These 15 Billionaires Inherited Their Wealth – Meet Them

Although several of the wealthiest people in the world built their wealth from nothing, some were born into massive fortunes. While these billionaires inherited enormous wealth from their parents or spouses, they haven’t rested on their laurels as they have gone on to expand the family business, building a bigger empire in the process. These top billionaires who made their empires with inherited wealth are now owners of prominent companies, including the top richest people in the world like the world’s richest man – Bernard Arnault, and the world’s richest woman – Françoise Bettencourt Meyers.

While the likes of Arnault have built his empire in an entirely different industry from the family business, a good number of others on this list have built on their inherited fortune in the same industry as the family business.

Billionaires Who Inherited Their Fortunes From Parents or Spouses

15. Azim Premji

  • Net Worth: $9.3 Billion
  • Age: 75
  • Country of Residence: India
  • Source of Wealth/Industry: Wipro Limited

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Indian businessman and investor Azim Premji joined the family business when his father passed away in 1966. As a result, the then 21-year-old had to abandon his studies at Sanford University to take full control of his father’s company, Western India Vegetable Products Limited that he eventually renamed Wipro Limited. He later earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Sanford. He served as the executive chairman of the conglomerate until 2019 when his son, Rishad took over the role.

Under his leadership, Premji turned Wipro into a multinational corporation that provides information technology and consulting services. Today, the conglomerate is ranked the fourth largest outsourcer by market capitalization in India. It has a valuation of over $40 billion and generated revenue of $8.7 billion in the 2021 fiscal year with a net profit of $1.5 billion and an operating income of $1.9 billion. The tech mogul owns 73.85 percent of the company and has pledged to donate at least half of his wealth to charity by signing the giving pledge in the year 2013.

14. Georg F. W. Schaeffler

  • Net Worth: $15.4 Billion
  • Age: 56
  • Country of Residence: Germany
  • Source of Wealth/Industry: Schaeffler Group

Billionaires who inherited wealth
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German billionaire businessman, Georg F. W. Schaeffler, inherited the Schaeffler Group from his father, Georg Schaeffler, who passed on in 1996. The company manufactures rolling element bearings for aerospace, automotive and industrial usage. Having built upon the company for several years, it’s now considered one of the largest manufacturers of ball bearings and machine components in the world. While Georg owns 80 percent of INA Holding Schaeffler GmbH & Co., his mother Marie-Elisabeth Schaeffler owns the remaining 20 percent.

Following the acquisition of one of the world’s largest tire producing companies, Continental AG for €12 billion in 2008, Georg and his mother have a combined stake of 46 percent in the company and this accounts for a vast of his wealth. The Schaeffler group brought in €14.2 billion in revenue in the year 2018 and has more than 82,000 employees. It operates in 49 countries and has over 160 offices across the globe. With an estimated total wealth of $11.2 billion in March 2020, Georg Schaeffler emerged as the 96th wealthiest person on the planet.

13. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud

  • Net Worth: $18.7 Billion
  • Age: 66
  • Country of Residence: Saudi Arabia
  • Source of Wealth/Industry: Kingdom Holding Company

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A member of the Saudi royal family, Prince Alwaleed’s grandfather Abdulaziz was the first Saudi Arabian king. Prince Alwaleed is an entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. He serves as the chairman and chief executive officer of Kingdom Holding Company, a conglomerate holding company that has been listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange, Tadawul. As a diversified investment company, KHC has invested in companies in financial services, hospitality, media, real estate, entertainment, petrochemicals, and technology. It had a valuation of over $18 billion in 2013.

Prince Alwaleed owns 95 percent of the company and also has a majority stake in the Arabic language entertainment firm, Rotana. He additionally owns shares in other companies such as Citigroup, Lyft, Twitter, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, and the Savoy Hotel.

12. Laurene Powell Jobs

  • Net Worth: $19.1 Billion
  • Age: 57
  • Country of Residence: United States
  • Source of Wealth/Industry: Apple, Disney

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Laurene Powell Jobs is one of the top richest women in the world. The billionaire entrepreneur inherited huge wealth from her late husband Steve Jobs – the co-founder of Apple. Upon her husband’s demise, Mrs. Jobs inherited 5.5 million units of Apple stock and a 7.3 percent stake in Walt Disney. Over the years, Laurene has bought shares in many media outlets. She owns a majority stake in The Atlantic magazine.

In the year 2017, the businesswoman acquired approximately 20 percent stake in Monumental Sports & Entertainment. The group is the owner of Washington Wizards in the NBA, Washington Capitals in the NHL, and Capital One Arena. Following the purchase, Laurene Powell Jobs became the group’s second-largest shareholder. She is the founder of Emerson Collective and president of the board of College Track which she co-founded.

11. John Franklyn Mars

  • Net Worth: $31.7 Billion
  • Age: 85
  • Country of Residence: United States
  • Source of Wealth/Industry: Mars Incorporated

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As a member of the eminent Mars family, John Franklyn Mars and his siblings, Jacqueline and Forrest (died in 2016) were born into money. Following the death of their father, Forrest Mars, Sr. in 1999, John inherited stakes in Mars Incorporated that was established by his grandfather, Franklin Clarence Mars, in 1911. He owns one-third of the company which is ranked among the largest privately held companies in the United States.

