Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 418 Kim Jungju $4.87B

Random fact: Lego fan for 40 years.

Overview

Kim is the co-founder of Nexon, a gaming company founded in South Korea and trading publicly in Japan. The Tokyo-based business developed the world's first online multiplayer game in 1996 and has released hit titles such as "Maple Story" and "Cat Rider." Nexon reported revenue of 253.7 billion yen ($2.3 billion) in 2018.

As of :
Last change +$118M ( +2.5%)
YTD change +$153M ( +3.2%)
Industry Technology
Biggest asset 3659 JP Equity
Citizenship Korea, Republic of
Age 51
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Kim Jungju's net worth of $4.87B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Kim's fortune is derived from his stake in Nexon, a Tokyo-based developer and distributor of online and mobile games. The publicly traded company reported revenue of 253.7 billion yen ($2.3 billion), according to the company's 2018 financial statement.

Kim controls 47 percent of Nexon, according to the company's 2018 annual securities report. Shares are held by NXC and NXMH, his holding companies, and his wife. More than one quarter of his shares have been pledged and these are removed from the net worth calculation.

Kim, through NXC, purchased a 65.2 percent stake in cryptocurrency exchange Korbit based in Seoul for 91.3 billion won in September 2017. NXC also bought a 80 percent stake in another cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp, based in Luxembourg, for a reported sum of $350 million in October 2018.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of dividends, taxes, market performance and charitable giving.

Jae-kyo Lee, an spokeswoman for NXC, declined to comment on Kim's net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 2/22/1968
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: Seoul National University, Korea Inst of Science & Tech

Kim Jungju was born in South Korea on Feb. 22, 1968. He studied computer science and engineering at Seoul National University and completed a PhD in electronic engineering and computer science at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. He created gaming company Nexon together with partner, Jake Song, in South Korea in 1994. A year later, Song left Nexon, relinquishing his 50 percent stake in the company.

Nexon started the world's first online game, "Baram e Nara," also known as the "The Kingdom of the Winds" in 1996. It pioneered the "freemium" gaming business model: it's free to play the games but players need to pay small amounts for updates and additional virtual items to advance faster at each level. Since then, Nexon produced hit games such as "Maple Story, "Cat Rider" or "Mabinogi."

Kim took the company public in Tokyo in December 2011. He has been a fan of Lego for forty years and acquired the world's largest re-seller of the bricks, BrickLink, as a personal investment in 2013. Other acquisitions include Gloops, a Japanese mobile game company, and Stokke, a Norwegian maker of children's furniture.

The billionaire was indicted in July 2016 for offering bribes to a senior prosecutor, helping him buy unlisted Nexon stocks. Kim issued a written apology after the indictment and resigned as a director of Nexon. He, however, remains chairman of Nexon's holding company, NXC. Kim received a suspended two-year jail term in 2017.

Milestones
  • 1968 Kim Jungju is born in South Korea.
  • 1994 Creates Nexon with partner Jake Song.
  • 1995 Partner Jake Song relinquishes his stake in Nexon.
  • 1996 Starts the world's first online game, The Kingdom of the Winds.
  • 2011 Nexon begins trading in Tokyo.
  • 2016 Found not guilty after being indicted for bribery charges.
  • 2017 Bribery trial resurfaces after prosecutors filed an appeal.