Welcome to the second edition of NJBIZ’s 50 Wealthiest New Jerseyans, an inside look at the richest of the state’s many power players. A careful reader will find that the list cuts across industries from technology to the financial sector and beyond. Compiling this special section was not simple, nor was it a task to be taken lightly.
Text and research compiled by freelance correspondent Martin C. Daks and illustrations by freelance artist Robyn Trimboli-Russo.
Welcome to the second edition of NJBIZ’s 50 Wealthiest New Jerseyans, an inside look at the richest of the state’s many power players. A careful reader will find that the list cuts across industries from technology to the financial sector and beyond.
Compiling this special section was not simple, nor was it a task to be taken lightly.
Here is a look at how NJBIZ put it together:
Determining how much a person is worth is not an easy job.
It means combing through publicly available documents, including news reports and Securities & Exchange Commission filings, and tapping other sources.
In some cases, net worth numbers were reported in reputable publications; where possible, we verified those values with our own research.
When an individual’s wealth was tied to public companies, we dug into SEC filings and other documents; but the net worth of most of our 50 Wealthiest New Jerseyans is tied up in privately-held companies that usually don’t divulge things like sales or market capitalization.
To determine the net worth of privately-held businesses, we first had to find a publicly-held company that was in the same line of business.
Then we dug up whatever information we could on the private company — gross sales, number of employees, production or sales volume and other metrics — and compared them to the public business’s number.
We then developed a ratio (generally, the private firm’s size as a percentage of the public company) and applied it to the market capitalization of the publicly-held firm to determine the valuation of the private company. If we were reasonably certain that the private firm is owned by more than one person, we allocated the valuation accordingly.
In some cases, the individual previously sold his or her company for a considerable sum. When that happened, we used the reported sales price as a guide to the person’s valuation.
We recognized that our numbers are estimates, so we backstopped our calculations twice.
First, we ran them by independent industry insiders who told us if they thought we were just about right, too low or too high.
Then, we reached out to the Wealthy 50 (directly, when we could get a phone number or email, or through representatives when we couldn’t), ran the numbers by them and asked for their thoughts.
The responses — directly or through their legal or other representatives — varied.
Some people disagreed with our estimate and provided reasonable proof of alternative numbers. In those cases, we adjusted our valuation. Others said we were wrong , but declined to provide us with a different number.
Some simply asked to be deleted from the list, without offering their own number. In those cases, we told them, we had no choice but to use our estimate.
This list was originally published in NJBIZ on June 27, 2016. All information included was based on research and information as of that date.