Mars Incorporated manufactures confectionery, pet foods, and also provides animal care services. The multinational company is best known for producing confectionery products such as M&M’s, Mars bars, Snickers, Milky Way bars, Orbit, Bounty, Eclipse, and Twix. In 2015, the company racked up $33 billion in annual sales and had revenue of $35 billion two years later.

10. Jacqueline Mars

  • Net Worth: $31.7 Billion
  • Age: 81
  • Country of Residence: United States
  • Source of Wealth/Industry: Mars Incorporated

Billionaires who inherited wealth
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Billionaire heiress Jacqueline Mars inherited her astounding net worth of $31.7 billion from serving as one of the major stakeholders of Mars Incorporated. Like her brother John, she owns one-third of the company which was established by their grandfather over a century ago. It is presently ranked the largest manufacturer of candy in the world. Jacqueline became part of the company in 1982 and worked for almost 20 years before retiring in 2001. She then served as a board member of Mars Incorporated until 2016 when she vacated the position. Her son, Stephen Badger, is now one of the company’s board of directors.

9. Dieter Schwarz

  • Net Worth: $34.3 Billion
  • Age: 81
  • Country of Residence: Germany
  • Source of Wealth/Industry: Schwarz Gruppe

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German billionaire entrepreneur Dieter Schwarz serves as the owner of Schwarz Gruppe, a company he inherited from his father, Josef Schwarz. He became active in the family business, Lidl & Schwarz KG, in the year 1973 and subsequently launched the company’s first discount supermarket. He took charge of the company and became the chief executive after the passing away of his father in 1977. He then expanded the business into a multinational retail group and renamed it Schwarz Gruppe which now operates grocery emporiums under Lidl and Kaufland.

The retail group is ranked the world’s fourth-largest retailer by revenue and the largest retailer in Europe. It brought in €113.3 billion in revenue in the 2019/2020 fiscal year and owns more than 12,500 stores in 33 countries. Schwarz Gruppe operates mostly in European countries and recently moved the business to the United States.

8. Julia Koch

  • Net Worth: $46.9 Billion
  • Age: 59
  • Country of Residence: United States
  • Source of Wealth/Industry: Koch Industries

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Julia Koch is a billionaire businesswoman and the widow of David Koch, one of the heirs of Koch Industries. After her husband’s death in August 2019, she inherited his 42 percent stake in the multinational corporation which is the largest privately held company in the United States by revenue. Her late husband served as the vice president of the corporation until his retirement in 2018. As such, he left an estimated wealth of $48 billion at the time of his death. Prior to inheriting her husband’s wealth, Julia worked as a model. She is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas and one of Koch Industries’ board of directors. Also, the socialite serves as the president of the David H. Koch Foundation.

7. Charles Koch

  • Net Worth: $46.9 Billion
  • Age: 85
  • Country of Residence: United States
  • Source of Wealth/Industry: Koch Industries

Billionaires who inherited wealth
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Charles Koch is an heir to Koch Industries, thus he inherited a massive fortune from his father Fred Chase Koch who founded the family business in 1980. Charles serves as the chairman and chief executive officer of the conglomerate that generated revenue of $115 billion in 2019.

Koch Industries operates in over 50 countries and has more than 100,000 employees. The firm focuses on manufacturing, refining, and distributing chemicals, minerals, polymers, fibers, fertilizers, pulp, and paper. Some of its subsidiaries include Guardian Industries, Invista, Georgia-Pacific, Molex, Matador Cattle Company, and Flint Hills Resources. As manufactures of a wide variety of products, some of Koch Industries’ widely known items include the Lycra brand of spandex fiber, Dixie Cup, and Stainmaster carpet.

6. Rob Walton

  • Net Worth: $64.3 Billion
  • Age: 76
  • Country of Residence: United States
  • Source of Wealth/Industry: Walmart

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Among the top richest billionaires who inherited astonishing fortunes from their parents are the Walton siblings. Rob, the eldest son in the family, became the chairman of Walmart, a multinational retail corporation that owns a chain of hypermarkets, grocery stores, and department stores after his father, Sam Walton, passed away in 1992. He and other heirs of his father’s assets own about half of Walmart’s stock. Rob stepped down from his role as the chairman of Walmart in the year 2015. He is on the board of Walmart and was ranked the 17th wealthiest person in the world in April 2021 when his estimated net worth was $62.7 billion.

5. Jim Walton

  • Net Worth: $65.1 Billion
  • Age: 73
  • Country of Residence: United States
  • Source of Wealth/Industry: Walmart

Billionaires who inherited wealth
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Jim Walton is the younger brother of Rob Walton. He has a net worth of $65.1 billion and works as the chairman of Arvest Bank which is owned by the Walton family. He served on Walmart’s board of directors for over a decade and was replaced by his son Steuart in 2016. He has since been on the Strategic Planning and Finance Committees of the multinational retail corporation that owns and operates retail warehouses, Sam’s Club. It owns more than 10,000 stores and clubs that operate under different names in 24 countries. As of 2020, Walmart has over 2 million employees across the globe.

