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Simons is top LIer on Forbes’ ‘rich list;’ one LI newcomer added

Don Vultaggio, co-founder of AriZona Beverages, joined the magazine’s list of the world’s richest people.

Founder of Renaissance Technologies hedge fund and Long

Founder of Renaissance Technologies hedge fund and Long Island's wealthiest person James Simons. Nov. 4, 2016. Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Hedge fund founder James Simons retains his position as the wealthiest Long Islander on Forbes magazine’s “rich list,” but he’s joined this year by a local newcomer.

AriZona Beverages co-founder Domenick “Don” Vultaggio, of Port Washington, joined Simons and nine other Island residents on Forbes’ annual list of the world’s richest people.

Another Long Islander, Steven Roth of East Hampton, chairman of real estate investment trust Vornado Realty, dropped off the list this year.

Vultaggio, who joined another Forbes list, the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans, in October, was ranked No. 791 worldwide on the list released Tuesday, with an estimated net worth of $3 billion. In 2015, Vultaggio bought out the other co-founder of AriZona after a bitter court case.

The list’s top three spots were reshuffled among last year’s top contenders, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Berkshire Hathway’s Warren Buffett and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

Bezos knocked Bill Gates from the top spot, ending his four-year streak, and at $112 billion did so with a bang, becoming the first $100 billion mogul. Gates dropped to second place with $90 billion, while Buffet was No. 3 with $84 billion.

Simons, an East Setauket resident and mathematician whose Renaissance Technologies Corp. pioneered computerized, quantitative stock trading, ranked 52nd with a net worth of $20 billion, up from $18 billion last year, Forbes said.

Other Long Islanders on the list included:

•Katharine Rayner (No. 178) of East Hampton, at $8.7 billion; her grandfather founded what became conglomerate Cox Enterprises.

•Margaretta Taylor (tied at No. 178) of Southampton, sister of Rayner, also at $8.7 billion.

•Charles Dolan and family (No. 404) with a family fortune valued at $4.9 billion. Dolan, of Oyster Bay, is founder of Cablevision Systems and a member of Newsday’s board of directors. His son Patrick Dolan is the majority owner of Newsday.

•Julian Robertson Jr. (No. 527) of Locust Valley, a hedge fund founder, at $4.1 billion.

•Kenneth Langone (No. 703) of Sands Point, a self-made billionaire who was an early investor in Home Depot, at $3.3 billion. During a 2015 speech at Adelphi University, Langone said he dug ditches for the Long Island Expressway before going to Bucknell University.

•Marc Rowan (No. 729) of Southampton, co-founder of private equity firm Apollo Global Management, at $3.2 billion.

•Louis Bacon (No. 1,477) of Oyster Bay, founder of Moore Capital Management, at $1.6 billion.

•J. Tomilson Hill (No. 1,650) of East Hampton, an executive at private equity firm Blackstone Group, $1.4 billion.

•Mitchell Jacobson (No. 1,756) of Locust Valley, chairman and the largest shareholder of Melville-based MSC Industrial Direct Co., $1.3 billion.

•Axel Stawski (No. 2,124) of Sagaponack, founder of real estate development company Stawski Partners, $1 billion.

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