The Richest Mexicans

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 7.53.06 AMBy Julie Etra

#1. Carlos Slim Helú.,  $69.0 billion

Commonly known as Carlos Slim, is the richest individual in the world with a net worth of $69 billion as of March 2012. He made his fortune through the telecommunications business, specifically as Chairman and CEO of the Mexican mega monopolies Telmex, Telcel and América Móvil. His parents were both of Lebanese descent, having migrated eventually to Mexico City, although his mother was born in Chihuahua Mexico. His father and his uncle founded the business La Estrella de Oriente (“the Star of the East”), a dry goods store, with 25,800 pesos. The young Carlos learned about business early in life, although his father died when Carlos was only 13. He received a degree in engineering from UNAM, and started the Grupo Carso in 1965, the first of his many businesses. He is also a respected philanthropist and baseball lover.

In response to criticism of his dominance over telecommunications in Mexico he responded: “When you live for others’ opinions, you are dead. I don’t want to live thinking about how I’ll be remembered.” Despite his riches he has lived in the same 6 bedroom house for 30 years and drives himself to work.

#2. Ricardo Salinas Pliego, $17.4 billion

He received his BA in Monterrey, Mexico, and an MBA from Tulane University in the late 1970’s. He comes from a business family, going back four generations. He is currently President and CEO of Grupo Salinas, which include TV Azteca, Mexico’s second largest broadcaster. However, the majority of his fortune lies with Grupo Elektra, the electronics retailer that benefits hugely through its financing branch loaning to even very low-income customers. He owns a large stake in Telavisa and Iusacell which is now in competition with America Movil and Telcel.

He has been implicated in several scandals, including the armed theft of the CNI Channel 40 antennas located at Chiquihuite Peak, Mexico City known as Chiquihuitazo, by TV Azteca commandos at dawn on December 27, 2002

#3. Alberto Bailleres Gonzalez, $16.5 billion

Mr. Gonzalez, 80 years old and with four children, was born in Mexico City and has made his fortune through trade, mining, insurance, retail sales, investment groups, and even education. He is President of Grupo Bal, a business conglomerate with broad investments including mining, finance, insurance, retail sales and pension funds. He is also a bullfighting fan and owns a part of the Coca Cola bottler Femsa.

#4. German Larrea Mota-Velasco ,$14.2 billion

Mr. Mota-Velasco, 58, is CEO of Grupo Mexico, the largest mining company in Mexico and the third largest copper producer in the world with controlling interest of a large Peruvian copper mine. He is also Director of the National Bank of Mexico, which is part of Grupo Financiero Banamex, the Mexican Council of Businessmen, and Grupo Televisa. He founded and was CEO of Grupo Impresa, a publishing company, until it was sold in 1989.

Grupo Mexico operates a coal mine in San Juan de Sabinas, Coahuila, where the mining disaster known as Pasta de Conchos occurred on February 19, 2006. An explosion trapped sixty-five coal miners. Workers had apparently been on strike at least 14 times over wages and mine safety.

#5. Jeronimo Arango, $4.0 billion

Mr. Arango founded a chain of supermarkets known as Bodega Aurrerá in 1958, starting with a clothing store in Mexico City. In 1997 the chain merged with Wal-Mart.

Richest Woman

María Asunción Aramburuzabala Larregui de Garza A 49 year old businesswoman in Mexico and Latin America, Aramburuzabala is CEO and President of Tresalia Capital and Vice Chairman of Grupo Modelo. She is also member of the Executive Committee of Grupo Modelo and Vice Chairman of DIFA as well as Chairman of Tresalia Educación. She serves as Director in several important Mexican companies Boards such as Grupo Televisa (since 2000, currently Vice Chairman of the Board), America Movil, Empresas ICA, Banamex – Citigroup, Aeromexico, BCBA Impulse, KIO Networks and GA&A Group; and actively participates as member of the NYSE Advisory Committee.