6 of the wealthiest men in Florida State and their companies.

Image courtesy of Pictures of Money at Flickr.com

Florida, especially South Florida, is very attractive to rich people. It can be called a wealth magnet. Almost 25 millionaires are found around this area with a combined estimated wealth of $200 million or more. Some of them are long time locals and other are newcomers from other cities in the Unites States.

Even though most of South Florida´s money comes from tourism and trade, the richest men in Florida come from diverse industries such as television, information technology, investment management and even distribution of air conditioners. The source of wealth is very diverse compared to other places in the United States such as Silicon Valley. All the information is publicly trackable and, of course, not all their wealth is taken into account to provide such information, according to the Miami Herald.

Image courtesy of zircon100 at Flickr.com

Local boy Micky Arison, president of Carnival Corp. He is the owner’s son. He started in the sales department and rose to the presidency of the company in 1979 after being the manager of the reservation department and vice president of traffic. He led several acquisitions and raised $400 million for expansion. It has not all been peaches and cream and 2 of the most popular incidents were the Costa Cruises wreck along the Tuscan coast of Italy killing 32 people and an engine fire that affected the Carnival Triumph in 2013, exposing the passengers to toilets floods and unsanitary conditions. With a 6.2 billion fortune, he seems optimistic and blames South Florida for part of his success, citing the beautiful scenery and the easy access to the Caribbean.

Another local is Gustavo Cisneros and the Cisneros Group. He currently lives in New York, but the company’s headquarters is based in Coral Gables and run by Adriana Cisneros who lives in Miami Beach. His father Diego Cisneros founded the family company and the second generation proved to be the best business people of the family. With Gustavo at the front of the company, it became one of the largest media and entertainment conglomerates years after acquiring a Venezuelan television station that in the end became Venevision. Gustavo started his career in Venevision. One of the most well-known deals was the sale of Venevision to a private operator by $13.7 billion on his watch. He now serves as co-chairman of the board of Cisneros Group and his daughter has been the CEO since last year. With a fortune of $4 billion and investments in telecommunication, television production, resort properties and consumer goods, they are one of the richest families based in Florida.

Philip Frost. A former professor of the University of Miami’s Medical School, got together with Michael Jaharis to purchase the drug development company called Key Pharmaceuticals in 1972. Both were at the front of this company when they sold it for $575 million in 1986. Frost then went to purchase a generic drug developer called Ivax Corp. He acted as chairman and CEO of the company until 2006 when he sold it for $7.4 billion to an Israel-based pharmaceutical company. He has been the Chairman of Teva since 2010 and is now ready to resign to focus on the other Florida based companies he runs. He believes in diversification and strategy, and many of his investments go beyond healthcare. He has a fortune of $3.7 billion down his pocket and ready to continue growing in the business and healthcare sectors.

Not originally from Florida, but lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fred de Luca. His story is well-known across the country as he co-founded the well-known chain of sandwiches shop, Subway. In 1965 he needed some extra cash to pay for his university fees. A family friend lent him 1.000 dollars to open a sandwich shop. They opened the first restaurant in Connecticut and then 32 more by 1975. They decided to call their restaurant Subway. The idea was to expand quickly and they started to sell franchises all over America. They started expanding internationally by 1984, and today the Subway franchise has more than 37.000 restaurants worldwide. A hard working man, still managing and visiting many Subway restaurants, has a fortune of $2.8 billion to spend on his trips and has no plans to retire yet, even after having health problems in recent years.

Image courtesy of Dennis S. Hurd at Flickr.com

Some of these billionaires are self-made and some of them inherited their fortune from family businesses. The fact is that each and every one of them is a hard-working man that has had vision and is driven by their company and their passion to succeed. After travelling the world and retaining a good amount of money they come to Florida , giving it a bit more of color and style for billionaires all over United States and the world.