Wealthiest Families in the World and What They Own

Wealthiest families in the world

Sometimes people are able to increase their net worth through their career as an artist or actor. In some cases, people are born into wealth. If that is the cause, some individuals have a bit of a leg-up and, generally, get handed a spot in whatever the family’s business is. Below is a list of the 15 wealthiest families in the world and what businesses they control.

The Rothschild Family

Estimated Net Worth: $350 billion – $2 trillion

As of 2018, the Rothschild Family is the richest family in the world. If you’re not familiar with the name, the family has been associated with international banking since the 1700s. The family began work in banking when Mayer Rothschild became the assistant and financial manager of the German royal family. Each of his five sons went on to be stationed in various places in Europe to manage local banking affairs. From there, their family continued to build a strong banking institution.

The House of Saud

Estimated Net Worth: $1.4 trillion

The al-Saud family rules Saudi Arabia and has done so since the 1700s. Like the Rothschild family, the al-Saud’s have a long history. Unsurprisingly, most of the family’s fortune stems from oil reserves within their country. Although a modern government system has been in place since 1932, the al-Saud family is still looked upon as royalty.

The Walton Family

Estimated Net Worth: $152 billion

You were likely anticipating the Walton family name on this list. The Waltons have been listed amongst the wealthiest families in the world for decades. Sam Walton founded and built his entire family’s empire and accrued a net worth in the hundreds of billions since 1962. Now, Walmart is the largest non-government employer in the world and operates more than 11,700 storefronts around the globe.

The Koch Family

Estimated Net Worth: $89 billion

The Koch family of Koch Industries has an estimated net worth of $89 billion. This immense wealth stems from their dealings in oil, real estate, trading, chemicals, finance, household items, ranching, and fertilizer.

The Mars Family

Estimated Net Worth: $80 billion

Members of the Mars family have drawn most of their fortune from the creation and distribution of candy. As you may know, Mars Inc. is the world’s largest private candy company. Getting their start in 1911, the Mars family is the name behind popular treats such as M&Ms and Mars Bars.

The Slim Family

Estimated Net Worth: $77.1 billion

The Slim family is relatively new to the list of wealthiest families. Carlos Slim Helu was recognized as the world’s fourth-wealthiest person in the world in 2016, first ranking on the list between 2010 and 2013. He founded Grupo Carso. With the help of his sons, the company controls nearly 40% of the equity value on the Mexico Stock Exchange.

The Van Damme Family

Estimated Net Worth: $54.1 billion

The Van Damme family own Anheuser-Busch, one of the most popular beverage companies in the world. They joined a collective enterprise of three different beermaking families in 1987 and are currently estimated to be worth more than $54 billion.

The Dumas Family

Estimated Net Worth: $49.2 billion

Have you heard of the luxury fashion line Hermes? The Dumas name is behind the brand. Jeal-Louis Dumas led the company to its peak before dying in 2010. However, his family aims to continue to carry the luxury fashion brand to success. Pierre-Alexis Dumas, the artistic director, and Axel Dumas, the company chairman, both remain involved in day-to-day business.

The Wertheimer Family

Estimated Net Worth: $45.6 billion

The individuals who funded Coco Chanel also landed a spot among the wealthiest families around the world. Alain and Gerard Wertheimer’s grandfather made the wise decision to fund Coco Chanel in Paris in the 1920s when the LBD (little black dress) was debuted around the globe. The company had a revenue of $9.6 billion last year. In addition to their holdings in the fashion industry, the Wertheimers also own vineyards and racehorses.

The Cargill-MacMillan Family

Estimated Net Worth: $45 billion

The Cargill-MacMillan family has 14 billionaires, more billionaires than any other family in the world. It is the only privately-owned company that is worth more than Koch Industries, mentioned above. Around 88% of the company is owned by the family themselves.

The Bettencourt Family

Estimated Net Worth: $42.7 billion

Do you dye your hair or use L’Oréal products? You have the Bettencourt family to thank for that! Eugene Schueller, a French-German scientist, developed a unique hair dye formula in Paris in 1909. Eventually, his daughter, Liliane Bettencourt, took control of the company and continues to run it today. In 2016, she was the single wealthiest woman in the world.

The Quandt Family

Estimated Net Worth: $42.7 billion

BMW is a brand many people associate with luxury. Herbert Quandt helped the brand recover from being a struggling carmaker to one of the most popular luxury car manufacturers in the world. The Quandt family maintains control of the company today and hold a stake in two other companies as well: Logwin and Gemalto.

The Albrecht Family

Estimated Net Worth: $38.8 billion

If you love shopping at Aldi, you have the Albrecht family to thank. Theo and Karl Albrecht took control of their parents’ family-owned grocery store and turned it into the booming retailer now known as Aldi. With more than 7,600 stores worldwide and more opening every year, the Albrecht family has been able to grow their wealth into the billions.

The Arnault Family

Estimated Net Worth: $37.7 billion

The Arnault family is behind some of the most well-known luxury brands in the world but you wouldn’t know it. You probably know the names Moet, Hennessy, Louis Vuitton, and Christian Dior, all of which fall under the family’s control. Bernard Jean Etienne Arnault is chairman and chief CEO, while his two children, Antoine and Delphine, have also become active in the company.

The Cox Family

Estimated Net Worth: $34.5 billion

The Cox family is a well-known name in news and media. If you’ve picked up a newspaper or watched the news on television recently, there is a good chance it is controlled by Cox Media Group. Although the company first got its start in the 1920s, they’ve been able to keep it run by members of the family. Cox Enterprises is currently run by two of James Middleton Cox’s grandsons.

Those are the top 15 wealthiest families in the world as of 2018. Are you surprised by any of these? 

Photo: Mike Mozart

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  1. Interesting post! Definitely recognize some of the businesses they are known for. It’s interesting how it goes way back – generation by generation to keep the wealth going. Thanks for a great read! https://www.scoreshuttle.com/

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