Carlos Slim Helu, Chairman of Grupo Carso, may have dropped down the World’s Richest list but he is still the richest person in Latin America. (Photo Credit: Kimberly White)
By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Mar. 2, 2016: As is usual every year, Forbes magazine has released its list of richest people in the world, including those in the Caribbean and Latin America. And while there are no Caribbean billionaires, there are several from Latin America, especially from Brazil. Here are the 10 top billionaires and richest people in Latin America and the Caribbean:
1: Carlos Slim Helú: While the Mexico’s Carlos Slim has slipped to #4 on the World’s Richest List, he still remains the richest person in Latin America. Slim’s fortune may have fallen drastically to $27.1 billion from $50 billion in the past year as shares of his telecom business América Móvil tumbled, but he continues to rule the roost in Latin America. Known as the “Warren Buffett of Mexico,” Slim derived his fortune from his extensive holdings in a considerable number of Mexican companies through his conglomerate, Grupo Carso. Slim is also the chairman and chief executive of telecommunications company Telmex.
2: Jorge Paulo Lemann: Coming in as the second richest person in Latin America is 76-year-old Brazilian Jorge Paulo Lemann. Lemann’s fortune is put at US$27.8 making him the 19th richest person in the world. He has made most of his US$24.8 billion from beer based on his big stake in Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, which he owns through private equity firm 3G Capital together with fellow billionaires and longtime partners Carlos Sicupira and Marcel Herrmann Telles.
3: Joseph Safra: This 77-year-old Brazilian is the 42nd richest person in the world according to Forbes and the third richest in the Americas. He is a descendant of a banking family that hails from Syria and is the world’s richest banker with a net worth of US$17.2 billion. In 2014 he expanded into bananas with the purchase of half of Chiquita Brands International and he added to his real estate portfolio by snapping up a London skyscraper nicknamed the Gherkin, for a reported $1.1 billion.
4: Marcel Herrmann Telles: The fourth richest billionaire in Latin America is Marcel Herrmann Telles, even though he ranks at 68th on the global rich list. This 66-year-old Brazilian made his fortune on beer and is now worth US $13 billion. Telles has controlling shares in Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, which he owns through private equity firm 3G Capital together with fellow billionaires and longtime partners Jorge Paulo Lemann and Carlos Sicupira.
5: Carlos Alberto Sicupira: A partner in private equity firm 3G Capital Carlos Alberto Sicupira is the fifth richest person in Latin America and the #87 worldwide with a fortune of US$11.3 billion. Sicupira along with Lemann and Telles also own stakes in Restaurant Brands International, which owns Burger King and Tim Hortons and is listed on both the New York and Toronto stock exchange.
6: Iris Fontbona: Chilean Iris Fontbona, 73, the widow of Andronico Luksic, who built a fortune in mining, beverages and more and died of cancer in 2005, is the sixth richest person in the Americas though she is listed as only the 101 richest in the world. She is worth a whopping US$10.1billion. Fontbona and her children control Antofagasta Plc, which trades on the London Stock Exchange and owns copper mines in Chile.
7: German Larrea Mota Velasco: Mexican businessman Germán Larrea Mota-Velasco, the CEO of Grupo México, is now the seventh richest person in Latin America and the #121 globally. His company is the largest mining corporation in Mexico and the third largest copper producer in the world. The 62-year-old’s net worth is put at US$9.2 billion.
8: Luis Carlos Sarmiento: Taking the 8th spot on Latin America’s richest billionaires is 83-year-old self-made Colombian Luis Carlos Sarmiento. He is worth a whopping US $9.5 billion, making him the 124th richest person globally. Sarmiento Angulo built his fortune in the construction industry and banking sector. His Grupo Aval now controls one third of all banking in Colombia.
9: Alberto Bailleres Gonzalez: Taking the ninth spot on Latin America’s richest billionaire is Alberto Baillères, a Mexican billionaire businessman who owns a holding company called Grupo Bal. The company controls a large number of other companies like Industrias Peñoles/Peñoles the second most important Mexican mining company and the first silver world producer, El Palacio de Hierro. It also owns a chain of departments stores mainly located in Mexico City; Grupo Nacional Provincial, the only entirely Mexican owned insurance company, and Grupo Profuturo, a pensions and annuities business. His net worth is put at US$6.9 billion making him the #170 richest person in the world.
10: Eduardo Saverin: Rounding out the top 10 list of Americas’ richest billionaires’, is Brazilian Eduardo Saverin. While Saverin is only the #188 person on the global rich list, he is definitely the 10th richest billionaire in Latin America and one of the youngest, with a net worth of US $6.2 billion. The 33-year-old is one of the co-founders of Facebook. As of 2015, he owned 53 million Facebook shares, approximately 0.4 percent of all outstanding shares. He has also invested in early-stage startups such as Qwiki and Jumio. n what was seen as a move to avoid US taxes, Saverin renounced his American citizenship in September 2011. According to Saverin, he renounced his citizenship because of his “interest in working and living in Singapore” where he has been since 2009. He avoided an estimated $700 million in capital gains taxes.