Ever ponder who are the wealthiest women across continents around the world? These remarkable nine women control US$114.6 billion of personal wealth.
By a wide margin, Christy Walton, who inherited a portion of the Walmart fortune after her husband’s death in 2005, is the richest woman in North America and the world with an estimated net worth of US$37.9 billion, according to a Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014 list of the wealthiest women in each region of the world, released on October 29, 2014.
Photo Credit: Christy Walton
The next wealthiest woman in the United States is her sister-in-law Alice Walton, who trailed Christy by US$3 billion, as of mid-September 2014, according to Forbes.
Forbes adds: “Christy married into what is now the richest family in the world (worth more than US$150 billion) and inherited her wealth, when husband John Walton, a former Green Beret and Vietnam war medic, died in an airplane crash in 2005.”
“She’s the wealthiest of the Waltons thanks to a side investment by John that turned into a major score: solar energy company, First Solar,” Forbes confirms. “Her nearly 27% stake is worth some US$1.8 billion. The bulk of her holdings are in Wal-Mart, the massive retailer founded by her father-in-law Sam Walton and his brother James in 1962. She will receive US$470 million in Wal-Mart dividends after taxes in 2014.”
Following in second place on the Wealth-X/UBS list is Liliane Bettencourt, the oldest female billionaire at 92. Bettencourt is heiress of the French cosmetic giant L’Oreal, whose personal net worth is at US$31.3 billion, which earns her the honor of being the wealthiest woman of Europe.
Photo Credit: Liliane Bettencourt
The youngest female billionaire is 33-year-old Yang Huiyan, whose father Yang Guoquiang transferred 70% of his shares in Country Garden Group, a Chinese real estate development firm, to her before the firm’s 2007 Initial Public Offering on the capital markets. Yang Huiyan emerges as #5 on the Wealth-X list below, as the wealthiest woman across all of Asia.
Photo Credit: Yang Huiyan, Facebook
So, rounding out the top nine wealthiest women in the world by region are the following (noting Wealth-X/UBS uses business address as the primary determinant of an individual’s location):
#3 Gina Reinhart, Pacific (meaning Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands), at US$14.8 billion. Reinhart is the Chairman of Hancock Prospecting group, Australia, according to FirstPost.com, after assuming the privately-held firm upon the death of her father in March 1992, who formerly ran the company.
Photo Credit: Gina Reinhart
#4 Vanessa Paola Slim Hajj Maria; Soumaya Slim de Romero; Johanna Monique Slim Ayub, Latin America, at US$6.3 billion, each. Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s three daughters, Vanessa Paola Slim Hajj Maria, Soumaya Slim de Romero, Johanna Monique Slim Ayub, emerged as the wealthiest women in Latin America.
Called the “Warren Buffet of Mexico,” América Móvil estimated Slim’s net worth at $49 billion in 2010, says First Post. Slim has six children: Carlos, Marco Antonio, Patrick, Soumaya, Vanessa, and Johanna. Slim’s daughters, along with their brothers, have inherited the wealth asset transfer that Slim reportedly began in 2003.
Photo Credit: Vanessa Paola Slim Hajj Maria
Photo Credit: Soumaya Slim de Romero
Photo Credit: Johanna Monique Slim Ayub (middle), Quien.com
#5 Yang Huiyan, Asia, at US$6.3 billion. Huiyan is the majority shareholder of Country Garden Holdings, one of the largest major companies in China.
Photo Credit: Yang Huiyan, Facebook
#6 Shari Arison, Middle East, at US$4.2 billion. Arison is the owner of Arison Investments that comprises several business companies, the largest among them Bank Hapoalim, First Post reports. She also runs several philanthropic organizations that are subsidiaries of The Ted Arison Family Foundation.
Photo Credit: Shari Arison
#7 Folorunsho Alakija, Africa (Nigerian Tycoon), at US$1.2 billion. Alakija is a business tycoon in fashion, oil and printing industries, according to First Post. She is the group managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group and the executive vice-chairman of Famfa Oil Limited.
Photo Credit: Folorunsho Alakija
The recently published Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014 shows that there are 286 female billionaires, accounting for 12.3% of the total of 2,325 billionaires worldwide. The average age of female billionaires is 61 years old. Female billionaires control 12.8% of the world’s total billionaire wealth of US$7.3 trillion.
Highlighted further in the Wealth-X/UBS report: One in five billionaires are women, of which 65.4% are “self-made” wealth owners (at US$2.2 billion in mean net worth), 17.5% collectively inherited and self-made their wealth (at US$3.4 billion in mean net worth) and 17.1% purely inherited their wealth status (at US$3.5 billion in mean net worth).
Wealth-X/UBS is the world’s leading ultra high net worth intelligence and prospecting firm with the largest collection of curated research on wealthy individuals, defined as those with net assets of US$30 million and above. Headquartered in Singapore, the firm has 13 offices on five continents.
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