Do the names Walmart, Samsung, BMW sound familiar to you? I guess they do. They are some of the world’s most successful companies. But did you also know that they are owned by some of the richest families in the world?
I have compiled a comprehensive list of the top 20 richest families in the world in 2020. Continue reading to find out the business empires that they control and what contributes to their massive fortunes.
1. The Walton Family
Wealth: $151.5 B
Source of Wealth: Walmart
Headquarters: Bentonville, Arkansas
The Walton family controls Walmart, an American international retail conglomerate that operates a series of hypermarkets, grocery stores and discount department shops.
It was founded by Sam Walton in 1962 and remains the world’s largest retailer by revenue with over $500 billion in sales. Walmart has 11, 368 stores in 27 countries.
The family’s holding firms Walton Family Holdings Trust and Walton Enterprises own half of Walmart, a stake that contributes greatly to the huge family fortune.
The Walton family is world’s wealthiest family.
2. Koch family
Wealth: $98.7 B
Source of Wealth: Koch Industries
Headquarters: Wichita, Kansas
Koch Industries is an American multinational conglomerate owned and controlled by the Koch family. It was founded by Fred C. Koch, in 1940 after he came up with a process of refining crude oil.
After the death of their father Koch, four brothers David, Fredrick, Charles and William inherited the oil refinery company. Fredrick and William left the family business leaving Charles and David Koch as the owners of the company. Each of them has a 42% stake in the Conglomerate.
Koch Industries focuses on the production, refining, and distribution of petroleum, fertilizers, minerals, chemicals, fibers, plastics among other products. It has over $110 billion in annual revenues and operates in 60 countries with 120,000 employees.
3. Mars family
Wealth: $89.7 B
Source of Wealth: Mars
Industry: Confectionery, Pet care
Headquarters: Mclean, Virginia
Mars is an American multinational company that deals with food processing and veterinary services. It is a producer of pet food, confectionery, beverages, candy among other food products.
Mars is a private company fully owned by the Mars family. It was founded by Franklin Clarence Mars in 1911. The family business generates revenues of over $35 billion annually and has more than 80,000 employees.
4. Van Damme, De Spoelberch,
De Mevius Families
Wealth: $54.1 B
Source of Wealth: Anheuser-Busch InBev
Anheuser-Busch InBev is a Belgian-based international drink and brewing company.
It produces Alcoholic beverages, beer, spirits as well as soft drinks. It is the world’s largest brewer and one of the largest Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) firms in the world.
Anheuser-Busch InBev is controlled by Belgian families van Damme, De Spoelberch and De Mevius who as of 2015 owned a combined 28.6% stake. It has revenues of $54.62 billion yearly.
It has 5 large subsidiaries namely Anheuser-Busch, InBev, AmBev, Grupo Modelo and SABMiller.
5. Dumas Family
Wealth: $49.2 B
Source of Wealth: Hermes
Industry: Luxury Goods
Headquarters: Paris, France
Hermes is a French fashion clothing and luxury goods manufacturer. It specializes in Leather, watches, perfumes, home furnishings among other accessories.
The late Jean-Louis Dumas (died 2010) is responsible for turning Hermes into a large multinational maker of luxury fashion.
Axel Dumas and Pierre-Alexis Dumas who are members of the Dumas family hold key positions at Hermes.
6. Wertheimer Family
Wealth: $45.6 B
Source of Wealth: Chanel
Industry: Luxury Goods
Headquarters: Paris, France
Alain Wertheimer and Gerard Wertheimer own Chanel. They are the grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, a former business partner of Coco Chanel.
Chanel is a French private company that specializes in the making of clothes, fashion accessories, haute couture and luxury goods.
It has 310 locations globally employing more than 20,000 people with over $10.6 billion in revenues.
7. Ambani Family
Wealth: $43.4 B
Source of Wealth: Reliance Industries
Headquarters: Mumbai, India
The Ambani family is the world’s 7th wealthiest family. The family controls Reliance Industries, an Indian conglomerate holding company based in Mumbai, India.
Reliance Industries was founded in 1973 by Dhirubhai Ambani. Its subsidiaries are involved in retail, textiles, petrochemicals, natural gas, telecommunications and energy. The company owns the largest oil refining complex in the world.
It is headed by Mukesh Ambani (Dhirubhai’s son) who is the chairman and managing director.
8. Quandt Family
Wealth: $42.7 B
Source of Wealth: BMW
Headquarters: Munich, Germany
BMW (Bavarian Motor Works) is a German multinational maker of automobiles and motorcycles. It was founded by Gunther Quandt in 1916.
BMW is one of the world’s largest producers of motor vehicles producing over 2.5 million vehicles annually. The Quandt family owns half of the company with Stefan Quandt and Susanne Klatten having 29% and 21% stakes respectively. The rest 50% is owned by the public.
The family is also one of the richest families in Germany and in the world.
9. Cargill Family
Wealth: $42.3 B
Source of Wealth: Cargill
Headquarters: Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Cargill family is the majority shareholder (90%) of Cargill Inc., the largest privately held company in the United States. It was founded in 1865 by William Wallace Cargill.
Cargill Inc. generates over $100 billion in annual revenues employing over 150,000 people. Some of its major businesses include the purchase and distribution of agricultural products, industrial & financial risk management, trade in energy among others.