Jim reportedly owns more than 150 units of Walmart’s stock valued at over $11 billion. Besides Walmart, the famous businessman serves as the chairman of Community Publishers Inc., a newspaper company founded by Sam Walton and owned by Jim.

4. Alice Walton

  • Net Worth: $66.8 Billion
  • Age: 71
  • Country of Residence: United States
  • Source of Wealth/Industry: Walmart

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Alice Walton is a heiress to the Walmart fortunes. She is Sam Walton’s only daughter. Unlike her brothers, she is not active in Walmart, rather she has built a career in curating art. She founded a museum of art called Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas in the year 2011. It features works from talented artists such as Mark Rothko and Andy Warhol. In 2016, Alice’s stake in Walmart was reported to be worth over $11 billion. This is no surprise as the retail corporation is the largest company in the world by revenue. It raked in $559.2 billion in revenue in the 2021 fiscal year and an operating income of $22.5 billion. With an estimated fortune of $66.8 billion, the heiress is the second richest woman in the world.

3. Mukesh Ambani

  • Net Worth: $81.9 Billion
  • Age: 64
  • Country of Residence: India
  • Source of Wealth/Industry: Reliance Industries Limited

Billionaires who inherited wealth
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The wealthiest man in Asia, Mukesh Ambani, joined the family business – Reliance Industries Limited in 1981. He subsequently took control of the business when his father, Dhirubhai Ambani, died in 2002. He became the company’s chairman and together with his younger brother, Anil Ambani, he has expanded the business into a conglomerate that has interests in petrochemicals, natural resources, telecommunications, energy, textiles, software, and retail. Thus, the multinational conglomerate is India’s largest company by revenue, as well as the country’s largest publicly traded company by market capitalization, as it is valued at over $200 billion.

The company has more than 195,000 employees and is ranked among the most profitable companies in India. Its revenue for the 2021 fiscal year is $70 billion while its operating income for the year is $11 billion and net income, $7.5 billion. Mukesh owns 50.54 percent of the company and is the largest shareholder. He serves as the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited.

2. Françoise Bettencourt Meyers

  • Net Worth: $89.5 Billion
  • Age: 67
  • Country of Residence: France
  • Source of Wealth/Industry: L’Oréal

Billionaires who inherited wealth
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One of the top richest billionaires in the world, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, inherited her wealth from her mother, Liliane Bettencourt, who was the heiress to L’Oréal fortunes. Liliane died in September 2017 as the world’s richest woman with a net worth of $44.3 billion and was one of the principal shareholders of L’Oréal. Her daughter Françoise is presently the richest woman in the world as her total wealth is estimated at $89.5 billion. The heiress serves as the chairwoman of the French personal care company L’Oréal which is ranked the largest cosmetics company in the world.

It has a market cap of $253.81 billion and its subsidiaries include Maybelline, AcneFree, Lancôme, NYX Cosmetics, Ambi, and CeraVe. In the year 2019, L’Oréal generated €29.87 billion in revenue with a net profit of €3.75 billion and an operating income of €5.54 billion.

1. Bernard Arnault

  • Net Worth: $192.2 Billion
  • Age: 72
  • Country of Residence: France
  • Source of Wealth/Industry: LVMH

Bernard Arnault
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Luxury goods king Bernard Arnault kicked off his exploit in the fashion industry by taking $15 million from his father’s construction company to acquire the parent company of Christian Dior, Boussac. He also acquired other assets of the conglomerate, including Le Bon Marché and Conforama. He has a controlling stake in Christain Dior, SE, and is the major shareholder of Loius Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) where he owns a stake of 46.8 percent. The luxury goods empire, LVMH, is Europe’s most valuable company as it has a valuation of $329 billion. It owns more than 70 luxury brands which include Givenchy, Sephora, Belmond Ltd, Tiffany & Co., Fenty, Celine, and Bulgari among others.

Recap of The List of Billionaires Who Inherited Their Wealth

1. Bernard Arnault – $192.2 billion

2. Françoise Bettencourt Meyers – $89.5 billion

3. Mukesh Ambani – $81.9 billion

4. Alice Walton – $66.8 billion

5. Jim Walton – $65.1 billion

6. Rob Walton – $64.3 billion

7. Charles Koch – $46.9 billion

8. Julia Koch – $46.9 billion

9. Dieter Schwarz – $34.3 billion

10. Jacqueline Mars – $31.7 billion

11. John Franklyn Mars – $31.7 billion

12. Laurene Powell Jobs – $19.1 billion

13. Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud – $18.7 billion

14. Georg Schaeffler – $15.4 billion

15. Azim Premji – $9.3 billion.

Chioma Uchenwoke
Apart from content writing in the area of entertainment, personal finance and celebrity net worth, Chioma’s main interests are movies, football, music and books. She has been writing professionally for about 2 years in these fields

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