Wal-Mart And Aldi Fortunes Keep Founders’ Families On Forbes World Billionaire List
The children of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton are leading the pack from the grocery retail sector in this year’s Forbes World's Billionaire’s List.
Board member at Wal-mart, and CEO and Chairman of Arvest Bank Group, Jim Walton comes in at number 15, with a net worth of $33.6 billion. Meanwhile, his younger sister (who is the only one of Sam’s children that does not take an active role at Wal-Mart), Alice Walton ranks at 16. Chairman of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, her net worth stands at $32.3 billion.
Taking 17th place on the list is the eldest of the Walton siblings, Samuel Robson Walton with a net worth of $31.9 billion, who served as chairman of Wal-Mart from 1993 to 2015. While he did not make it into the top twenty, heir to the deceased John Walton, Lukas Walton holds 99th place on the list. At only 29, his net worth is $10.4 billion.
The Waltons are not the only supermarket names to make it into the top 50 on the Forbes World Billionaires List. The children of Aldi’s co-founder, Karl Albrecht Sr., Beate Heister and Karl Albrecht Jr. take the 21st spot with a net worth of $25.9 billion. Heister and Albrecht also top the list of billionaires in Germany.
The second brother behind the Aldi empire, Theo Albrecht Sr. also passed his fortune on to his sons, meaning that Theo Albrecht Jr, and the heirs of his brother Berthold have a net worth of $20.3 billion and are at 34 on the Forbes list.
From the wider FMCG sector, the grande dame of L'Oréal, Liliane Bettencourt is at number 11 on the list, as well as being the richest woman in the world and taking the top spot for France. Holding a 33 per cent stake in the global beauty giant, her net worth is $36.1 billion.
At 93, Bettencourt suffers from dementia, and was replaced on the company's board by her grandson Jean-Victor Meyers in 2012. In May of last year, a French court found eight people, from a celebrity photographer to several of her former wealth managers, guilty of taking advantage of her mental state to swindle her out of millions of euros.
Sharing the 27th spot is the Mars family behind the candy empire of the same name; Forrest Jr., Jacqueline, and John, all worth $23.4 billion. The siblings still co-own Mars, which they inherited from their father Forrest Mars Sr., and that currently reports sales of $33 billion.
Another confectionary heir is at number 30 with $22.1 billion. Maria Franca Fissolo, along with her family, is the widow of Michele Ferrero, who built Ferrero Group into one of the world's leading sweets companies, best know for brands like Nutella and Tic Tacs. Ferrero’s son, Giovanni has been CEO of the company since 1987 and has said he plans to keep it in family hands.
With a 25 per cent stake in Heineken, which she inherited from her late father, Charlene de Carvalho-Heinekenis at number 76 on the list with a net worth of 12.3 billion.
Outside of the realm of traditional grocery and FMCG, the head of Otto Group’s supervisory board (a company that bills itself as biggest online retailer worldwide after Amazon), Michael Otto is just outside the top 50 at 51. His net worth, as heir and son to the founder Werner Otto and chief executive until 2007, is $15.4 billion.
Stefano Pessina, who is currently at the helm of the world’s largest drugstore chain as CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance is at 62, having built his worth up to $13.4 billion nearly four decades after taking over his family’s pharmaceutical wholesaler in Naples, Italy.
Finally, one of the few packaging billionaires, at 89 years old, Hans Rausing is at 73 with a net worth of $12.5 billion. Rausing’s father founded packaging giant Tetra Laval in 1944, which Hans and his brother Gad inherited in 1983. Hans sold his share to his brother for an estimated $7 billion in 1995.
The full Forbes World's Billionaires list can be read here
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Jenny Whelan. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.