Florida Overtakes Texas As Third Most Popular State For The Exclusive Forbes 400 Club
Last year billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper held the title of New Jersey’s richest. But he has since moved (along with his $19 billion firm) to Florida, a state with no estate or personal income tax. Advantageous for him, perhaps: he logged about $1.2 billion in earnings in 2015. Not so much for the Garden State, as it might suffer a budget shortfall once Tepper stops contributing to its tax roll.
Tepper (No. 35, $11.4 billion) isn’t the only Forbes 400 member to relocate to the Sunshine State in recent years. Florida’s richest resident, Thomas Peterffy (No. 32, $12.6 billion) moved from Greenwich, Conn., in 2015. Unlike Tepper, though, he kept the headquarters of his discount brokerage firm, Interactive Brokers Group, up North. Bob Duggan, who sold his biotech firm Pharmacyclics for $21 billion and made $3.5 billion before taxes, also recently moved to Florida. Owner of auto-parts maker Flex-N-Gate Shahid Khan (No. 70, $7 billion), who immigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan at age 16, lived in Illinois for years before more recently moving to the Sunshine State. His commitment to Florida seems strong: Khan owns the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, a team valued at almost $2 billion. He bought the team in 2012.
These billionaires as well as five newcomers have helped boost the number of Forbes 400 members in the state to 40, up from 31 just two years ago. With that, Florida surpasses Texas as the third most popular home state for the exclusive club for the first time this century — and probably even longer. In 2000, The Forbes 400 featured only 16 Floridians. That same year, there were 34 Texans. Today that number has dropped to 33, two fewer than a year ago and the lowest since 2000.