Ranging from royalties to international business tycoons, top entrepreneurs and political faces, the wealthiest families of the world span across families and individuals with varying professional backgrounds. The wealth held by an ‘individual’ or a ‘nuclear family’ differs than the wealth of a historically family-owned business, which is distributed between various descendants over the years, ranging from several individuals to offspring. The top two families have net worth of US $1 trillion each, whereas each family is worth at least US $34 billion.
The top 10 richest families in the world are:
- The Rothschild Family (Germany): The wealthy family of Germany, has it name associated with the banking sector. They establishing banking and finance houses in Europe in the 18th century, they provided capital for business and financed infrastructure projects. Learning the ins and outs of banking and foreign trade at a young age, Rothschild molded the way international world of finance works in today’s time. The Rothschild banking empire benefited largely from the French Revolution as it was contracted by the Austrian Army to supply with a range of items like wheat, uniforms, horses and equipment. The Rothschild enterprises was the first to transcend borders and spread all across Europe, with the responsibility being transitioned to the descendants. Today, their holdings spread across a number of diverse industries including financial services, real estate, mining, energy and charitable work.
- The House of Saud (Saudi Arabia): Ruling with absolute authority since the 1700s, the Al-Saud family comprises of the descendants of Muhammad bin Saud, the founder of the Emirate of Diriyah, (the first Saudi state) and his brothers. The family comprises of 15,000 members but the prime wealth is held by a group of 2,000 members. The family is marked as one of the wealthiest families in the world with assets of net value US $1 trillion. The present ruler is King Salman, who is also entitled as one of the wealthiest men of the world. The family owes its wealth’s source to the Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves and their influence over Middle-East.
- The Walton Family (United States): Deriving the majority of their wealth from the heritage of Bud and Sam Walton, the family is the owner of the world’s largest retailer, Walmart. Founded in 1962, and made public in 1970, it is the biggest revenue making business in the States, with US $482 billion in sales. The Walton’s collectively own 50.8% of the company, and have a combined wealth of US $174.9 billion, making them the richest families of the United States and the third richest family of the world.
- The Koch Family (United States): Possessing wealth of net worth US $60 billion, the Koch brothers, co-owners at the Koch industries are America’s second richest family. The formerly called Wood River Oil and Refining Company, founded by Fred Koch, is co-run by Charles Koch and David Koch. Notable political activities, successful business and control of the Koch industries are the main sources to their wealth. Often referred to as the ‘GOP Kingmakers,‘ they have funded the Republican candidates over the years and have provided colleges and universities with grants for research and education programs.
- The Mars Family (United States): Owner of the confectionary company Mars, Inc., ranked as the 6th largest privately held company in the United States, is the third richest family of the United States. Founded in 1911 by Frank Mars, the company now includes Jaquelin, John and Forrest Mars Jr., who built their wealth on America’s sweet tooth. The largest sales were of the Mars bar and the m&ms, added by Forrest Mars Jr. The company also makes Uncle Ben’s rice and owns pet food brands: Pedigree and Whiskas.
- The Slim Family (Mexico): Designated as the fourth richest man in 2016, Carlos Slim Helu is the founder of Grupo Carso, controlling 40% of the equity value on the Mexico Stock Exchange. Slim with his family, controls America Movil, Latin America’s biggest telecom firm. A stake in Telmex, Mexico’s only telecom company in 1990, was bought by Slim, that was later made part of the American Movil. He also owns stakes in Mexican construction, consumer goods, mining and real estate companies and 17% of The New York Times. Slim with his sons possess a fortune of US $77.1 billion.
- The Cargill-MacMillan Family (United States): This family is the owner of the only privately held company of the United States- The Cargill. The company was founded by William W. Cargill, in Minnesota after the Civil War as a small grain storage, which flourished with the expansion of railways. This agriculture giant has 75 businesses employing 143,000 people in 67 countries. The family leaves 80% of the company’s net annual income inside the business for reinvestment. The family has a vast fortune of US $45 billion, making theirs a vast dynasty.
- The Bettencourt Family (France): The development of a unique hair dye formula by Eugene Schueller, a young French-German chemist, in 1909, lay the foundation of the famous cosmetic brand called L’Oreal. The wide natural market among wealthy Paris population and hair salons, helped in building up the riches for the family. The control over the company was assumed by his daughter Liliane, who was designated as the wealthiest woman in 2016. She is now survived by her daughter Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers and the family owns a fortune of net worth US $ 42.7 billion.
- The Arnault Family (France): The merger of the renowned Louis Vuitton fashion house and the wines and spirits company Moet Hennessy, in 1987, boasts a revenue of US $ 41.6 billion in 2016. Assigned as the 4th richest man in the world, Bernard Jean Etienne Arnault is the chairman and the CEO of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company. Actively involved in the business are his sons Antoine and Delphine, together the family owns wealth of net value US $ 37.7 billion.
- The Cox Family (United States): Transforming government access into generational wealth, James Middleton Cox, served as the Governor of Ohio for two nonconsecutive years. After politics, he built a media conglomerate, called the Cox Enterprises– a communications and automotive services company. It now includes Cox Communications (cable, TV, broadband) and Cox Media Group (newspapers, TV, radio stations) and automotive assets. The family also owns AutoTrader.com, Kelley Blue Book and Manheim car auctions. The fortune of net value US $ 34.5 billion is divided among the founder’s five grandchildren with Jim Kennedy as the incumbent chairman.
Below lying table mentions the top 10 richest families and their estimated net worth:
|Family Name||Country||Estimated Net Worth|
|The Rothschild Family||Germany||$350 billion – $2 trillion|
|The House of Saud||Saudi Arabia||$1.4 trillion|
|The Walton Family||United States of America||$152 billion|
|The Koch Family||United States of America||$89 billion|
|The Mars Family||United States of America||$80 billion|
|The Slim Family||Mexico||$77.1 billion|
|The Cargill-MacMillan Family||United States of America||$45 billion|
|The Bettencourt Family||France||$42.7 billion|
|The Arnault Family||France||$37.7 billion|
|The Cox Family||United States of America||$34.5 billion|