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The Top 5 B-Schools for Billionaires


An MBA can be a ticket to a C-Suite job, but perhaps the best assessment of a business school is its ability to create innovative business leaders with the potential to make great advances in their fields – and the opportunity to amass great wealth. Here are the schools with the best record of churning out billionaires.

Stacks of Money

An MBA can be a ticket to a C-Suite job, but perhaps the best assessment of a business school is its ability to create innovative business leaders with the potential to make great advances in their fields — and the opportunity to amass great wealth.

The website Wealth-X, a research and intelligence site for ultra-high-net-worth individuals, recently compiled a list of the top business schools ranked by the number of MBA alumni from the school who are billionaires.

Each of the top 5 business schools on the list is in the US, though a few international schools slipped into the Top 10. INSEAD, a French business school that also has campuses in Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, came in sixth on the list, with 9 billionaire alumni. Switzerland’s International Institute for Management Development (5 billionaires), and the London Business School (4 billionaires) were the other non-American universities to make the Top 10.

All told, 65% of the world’s 2,325 billionaires have a post-secondary education, according to a survey by Wealth-X and UBS. Of those with post-secondary degrees, about 21% have MBAs. Half of the billionaire MBAs got their degrees from one of the 10 programs on Wealth-X’s B-School Billionaire list.

What follows are the top 5 business schools, ranked by number of billionaire graduates. The data come from Wealth-X and the school’s websites, unless otherwise noted.

University of Chicago

Number of MBA Alumni: 10

Notable Alumnus: David Gilbert Booth, co-founder and co-CEO of Dimensional Fund Advisors

Chicago’s Booth School of Business was renamed in 2008 after the above-mentioned Booth donated $300 million to his alma mater. The school, which was founded in 1898, has about 3,300 students, nearly all of whom are in one of the school’s MBA programs. The school has been ranked among the Top 5 Business schools by US News & World Report, Bloomberg Businessweek, and The Economist. The latter ranked the school No. 1 in 2014.

Image of Chicago Booth School of Business by Flickr user Catarina Oberlander/Creative Commons License

Wharton School of Business

Number of MBA Alumni: 12

Notable Alumnus: Ronald Owen Perelman, chairman and CEO, MacAndrews & Forbes

The Wharton School of Business dates back to 1881, making it the world’s first collegiate school of business. The school is home to 4,800 students, including undergraduates. About 2,150 students are pursing MBAs at UPenn. It tied for No. 1 among business schools in US News & World Report, and ranked second on the list compiled by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Image of Wharton School of Business by Flickr user Telfilo/Creative Commons License

Columbia University

Number of MBA Alumni: 14

Notable Alumnus: Peter Kwong Ching Woo, chairman, Wheelock & Co. Ltd. and The Wharf Holdings, Ltd.

Columbia Business School has 1,279 students enrolled, according to US News & World Report, which ranked the school 8th in its list of Best Business Schools. The school placed fifth in Bloomberg Businessweek’s list, which noted that 18% of applicants are accepted, and 97% of graduates get a job offer. The Financial Times also put the school in its Top 5 business schools, at No. 5. The school dates back to 1916.

Image of Columbia University by Flickr user InSapphoWeTrust/Creative Commons License

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Number of MBA Alumni: 23

Notable Alumus: Philip Knight, co-founder and chairman, Nike Inc.

The Stanford School of Business was founded in 1925 at the request of Stanford alumnus and future US President Herbert Hoover. Though its founder is associated with economic hard times, many of the school’s alumni are associated with great wealth. The school has 809 students in its MBA program, of which 41% are international students. Stanford is one of 3 schools tied at the top of US News & World Report’s list of best business schools. It ranked fourth on Bloomberg Businessweek’s list.

Image of Stanford Graduate School of Business by Flickr user Naotake Murayama/Creative Commons License

Harvard University

Number of MBA Alumni: 64

Notable Alumnus: Jorge Paulo Lemann, investor and principal, 3G Capital

Harvard wins the billionaire contest by a mile, with nearly triple the number of billionaires of the second-place finisher. Wealth-X chose Lemann, the Brazilian-Swiss investor and philanthropist, as a notable billionaire alumnus, but there are many other notable alumni to choose from. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a Harvard B-School alum, as is Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman. The school ties for first place on US News & World Report’s list of top business schools, but interestingly, it comes in ninth on Bloomberg Businessweek’s list, despite its connection to the magazine’s owner. The school has an MBA enrollment of 1,868.

View the entire Wealth-X list here.

Image of Harvard Business School by Flickr user David Jones/Creative Commons License

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