Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is Israel's richest politician, with an estimated fortune of NIS 450 million, according to "Forbes Israel's" ranking of the country's ten wealthiest politicians. In 1993, Nir Barkat and his brother, Eli Barkat, invested NIS 400,000 in Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHKP), which now has a market cap of NIS 10 billion.
In second place is new MK Erel Margalit (Labor), with an estimated fortune of NIS 220 million. As the founder of Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), over the past 20 years, he was responsible for numerous large IPOs and exits, the latest of which, for $400 million, occurred after he became an MK in January. Margalit is believed to be responsible for exits totaling $17 billion, including the $5.5 billion exit by Netro and the $4.5 billion exit by Chromatis Networks.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in sixth place, with an estimated fortune of NIS 41 million. He made a large part of his fortune on the lecture circuit in 1999-2002. The fortune of Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennett, the youngest man on the list, is NIS 25 million, putting him in seventh place.
Minister of Finance Yair Lapid has an estimated fortune of NIS 22 million. He made his fortune from his salary as a columnist for Hebrew daily "Yediot Ahronot" as an anchor for the Channel 2 New Friday edition, sales on his 11 books, and lecture fees. Lapid said in response, "I wish it were so."
This years, "Forbes Israel" revealed the capital statement of Minister of Science and Technology Yaakov Perry, from Lapid's Yesh Atid party. He was sharply criticized after saying in an interview that he was closer to Israel's middle class than its rich. Perry's fortune is estimated at NIS 19 million.
The "Forbes Israel" list contains no women, but includes two politicians who made the cut thanks to the fortunes of their wives: Minister Energy and Water Resources Silvan Shalom and MK Meir Sheetrit (Hatnua). Minister of Agriculture Yair Shamir made the list, with an estimated fortune of NIS 65 million. MK Isaac Herzog, who is running for the Labor Party chairmanship, closes the list with a fortune of NIS 10 million.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 2, 2013
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