Net Worth: $260 Million, Source: Furniture retailing
Citizenship: South Africa , Age: 50
Markus Jooste is as well known as a patron of South African horse racing as he is for his day job as chief executive of furniture manufacturer retailer Steinhoff International. The Johannesburg-listed company sells furniture in Europe, the Pacific Rim and southern Africa and employs 55,000 people; revenues in the year through June 2011 were nearly $5.5 billion. Jooste joined retailer Gommagomma in 1988 as finance director and just a few months later negotiated its sale to Steinhoff's furniture empire.
He has become a controversial figure after the South African Revenue Service (equivalent to the IRS) publicly questioned his use of tax shelters to avoid tax earlier this year. Since most of Steinhoff's assets are in Europe, Jooste is considered to be the most travelled businessman in South Africa, apparently spending as many nights on the 11 hour overnight flight from South Africa to Europe as he does at home. He recently moved from Irene near Pretoria to Stellenbosch near Cape Town. With an interest in a nearby wine farm, Jooste is a senior member of the Stellenbosch business clique, alongside Johann Rupert, GT Ferreira and Jannie Mouton.