Former English teacher Jack Ma captured the world stage like no other Chinese businessman in September 2014 with the record-breaking $25 billion initial public offering of his e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba Group on the New York Stock Exchange. His Ant Financial Services Group, best known for Alipay, is now pushing into financial services, including a consumer money market fund and a private bank.
Ma has said he plans to take it public in China. He also has more than a dozen other investments, from a stake in a soccer team to a film production studio. An active philanthropist, he sits on the board of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences with fellow billionaires Mark Zuckerberg and Yuri Milner.
In an interview with Charlie Rose, Ma claimed that he applied to Harvard 10 times (and got rejected) and that he was also turned down for jobs to work at KFC and to become a police officer. Ma paid $23 million in May for 28,100 acres in the Adirondacks.