The 11 Richest People You’ve Never Heard Of
Even though they have enough money to buy a small country, you probably won’t see these people living it up on Instagram or plastered all over the tabloids. These 11 people are the richest people that you’ve definitely never heard of.
Graham Weston has made his fortune off Rackspace, a web hosting and cloud computing company. After stepping down as CEO in 2006 with a net worth of $1.1 billion, he joined the board of directors, where he is still the chairman and largest shareholder. He currently resides in Texas, where he quietly invests money into supporting science and education projects for Texas schoolchildren.
Steven Bresky is the head of the Bresky Family, currently #89 on Forbes list of America’s Richest Families. Steven inherited his father’s stake in Seaboard Corp in 2007, which since then has grown to be worth over $1.7 billion. Steven Bresky has remained under the radar so far by owning his shares through two different holding companies. Most members of the Bresky family are notoriously shy of publicity, usually declining to be interviewed.
William R. Berkley
Worth $1.2 billion, William R. Berkley has been CEO of WR Berkley for 45 years. Focusing on property casualty insurance, the WR Berkley Company raked in $5.82 billion in 2012 alone, with a substantial percentage going to Berkley himself. He is very private about his wealth, doing his best to stay off lists that most people would kill to be on. In 2014, he inaugurated the William R. Berkley Scholarship program at NYU, with $10 million allotted to support students.
Samuel and Michael Klein
Samuel Klein was the founder of the Casa Bahia department store chain in his adopted home country of Brazil. In 1957, he opened the first Casa Bahia, with money he earned from peddling. When he died in 2014, he owned over 500 stores and was worth $835 million. After his death, his son Michael took over the business and is now worth $723 million. The Klein family is noted for their admirable philanthropic work, which primarily supports Jewish organizations in São Paulo.
Antonio del Valle Ruiz
Antonio del Valle Ruiz is the chairman of Mexichem, a chemical and pipe-making company. His net worth is estimated at $4.2 billion. He has amassed much of his wealth by buying and selling more than 15 rival companies in the last 8 years. In addition to being chairman of his own company, he also owns stake in a banking venture and a chemical distribution company. Since his retirement, he has passed on most of his daily duties to his children.
Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen
Undoubtedly the most fun billionaire on this list, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen owes his success to the family business he inherited: The Lego Group. His grandfather founded the business, and as a child, Kjeld was often the tester of building instructions. Early packaging even features images of Kjeld as a child. With a net worth of $10.3 billion, he is the richest Dane, and lives in Denmark with his wife. In 2008, he was inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame.
Jorge Paulo Lemann
Jorge Lemann is a banker of Swiss-Brazilian heritage, who is ranked the 26th richest person in the world, worth $25 billion. In 1971, he founded Banca Garantia, and with the profits he bought two breweries and merged them into the company AnBev. A year later, AnBev merged with Interbrew to form the company InBev. Two years after that, Lemann acquired Anheuser-Busch and formed the conglomerate AB InBev, which secured his status as the new “King of Beer.”
In 1980, David Sun co-founded Kingston Technology, after noticing a shortage in the market for memory chips. Their unique model of memory storage made them $1 billion by 1996, and they sold 80% of their company to Softbank for another $1.5 billion. Today, Kingston Technology has a global reach, and employs 4000 people worldwide. David and his wife regularly contribute money to initiatives in both Taiwan and California, supporting health and education projects.
Alberto Benavides de la Quintana made it to the list of Forbes Billionaires this year because of the 27% stake that he and his family own in their Peruvian mining company. Compania de Minas Buenaventura has made over $7 billion since 1953. When Benavides retired he passed operating control over to his son, Roque. Each of the 5 Benavides children were given an equal part of their father’s stock last year, thought to be worth over $250 million.
Eliodoro Matte is a Chilean billionaire worth over $2 billion. Along with his siblings, he holds the largest portion of shares in CMPC, a forestry company. Overall, the Matte family is worth billions — they are integral to many core industries of Chile including banking and politics. In addition to owning shares in CMPC, Eliodoro also presides over the conservative think tank Public Studies Centre.
Reinhold Wuerth started working at his father’s screw business in 1949, at only 14 years of age. When his father died 5 years later, he became the president of the company and immediately began innovating the business and growing their income to unimagined heights. His company, Wuerth Group, usually posts annual sales of $11 billion. Much of Wuerth’s money has gone into acquiring a vast art collection, which is displayed all over the world.