Robert Smith: How America’s Richest Black Man Lost $600 Million in 19 Days

After reaching a net worth of $12 billion earlier this year and keeping it for more than five months, America’s richest Black billionaire, Robert F. Smith, has seen his fortune plummet by more than $500 million due to a recent appraisal of his private assets.

Smith’s net worth is $11.4 billion as of the time of writing, a $600 million decrease from his fortune of $12 billion 19 days earlier – bringing his year-to-date wealth loss to $500 million.

Despite a recent drop in his income, Smith remains America’s richest Black billionaire. He is also currently ranked 171st among the world’s wealthiest people.

On the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, he is ranked 170th, trailing American billionaire Henry Kravis, co-chairman of KKR & Co., a worldwide investment firm with over $510 billion in assets under management, who has a net worth of $11.4 billion.

Smith’s fortune has plummeted, resulting in an average daily loss of $26.32 million over the last 19 days, due to the revaluation of his Vista Equity Partners and Personal assets, which are now valued at $4.2 billion and $7.2 billion, respectively.

Vista Equity Partners, led by Smith, has rapidly emerged as a dominant force in the technology sector since its inception in 2000. With approximately $101 billion in assets under management, the firm has become one of the sector’s most active private equity investors.

Despite his recent income drop, Smith is the world’s second-richest Black person, trailing Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote — the founder and president of the Dangote Group, Africa’s most diverse industrial conglomerates magnate.

Vista Equity has generated tremendous gains under Smith, America’s richest Black Billionaire, totaling a considerable $14.3 billion through monetization efforts since 2021. Notably, an unrealized value of $3.7 billion remains untapped, highlighting the firm’s potential for expansion.

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