RI’s billionaire Nelson falls on Forbes list after $200M decreaseMarch 5th, 2013 at 2:07 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
Financier Jonathan Nelson is once again the only Rhode Islander on Forbes’ list of the world’s 1,426 billionaires. His net worth of $1.5 billion puts him at #974, placing him among the poorest third of people with 10-figure fortunes. A year ago he was #854.
Nelson, founder and CEO of the powerhouse private-equity firm Providence Equity Partners, had seen his fortune inch up to $1.7 billion as of September but it’s now back to $1.5 billion, according to Forbes. It peaked at $2 billion before the market crash of 2008, then dipped to a low of $1.35 billion in September 2010.
Nelson, 56, was raised in Providence by an orthodontist, graduated from Brown in 1977 and founded ProvEq in 1989. He and his wife own a $1.5 million home on Providence’s East Side but mostly stay out of the local limelight, though they’ve been generous to Brown and he sits on the board for Newport’s jazz and folk festivals.
Another Rhode Islander who used to be among Forbes’ billionaires – Hope Hill “Happy” van Beuren, the Campbell’s Soup heiress who lives in Middletown – hasn’t appeared on any of its wealth rankings since March 2011 because her fortune is shared by her family. She chairs the van Beuren Charitable Foundation.
A part-time Rhode Islander on the list is Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who owns Beechwood Mansion in Newport. Ellison’s net worth of $43 billion makes him the fifth-richest man in the world, behind only Mexico’s Carlos Slim, Bill Gates, Spain’s Amancio Ortego and Warren Buffett.
• Related: Romney’s wealth dwarfed by RI billionaire Jonathan Nelson’s (Nov. 16)