Mr. Gates topped Forbes magazine’s annual billionaires list for most of the past 15 years but dropped to the second spot last year behind Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim. The 2011 list is due out Wednesday.
David Lincoln of research firm Wealth-X estimated Mr. Gates’s current worth at $49-billion but said the figure would be $88-billion had the Microsoft chairman not given a large chunk of his fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Mr. Slim is worth about $60-billion, Mr. Lincoln said. He has pledged several billion dollars to charity but has also said business people do more social good by investing to create jobs and wealth.