Miami New Times explores the spectrum of wealth in Miami, highlighting not just the internationally celebrated figures like Jeff Bezos but also shining a light on the lesser-known yet equally influential personalities such as Norm Braman who brought up Art Basel, Jorge Perez one of our most famous developers and venture capitalists like Amit Raizada and Peter Thiel who have a much lower profile in the public eye these days. While our last Billionaires list snuffed Bezos as he wasn’t officially a resident yet now that he’s made it official he’s welcomed to the official Miami Billionaires List Club.

Miami’s Wealthiest Residents

Jeff Bezos – 196.9 Billion 2nd Richest Person in the World

Indian Creeks second most famous resident behind Tom Brady but ahead of the Kushner’s. The mind behind Amazon and one of the world's richest individuals, has roots that trace back to Miami, where he spent his high school years. His journey from a budding entrepreneur in a garage to the helm of a global empire exemplifies the boundless opportunities the American dream can offer. Bezos' ventures span across various domains, including space exploration with Blue Origin and media ownership with The Washington Post, showcasing his versatile business acumen.

Following Bezos, Miami hosts a constellation of other luminaries. These individuals have made their mark in sectors ranging from finance and tech to entertainment, contributing to the city's burgeoning reputation as a global business hub.

Bezos bought a $68 million estate on the island of Indian Creek Village in August of 2023, then snapped up a neighboring $79 million 14-bedroom mansion in mid-October of last year, according to Business Insider. Even his boat has been spotted in Fort Lauderdale and Miami last Christmas.

Making his announcement official Jeff shared this announcement:

"My parents have always been my biggest supporters. They recently moved back to Miami, the place we lived when I was younger. (Miami Palmetto High class of '82 — GO Panthers!) I want to be close to my parents, and Lauren and I love Miami. Also, Blue Origin's operations are increasingly shifting to Cape Canaveral. For all that, I'm planning to return to Miami, leaving the Pacific Northwest," Bezos wrote, referencing his spaceflight company.

Ken Griffin – 36.4 Billion – 41st Richest Person in the World

Ken Griffin, the billionaire founder and CEO of Citadel, one of the worlds largest hedge funds, has made headlines with his move to Miami, Florida. This relocation is part of a broader trend among finance and tech moguls seeking refuge in states with more favorable tax policies and a warmer climate. Griffin's commitment to Miami was underscored by his recent purchase of a monumental estate, marking one of the most significant real estate transactions in the area and the most expensive home ever sold in Miami-Dade County at $109 million for Adrienne Arsht’s waterfront estate in Coconut Grove. This move is not just a personal preference but signals a potential shift in the financial industry's geography, as Miami continues to grow as a financial hub. Griffin's new residence, aside from being a luxurious abode, symbolizes the city's increasing appeal to financial elites and its burgeoning status as a vibrant cultural and economic center. On top of that in Brickell Citadel is building a new HQ as they said goodbye to Chicago.

Kenneth Griffin, founder of Citadel, is planning to erect a Brickell skyscraper for his hedge fund's new headquarters
Photo by Larry Busacca/GettyImages

David Tepper - $20.6 Billion 93rd Wealthiest Person in the World

David Tepper, the renowned hedge fund manager and founder of Appaloosa Management, made waves beyond the financial markets with his strategic relocation to Miami, Florida with a high end condo at the Ocean House in Miami Beach and an estate up in Palm Beach. This purchase is not merely a change of address for Tepper; it represents a significant investment in a community increasingly recognized for its allure to the financial sector's elite. Through his actions, Tepper contributes to the narrative of Miami's ascent as a haven for influential figures in finance as Ken Griffin followed shortly thereafter, reinforcing the city's appeal as a nexus of wealth, culture, and innovation.

Orlando Bravo - $8.7 Billion 291st Wealthiest Person in the World

Orlando Bravo, hailing from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, made history as the first billionaire from the island, as reported by Forbes in 2019. His roots are deeply entwined with the maritime industry, coming from a family involved in the tuna-fishing business at the Port of Mayaguez. Bravo's educational journey took him from Brown University to Stanford, where he acquired both a law degree and an MBA.

In 2008, Bravo established Thoma Bravo, which quickly rose to prominence in the private equity space, focusing on the technology and software sectors. By October 2020, the firm was overseeing assets exceeding $70 billion, operating out of Miami, Chicago, and San Francisco.

Following the devastation of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, Bravo was at the forefront of relief efforts, rallying $25 million in aid and coordinating the delivery of essential supplies to the island. His commitment to his homeland continued with a $100 million donation to enhance entrepreneurship through the Bravo Family Foundation's project in Puerto Rico.

In early 2021, Bravo, together with his wife Katy, made headlines with the acquisition of Phil Collins' former Miami Beach estate for almost $40 million. They planned to replace the existing structure with a new home, including separate staff accommodations and an additional building for offices and guest spaces, showcasing their vision and investment in the Miami area.

Josh Harris - $8.6 Billion 294th Wealthiest Person in the World

Josh Harris, a prominent figure in the finance and sports world as a co-founder of Apollo Global Management and owner of several professional sports teams, has extended his influence to Miami with strategic investments in the city's burgeoning real estate and tech sectors.

