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The wealthiest 25 families on the planet own one per cent of the wealth

Ron Walter looks at the world's 25 wealthiest families
Trading Thoughts by Ron Walter

Wealth is pursued or desired by most people for it brings influence, power and capacity for the wealthy to do what they want.

In today’s society there are more wealthy people than ever, but most of the wealth has been accumulated in a short time. The billionaires in China and the oligarchs of Russia, the Silicon Valley moguls have only been accumulating wealth for a generation or two.

These relative newcomers are considered filthy rich, but what do you call the wealth accumulated by generations?

The Visual Capitalist’s infographic of the world’s 25 richest families indicates they own between them $1.4 trillion US wealth.

In 2019, Canada’s gross domestic product, by comparison, was $1.3 trillion in U.S. dollars.

The 25 richest families come from 11 countries, led by eight from the U.S.A., three each from Germany and France. 

Canada has one, the Thomson Family, which made its money in the newspaper business before switching to the paid information technology domain.

The Thomson family ranks 11th on the list with $40.6 billion wealth in U.S. dollars. That’s just over twice the Saskatchewan government’s annual budget.

The Walton Family of Walmart fame is the wealthiest with $215 billion amassed over three generations.

The Mars family of chocolate bar fame is second with $120 billion.

Koch Industries, the family that makes millions by buying Canadian crude oil below market price and refining it, ranks third with $109.7 billion.

Saudi Arabian industrialists, the Al Saud Family has amassed $95 billion, while in fifth the Ambani Family of India has $81.3 billion from Reliance Industries operating in energy, chemicals, textiles communications and natural resources.

French luxury goods maker Hermes Family has built $63.9 billion while the Wertheimer Family of Chanel has $54.4 billion.

The Johnson Family of Boston’s Fidelity Mutual Funds has $46.3 billion.

Animal health has paid off for the Boehringer Family of Germany with $45.7 billion, while the Albrecht Family of Germany has amassed $41 billion through supermarkets.

Health care built a $38.8 billion fortune for Switzerland’s Hoffman family.

French department stores built a $38.4 billion fortune for the Mulliez Family.

Agriculture is the basis of the Cargill Family’s $38.1 billion fortune while the SC Johnson family found consumer goods in Johnson and Johnson made them $37.3 billion.

Beer flowed $36.8 billion wealth into three families in Belgium.

The Quandt Family of Germany has $34.7 billion from BMW’s auto business.

The Cox Family of Georgia built a $33.1 billion nest egg from newspapers.    

In England the Rausing Family has $32.9 billion from developing the Tetrapak.

New York’s Newhouse Family accumulated $31 billion in the media business.

In Malaysia, food and agriculture served as the basis for the Chearavonant family’s $30.7 billion.

The Ferrero family of Italy amassed $30.5 billion selling confections like Ferrero chocolate.

The Kwok Family of Hong Kong has $30.4 billion from real estate while the Pritzker Family of Chicago amassed $29.6 billion from Hyatt Hotels.

Last on the top 25 list is the Lee Family of South Korea with a mere $29 billion from diversified industrial Samsung.

Together these 25 families own just under one per cent of global wealth. 

And we wonder why people rebel against the filthy rich.

Ron Walter can be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.