Country: UK (Syria)
Wealth: 2.7 Billion
Many of the names on our list have had their fortunes handed down by their families. Not Ayman Asfari. The boss of oil services giant Petrofac, Asfari sits at the helm of one of the fastest growing FTSE 100 businesses. By any measure, Asfari is a success story. He took his first role in construction in Oman in his early 20s in a bid to fund an MBA at Wharton. It turned out to be unnecessary; less than a decade later, he was a millionaire with his own firm.
Since buying out Petrofac in 2001, Asfari has turned it into one of the leading players in the oil market. It listed in 2005 and today employs more than 17,000 people worldwide, with bases spanning the UK, Sharjah, India and Malaysia. In 2006, Asfari launched his eponymous foundation, which funds education for young people.