10. Boehringer, Von Baumbach Families
Wealth: $42.2 B
Source of Wealth: Boehringer Ingelheim
Headquarters: Ingelheim, Germany
Boehringer Ingelheim is a German privately held company and one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. It was founded by Albert Boehringer in 1885. It is entirely owned by the Boehringer and Von Baumbach families.
Boehringer Ingelheim has 146 associated companies with over 50,000 employees.
11. Albrecht Family
Source of Wealth: ALDI
Headquarters: Essen & Muelheim, Germany
ALDI is a private German based retail company that is owned by the Albrecht family. The company has discount supermarket chains with more than 10,000 stores in 20 countries.
ALDI was founded by two brothers, Theo and Karl Albrecht. It has an estimated turnover of 53 billion euros.
Also Read: The 20 Richest People in the World
12. Mulliez Family
Wealth: $37.5 B
Source of Wealth: Auchan
Headquarters: Lille, France
Gerard Mulliez is the founder of the Auchan chain of department stores. Auchan is controlled by the Mulliez family. It is one of the largest retail companies in the world with over 3000 locations in France and 15 countries other countries.
Mulliez family is among the richest families in the world. It’s also one of the wealthiest families in France and in Europe.
13. Kwok Family
Wealth: $34 B
Source of Wealth: Sun Hung Kai Properties
Industry: Real Estate
Headquarters: Hong Kong
Founded by Kwok Tak Seng, Sun Kai Properties is a property developer based in Hong Kong. The firm has since grown to be one of the largest property developers in Hong Kong. It’s also considered to be one of the world’s most valuable companies.
The Kwok brothers, Raymond, Thomas and Walter control the company and have been at the helm of the company since 1990 when their father died. Sun Kai Properties is the source of the Kwok family’s big fortune. It has over 38,000 employees.
14. Cox Family
Wealth: $33.6 B
Source of Wealth: Cox Enterprises
Industry: Communications, Automotive
Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia
The Cox family controls Cox Enterprises, a private multinational conglomerate based in Atlanta, Georgia. The major subsidiaries of Cox Enterprises include:
- Cox Communications which provides digital cable television, home automation, and telecommunications services in the US. It’s the 3rd largest cable television provider in the US.
- Cox Automotive which consolidates all of Cox’s global automotive businesses including Autotrader.com, Kelley Blue Book, Manheim Auctions, and Xtime.
- Cox Media Group, a broadcasting, digital media, and publishing company.
Cox Enterprises generates annual revenues of $21 billion and has 55,000 employees. It is led by Alexander C. Taylor, a great-grandson of the company founder James M. Cox.
15. Pritzker Family
Wealth: $33.5 B
Source of Wealth: Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois
Hyatt Hotels is an American International corporation that manages and franchises luxury resorts and hotels. With over $5.68 billion in annual revenues, Hyatt Hotels has its presence in 54 countries and employs 45,000 people. It has over 700 properties around the world.
16. Lee Family
Wealth: $30.9 B
Source of Wealth: Samsung
Industry: Consumer Electronics
Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea
Samsung is most famous for its brand of consumer electronics. It was founded by Lee Byung-chul in 1938 and is controlled by the Lee family.
Samsung has also diversified into other industries such as food processing, retail, textiles, insurance, home appliances, automotive among others. It has over $200 billion in revenues and over 300,000 employees worldwide.
Samsung is the largest business conglomerate in South Korea. The Lee family is one of the richest families in the world.
17. Rausing Family
Wealth: $30.9 B
Source of Wealth: Tetra Pak
Headquarters: London, U.K.
Tetra Pak is a privately held international food processing and packaging company. It was founded and is controlled by the Rausing family.
The company offers packaging and processing for prepared food, dairy, cheese, beverages, and ice cream.
18. Thomson Family
Wealth: $30.9 B
Source of Wealth: Thomson Reuters
Headquarters: Ontario, Canada
Thomson Reuters is a multinational information and mass media company based in Ontario, Canada. It was formed when the Thomson Corporation purchased Reuters Group, a British company.
The Thomson family owns the majority of Thomson Reuters through its holding firm, The Woodbridge Company.
Thomson Reuters operates in 100 countries with over 45, 000 employees.
19. Johnson (SC) Family
Wealth: $28.2 B
Source of Wealth: SC Johnson
Industry: Household Goods
Headquarters: Racine, Wisconsin
The Johnson family owns the SC Johnson company and is one of the richest families in the world. SC Johnson is an American privately held company and maker of home cleaning products and consumer chemicals.
Some of the company’s famous brands include Baygon, Windex, Kiwi, and Mr. Muscle.
20. Dassault Family
Wealth: $27.8 B
Source of Wealth: Dassault
Headquarters: Paris, France
Dassault is a French-based group of companies controlled by the Dassault family.
Some of its major subsidiaries include Dassault Aviation, a multinational aircraft maker of business, military, and regional jets. Dassault Falcon Jet is also another major subsidiary and maker of aircraft.
With a fortune of $27.8 B, the Dassault family is one of the richest families in the world.
There you have it, folks, you now know the 20 richest families in the world. If you enjoy this article please like and share it with your friends. Also feel free to leave a comment below.