In South Korea, self-made billionaires are overtaking old-money tycoons

Brian Kim (above), the founder of mobile-messaging app Kakao Corp, recently replaced Samsung group heir Jay Y. Lee as the nation's richest person.
Brian Kim (above), the founder of mobile-messaging app Kakao Corp, recently replaced Samsung group heir Jay Y. Lee as the nation's richest person.PHOTO: KAKAO

SEOUL (BLOOMBERG) - A new elite of uber-rich entrepreneurs is shooting up the wealth rankings in South Korea, overtaking the families behind the country's decades-old sprawling conglomerates known as chaebol.

Mr Brian Kim, the founder of mobile messaging app company Kakao, is the most prominent example, with a fortune of US$12.9 billion (S$17.5 billion). He recently replaced Samsung group heir Jay Y. Lee as the nation's richest person. But other self-made billionaires abound.

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