Who’s South Florida’s richest? It may not be who you think

Dr. Phillip Frost, with his wife Patricia.
Dr. Phillip Frost, with his wife Patricia.

Pass the ball, Micky.

Miami Beach-based hedge fund manager David Tepper, 59, who recently moved from New Jersey, surged ahead as South Florida’s richest resident, coming in at No. 35 with $11.4 billion on the latest Forbes 400 list, released Tuesday. The top local ranking previously was held by Carnival Corp. Chairman and Miami Heat owner Micky Arison, who still made the list at No. 61 with $7.2 billion.

Plenty of other locals — full-time and otherwise — also made the top 400.

On the full-timer list: medical entrepreneur and art and science museum benefactor Phillip Frost at No. 134 with $4.1 billion; frozen foods magnate Robert Rich Jr. of Islamorada at No. 150, with $3.8 billion; real estate’s Igor Olenicoff of Lighthouse Point at No. 156 with $3.7 billion; Miami condo king Jorge Pérez at No. 239 with $2.8 billion; Fort Lauderdale investor H. Wayne Huizenga at No. 264 with $2.6 billion; Syntel’s Bharat & Neerja Sethi Desai of Fisher Island at No. 274 with $2.5 billion; Sears investor Edward Lampert of Indian Creek at No. 309 with $2.3 billion; airline veteran Rakesh Bangwal of Miami at No. 321 with $2.4 billion; National Beverage founder Nick Caporella of Plantation at No. 335 with $2.1 billion; and Cargill heiress Katherine Tanner of Marathon at No. 374 with $1.8 billion.

Part-timers include Len Blavatnik, No. 22 with $18.2 billion. Though he lives in London, he has a local pad and is Alan Faena’s partner on the mid-Miami Beach Faena Arts District. (The gold-plated mastodon in the glass vitrine on the Faena Hotel terrace reportedly belongs to Blavatnik.)

Other part-timers include developer and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross at No. 58, with $7.4 billion, and developer Richard LeFrak, partner on 1 Hotel and Residences on Miami Beach and SoLe Mia in North Miami Beach, at No. 73 with $6.7 billion.

Those with South Florida connections and/or holdings include Palmetto High grad Jeff Bezos of Amazon, who came in at No. 2, with $67 billion, and Palm Beacher George Lindemann (No. 204 with $3.2 billion), whose son George is chair of the Bass Museum on Miami Beach.

As for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, owner of the Trump Doral Resort, last year wasn’t his best financially. His fortune diminished by $800 million over the previous year, estimates Forbes, to $8.7 billion, earning him the No. 156 slot (tied with Steven Spielberg.)

Other findings from this year’s survey:

▪ More than 10 percent of the Forbes 400 are immigrants.

▪ The aggregated net worth of the 400 is $2.4 trillion.

▪ The lion’s share of that wealth is held by those in the 60-79 age bracket.

▪ Tech is the leading sector for fortune building, followed by finance & investments.