Saturday, 17 August 2013

Women with Money


If I had to ask you to name the richest woman in the world I'm sure you would not be able to tell me her name or how she acquired her money. To be honest, I also did not know which women made up the Richest Women of 2013 List.

For this Women's Month I decided to educate myself on these women and at the same educate all my readers. As a female, knowing that there are successful women in the world, means that we all have a chance to be great. Yes, success is not always graded in terms of how much money you have but I'm tired of hearing about the Richest Men in the world.

At the top of the Forbes' Richest Women in The World List is the only woman who managed to make it into the Top 10 Richest People in the World List.

1. Liliane Bettencourt
Net Worth: $30 Billion
Source of Wealth: L'Oreal
The 90-year-old French heiress is one of the principal shareholders of L'Oreal. She is the only child of the Louise Madeleine Berthe and Eugène Schueller, the founder of L'Oreal.
L'Oreal is one of the world's largest cosmetic and beauty companies.

She started working at L'Oreal at 15 where she was her father's apprentice. While she was mixing cosmetics and labelling shampoo bottles, I'm quite sure she was not thinking about how much money she would one day have.

Her husband André Bettencourt also served as the chairman of L'Oreal and they have one child together, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, who is an author and board member.

2. Christy Walton
Net worth: $28.2 billion
Source of wealth: Wal-Mart
Walton is the widow of John T. Walton. John was one of the sons of Sam Walton who founded Wal-Mart. After the death of her husband in 2005, Christy inherited his fortune.

Christy Walton is ranked as one of the highest female philanthropists according to the amount she gives as a percentage of her wealth.
She is also a board member of The San Diego Natural History Museum.

3. Alice Walton
Net worth: $26.3 billion
Source of wealth: Wal-Mart
This heiress is the daughter of Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. She is also a board member of the Walton Family Foundation. She graduated with a B.A. in Ecomincs and Finance and served as the vice-chairperson and head all investment-related activities at the Arvest Bank Group.

With strong interest in art, Walton serves on the board of the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas and is a member of the Trustees' Council of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

4. Iris Fontbona
Net worth: $17.4 billion
Source of wealth: Mining
Fontbana is the widow of Andrónico Luksic, a Chilean businessman of Croatian origin. He is also the founder of Luksic Group. Luksic married Iris when she was just eighteen years old in 1991.

When her husband passed away, Fontbana and her three sons were left in control of Antofagasta, one of the world's largest copper miners.

5. Georgina Rinehart
Net worth: $17 billion
Source of wealth: Mining
Georgina Rinehart is the richest person in Australia and is also a university drop out. After dropping out of university, Rinehart went to work for her father, Lang Hancock, an Australian iron ore magnate.

When her father passed, Rinehart became the Executive Chairman of Hancock Prospecting Pty Limited (HPPL) and the HPPL Group of companies. She also has shares in Ten Network Holdings, a major Australian media company and Fairfax Media, Australia's largest diversified media companies.

Unfortunately both Georgina Rinehart and Lang Hancock have been involved in various family feuds with money being the reason for most of them. I guess having as much money as Rinehart has does not solve everything.

6. Jacqueline Mars
Net worth: $17 billion
Source of wealth: Mars candy
Jacqueline Mars is the granddaughter or Frank C. Mars, the founder of American Candy company Mars Incorporated. Her father Forrest Mars is the son of Frank Mars and is the reason we have M&M Bars and Mars Bars today.

Her and her brother Forrest Mars Jr. have the exact same net worth.

7. Susanne Klatten
Net worth: $14.3 billion
Source of wealth: BMW
Susanne Klatten, the richest woman in Germany, is the daughter of Herbert and Johanna Quandt. Herbert Quandt is the German industrialist who increased his share in BMW to 50% when it was on the verge of going bankrupt. He is known for saving the company and Klatten now holds 12.5% of the BMW shares which she inherited once her father passed. She also sits on the board. She also completed an apprenticeship at BMW where she met her husband.

After her father's death, Klatten inherited 50.1% of her father's stake in pharmaceutical and chemicals manufacturer Altana and also sits on the board. Altanta sold it's pharmaceutical activities to Nycomed in 2005 but she still remains a majority shareholder.

8. Abigail Johnson
Net worth: $12.7 billion
Source of wealth: Money management
Abigail Johnson is the President of Fidelity Invesments Personal and Workplace Investing. Her grandfather is Edward C. Johnson II and he founded the company. Her father Edward C. (Ned) Johnson III is the current CEO of the company. The Johnson family owns a 49% stake in the company.

After completing her MBA she became an analyst for Fidelity and was promoted to an executive position after nine years in 1997. Johnson currently serves as a member of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA).

9. Miuccia Prada
Net worth: $12.4 billion
Source of wealth: Prada
Miuccia Prada is the granddaughter of the founder of Prada, Mario Prada. Together with her husband she runs the family-owned luxury goods manufacturer. Prada's husband Patrizio Bertelli is the CEO while Miuccia is the head designer. Since acquiring their positions they have acquired several fashion labels such as Jil Sander, Helmut Lang, Fendi and Azzedine Alaia.

Miuccia has a PhD in Political Science and also attended Teatro Piccolo to study and perform as a mime for five years.

10. Anne Cox Chambers
Net worth: $12 billion
Source of wealth: Media
Anne Cox Chambers is the daughter of James M. Cox, a newspaper publisher and 1920 Democratic Nominee. She owned the family business together with her sister Barbara Cox Anthony until her death in 2007.

Anne and Barbara only gained interest in the family after the passing of her brother James M. Cox, known as Jim Jr. in 1974. That same year Anne became the chairwoman of Altanta Newspapers while Barbara chairwoman of Dayton Newspapers and her husband, Garner Anthony, became the administrative head of Cox Enterprises.

Chambers became the ambassador for America to Belgium from 1977 to 1981. During the 1980s she was a director of the board of Coca-Cola company and the first woman in Atlanta to serve as a bank director. She held that position at Fulton National Bank. She is also the first woman to be appointed to the board of the City's Chamber of Commerce in Atlanta.

Chambers is currently the Chair of Atlanta Newspapers and serves as a Director of Cox Enterprises.


I secretly wished self-made billionaires made up the list of the top 10 Richest Women in the World. Even though they did not generate all the wealth themselves, they are the reason their family businesses are still as strong and as wealthy as they are today.

With that being said, Rest in Peace Rosalía Mera. Mera was the richest self-made woman and the second richest woman in Spain. Together with her then-husband, Amancio Ortega Gaona, she co-founded Zara in 1975, the world's largest retail chain store.
She passed away on the 15th of August 2013, from complications of a stroke.

This list is proof that woman can be successful, control and manage some of the world's best companies.
As humans, male or female, we should not see wealth as the only way to succeed in life, but know that doing what you love will someday reward you. Your reward may not come in the form of money but that does not mean you have not succeeded.

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