The kind of money we are talking about here most people do not even think a single family can hold. These families go beyond the rich and into a totally separate level of wealth that is god-like. These families make more money per hour than most of us will ever make in our entire lives. The world’s wealthiest families currently own $1.4 trillion in assets, a $250 billion bump from 2018. The Walton family, for example, who are the family behind Walmart Inc., add approximately $4 million to their familial wealth every HOUR. These .01% as they are called, make up more and more wealth every year. These families have earned their wealth through massive corporations and conglomerates that we all know, love, and use on a daily basis. The Bloomberg list of the wealthiest dynasties in the world show how long these companies have been active and just how many generations these families have run their businesses. It is staggering how much growth these businesses have seen over the years, through recessions and market booms. It seems as though these families are never dropping from their place at the top of the wealth chain.
At number one, as in the wealthiest family in the United States are the Walton’s. The Walton family owns Walmart, Inc. They are worth $190.5 billion. Walmart was founded by the family and has been run for over 3 generations. Walmart is the world’s biggest retailer by revenue, with sales from their 11,000 stores come in at over $514 billion. The Walton family owns 50% stake in Walmart. Sam Walton started it all in 1945, seeing his son succeed his father in 1992 after his death.
Sitting pretty at $126.5 billion is the Mars family, as in Mars, M&Ms and Milky Way chocolate bars. The company has been in the Mars family for five generations, started by Frank Mars. It all started with Frank learning how to hand-dip chocolate when he was just a young boy. The company went global when they opened their chocolate factory in 1963 in the Netherlands; the rest is history. Mars also bought the pet healthcare company VCA back in 2017, adding to their fortune.
Fred Koch co-founded Wood River Oil & Refining Co. in 1940. Where there is oil there is money to be had and so it makes sense that the family is worth $124.5 billion. Fred left the business to his four sons – Frederick, Charles, David, and William – two of which still run the company, turning it into Koch Industries, a conglomerate that rakes in $110 billion in revenue. This family’s money is not going anywhere but up.
The Al Saud family of Saudi Arabia are worth $100 billion. The money comes from the plentiful oil reserves in the country. This family has been in power in 1902, after they reclaimed their ancestral home in Riyadh. The country is named after this very family. The entire wealth is controlled by around 15,000 members who broker government and land deals. The Crown Prince is said to hold $1 billion on his very own.
The Chanel name precedes it anywhere in the world. It was Pierre Wertheimer who had the vision to fund designer Coco Chanel back in 1920. His investment was returned many times over with Chanel’s success and so it was his grandsons, Alain and Gerard Wertheimer who are now reaping the $57.6 billion benefit. The brothers also used their business acumen to buy vineyards and racehorses and seem to be on an upward trajectory with their net worth.
Hermes has been around since the mid 1880s. However, it was not until the 1950s that the company and its goods turned into the Hermes giant that it is today, holding the Hermes family nice and pretty at $53.1 billion. Thierry Hermes started the company, his grandsons Emile Maurice Hermes and Adolphe Hermes become presidents of the company thereafter, followed by Robert Dumas who is Emile’s son-in-law and the one credited with taking the company to the heights it is today.
These three families, who together own the giant Belgian beer company, have a shared wealth of $52.9 billion. The roots of this beer company go all the way back to the 14th century. The culmination of this success story was in 2004 when they merged with AmBev, Brazil’s master beverage. The original brewery was the Artois brewery which initially sold Stella Artois as a Christmas beer. There is a whole lot of money in beer!
Much like oil, pharmaceutical companies are huge earners. Boehringer Ingelheim got its start in 1885 by Albert Boehringer. 130 years after its inception, the Boehringer family is still at the head of this $51.9 billion monster. Erich von Baumbach was added into the mix in 1992 when he was appointed chair of the shareholders committee and is the son-in-lw of Albert Boehringer Jr. Four generation in, this company is only growing.
The Ambani family are worth $50.4 billion and counting. The original form of Reliance Industries began in 1957 with Dhirubhai Ambani, father of Anil and Mukesh. Mukesh is now the head of the conglomerate which has control over the largest oil refining complex in the world. In 2014, Akash and Isha, two other siblings, joined the company’s boards in the mobile and retail departments. Three generations of Ambani’s are building this company stronger.