The 25 Richest Families in the World — 2022 – Bloomberg

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Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world
Americas+1 212 318 2000
EMEA+44 20 7330 7500
Asia Pacific+65 6212 1000
Most of these families’ fortunes stem from long-held companies based in Europe, North America and Asia. The list excludes first-generation billionaires and isn’t definitive. Some widely-dispersed family fortunes, such as the Rockefellers’, are too difficult to track.
Regardless of region or industry, few family fortunes have been spared from 2022’s market turmoil.
The wealth of the Lauder family behind cosmetics giant Estee Lauder is down by a third, while the Belgian clans behind brewer AB InBev, the Dassaults of France and the Cox media dynasty have each lost more than a quarter of their fortunes. Even record revenue at Fidelity Investments couldn’t prevent a 34% dive in net worth for its founding family, the Johnsons.
Still, these dynasties, some centuries old, have persisted through recessions, shocks and wars. They are built to endure. “Surviving a war or the great depression — these are things that instill certain skills and practices,” said Eric Becker, co-founder of multi-family office Cresset. “There’s a mental toughness, a survivability.”
For the Waltons, the impact would’ve been greater had they not doubled down on diversifying in recent years. Today, about a quarter of the family fortune is invested outside of the retailer, in venture capital, real estate and index funds.
“Diversification is almost universally one of the things that ultra-high net worth families are focused on, and correctly so,” said Paul Majerus, a business owner strategist at BMO Private Bank.
The volatile commodities market has been a boon for some. The Cargill and MacMillan families, whose grain and beef giant’s revenue surged 23% to a record $165 billion in fiscal 2022, added $13.6 billion to their fortune in the past year. The Kochs, of refining and pipelines conglomerate Koch Industries, and the Saudi ruling family have both gained billions from soaring energy prices.
Families whose fortunes derive from closely-held businesses have fared better on average than those whose main asset has been directly subject to the punishing whims of this year’s public markets. Sheltered somewhat from investor anxieties and more flexible with strategy and resources, there’s a reason half of the world’s richest families have deliberately kept their companies private.
Consider the Mills family of Chicago, a new entrant on this year’s list thanks to fortuitous timing. Fifty years ago, the Mills took their medical-goods business Medline public, in what Medline Chief Executive Officer Charlie Mills later called “a major misstep.” The family eventually bought back all the shares and delisted the company. Last year, as valuations swelled to once-unthinkable heights, the Mills agreed to sell a 79% stake in the company to private equity firms in a deal that valued their fourth-generation business at $32 billion. They held onto a portion and continue to run it, but are now awash in cash.
“Some of the most successful families have created reserves for these types of times so they can even take advantage of what’s going on when they see discounts,” Cresset’s Becker said. “Over one to two years, they can create a new level of wealth.”
Methodology
Net worth figures are as of October 19, 2022. The ranking excludes first-generation fortunes and those fortunes controlled by a single heir. Clans whose source of wealth is too diffuse or opaque to be valued are also excluded.
With assistance from Nur Dayana Mustak, Heather Perlberg, Venus Feng, Yoojung Lee, Alex Sazonov, Tom Maloney, Ben Stupples, P R Sanjai, Bhuma Shrivastava, Laura Davidson.
Edited by: Brian Chappatta, Andrew Heathcote, Pierre Paulden and Steven Crabill
Photographs: Getty Images (19); Bloomberg (4); Alamy (3); AP Photo (1)

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