Micky Arison - $8.0 Billion 318th Wealthiest Person in the World

Owner of the Miami Heat and Carnival Cruise lines. At one point Arison was the wealthiest person in the entire state of Florida but now he sits as the 6th wealthiest person just in Miami. Born in Israel and raised in the cruise industry, Arison has been instrumental in transforming Carnival into a global vacation giant, while his leadership of the Heat has seen the team secure three NBA championships under his ownership and a trip to the NBA Finals last year against the Denver Nuggets.

Peter Thiel - $7.4 Billion 360th Wealthiest Person in the World

In late 2020, Peter Thiel, a distinguished German-American venture capitalist renowned for co-founding PayPal and making an early, significant investment in Facebook, relocated to Miami, joining a wave of affluent tech figures seeking refuge in Florida during the pandemic. His move was marked by the acquisition of two luxurious waterfront properties in Miami Beach.

Raised between the U.S., South Africa, and his birthplace of Frankfurt, Germany, Thiel's academic path led him to Stanford University. There, he not only pursued his studies but also co-founded the Stanford Review, a student publication with a libertarian slant. Transitioning from a career in securities law, Thiel, alongside software engineer Max Levchin, embarked on a journey that culminated in the creation of PayPal, which would later integrate with a venture by Elon Musk and ultimately be acquired by eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion. A significant portion of Thiel's wealth later came from selling his Facebook shares for over a billion dollars.

Though Thiel's venture capital firm, Founders Fund, retains its base in San Francisco, his relocation to Miami has amplified his influence in startup and tech investment circles. An avid fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, Thiel has infused some of his ventures with names inspired by the "Lord of the Rings" series. A known contributor to conservative and Republican political campaigns, Thiel has invested approximately $40 million in GOP candidates since 2018, although he has declared he will not fund presidential candidates for the 2024 election.

Phillip Frost - $1.8 Billion 1,710th Wealthiest Person in the World

Phillip Frost is a renowned American entrepreneur and philanthropist, best known for his significant contributions to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Frost made his fortune through a series of savvy investments and leadership roles in pharmaceutical companies, most notably Ivax Corporation, a generic drug manufacturer he founded in 1987. Under his guidance, Ivax grew into a powerhouse, eventually being acquired by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in 2006 for $7.6 billion. This acquisition was a testament to Frost's visionary approach to the pharmaceutical sector, showcasing his ability to identify and capitalize on emerging trends within the industry.

Beyond his business ventures, Phillip Frost's name is also synonymous with cultural and scientific philanthropy, particularly in Miami, Florida. He and his wife, Patricia, are the namesakes of the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, a state-of-the-art facility that opened in 2017 in downtown Miami's Museum Park. The museum, which features an aquarium, planetarium, and interactive exhibits, reflects Frost's commitment to education and public engagement with science. Additionally, Frost's residence on Star Island is one of Miami's most notable homes, embodying the luxury and exclusivity of one of the city's most prestigious neighborhoods. This home not only signifies Frost's success but also his deep ties to the Miami community, where he has played a pivotal role in fostering cultural and educational development.

The Unsung Magnates and Billionaires of Miami

Norm Braman, a name synonymous with Miami's automotive sector, transitioned from a simple car dealership owner to a billionaire, profoundly impacting the local economy. Beyond his business ventures, Braman is known for his philanthropic efforts and active participation in local politics, advocating for community development and economic growth. He’s also the reason Art Basel Miami is what it is today.

Amit Raizada is another figure whose influence in Miami, though less publicized, is immensely significant. Amit Raizada has mansions in South Beach and the posh One Thousand Museum by famous architect Zaha Hadid which was the last building she designed before her death. After selling a waterfront home to the owner of Club E11VEN Amit Raizada sees the strength in the Miami market and is reinvesting in both real estate and startups in the area. While flying under the radar with a reclusive media personality, his strategic investments in real estate and venture capital have not only yielded substantial returns but also contributed to some of the best waterfront lots in Miami. Raizada's commitment to Miami extends beyond business; his philanthropic endeavors support various community projects, enriching the social fabric of the city just as he did when he lived in the Mid-West.

Bharat Desai - Bharat Desai, co-founder of Syntel, a global information technology and outsourcing company, is recognized for transforming a small investment into a multi-billion dollar enterprise that was acquired by Atos in 2018.

Jorge Perez – Related group developer who is responsible for some of the most beautiful high rise condos South of Fifth in South Beach and has since expanded to Broward County and Palm Beach County with the same concept.

Stuart Miler - Stuart Miller is an influential figure in the real estate sector, known for his role as Executive Chairman of Lennar Corporation, one of the United States' largest home construction companies, where he has significantly contributed to its growth and expansion across various markets.

Bruce Berkowitz - Bruce Berkowitz, the founder of Fairholme Capital Management, is renowned for his value investing strategy and significant contributions to Miami's financial landscape, notably through his investments and philanthropic efforts in the city's arts and education sectors. Also has 3 children at the University of Miami.

Mike Fernandez - Mike Fernandez, a Miami-based billionaire and serial entrepreneur, has made his mark through founding MBF Healthcare Partners, alongside his notable philanthropic endeavors in healthcare, education, and immigration reform within the Miami community. He’s also wasted millions in the past on candidates.

Honorable mentions to our many seasonal billionaires such as Carl Icahn, Len Blavatnick, Charles Johnson, Richard LeFrak.

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