NET WORTH: $15.3 billion, up 10 percent
LAST YEAR: $13.9 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Pharmaceuticals, health care technology, investments
THE MONEY: The South Africa-born physician might have made his money in pharmaceuticals, but his NantWorks health care technology empire is proving just as successful. Soon-Shiong holds his perch atop the Wealthiest Angelenos list for a stunning seventh year as funding rounds have pushed NantWorks’ cumulative value north of $7 billion. At least one of the subsidiaries should go public this year. He saw healthy returns from investments in the stock market and the California bonds he bought with a portion of proceeds from selling his two biotech companies. Even Soon-Shiong’s small slice of Los Angeles Lakers, purchased from Earvin “Magic” Johnson, made him money this year, nearly doubling in value in the wake of Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers.
BUZZ: Soon-Shiong continues to build out NantWorks, aiming to develop cancer drugs tailored to individual patient’s tumors. He rolled out the first product of the collaboration with smartphone maker BlackBerry: a browser that gives doctors access to patients’ genetic data on the Canadian company’s Passport smartphone. The Kuwait Investment Authority doubled down on its original NantHealth allotment, giving the company a $250 million infusion last year to speed rollout of a cloud-based clinical health information system linking patients, health care providers and medical researchers. Soon-Shiong sunk his own cash into other cancer therapy makers, investing $48 million in Conkwest and about $41 million in Sorrento Therapeutics, both in San Diego. The Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation, overseen by wife, Michele Chan, is a major supporter of St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica. The Chan Soon-Shiong Institute for Advanced Health has pledged $1 billion to support health care transformation and a national health information highway. Soon-Shiong finished high school at 16 and med school at 23. After moving to Canada on a fellowship, he was recruited to UCLA in 1980 as researcher.