Here we are again, talking about money. You wanna know the best way to get rich? Be born rich. Everyone knows what kind of money is best. Old money and the money of the folk on this list are positively antediluvian. So how did they make their riches? Let’s find out.
Top 10 Richest Families in the World In 2024
Without further delay, let’s take a look at these families.
10. The Hoffmann-Oeri Family – $45.1 Billion
The Oeri-Hoffmann family is one of the wealthiest and most secretive families in Switzerland. They’re the ones behind Roche, a Swiss healthcare company that operates worldwide. Currently, they’re the fifth largest pharmaceutical company in the world by revenue, with the majority of their income coming from their oncology treatments. During fiscal year 2021, their total revenue was 58.3 billion Swiss francs.
They also control the U.S. biotech company Genetech as well as the Japanese biotech company Chugai Pharmaceuticals. Not only that but the US-based Foundation and Ventana Medical Systems (acquired for $3.4 billion) and Foundation Medicine as well.
Founded by Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche in 1896, Roche initially became known for producing vitamin preparations. In fact, they were the first company to mass-produce synthetic vitamin C in the 1930s. They later created the world’s first antidepressant during an experiment in 1956.
By the 1990s, they had also started producing antiretroviral drugs and HIV tests. They also bought the patents for the PCR technique.
As of 2024, the descendants of the founding Oeri and Hoffmann families own slightly more than half of the bearer shares. Interestingly enough, many members of the family no longer carry the ‘Hoffmann’ last name.
9. The Thomson Family – $53.9 Billion
The Thomson family controls the media and publishing empire Thomson Reuters, which was originally founded by Roy Thomson in 1934. At the time, it was an Ontario-based radio station, though it later became a newspaper.
Following his death, the company withdrew from broadcast media and national newspapers and moved to the publishing space instead. They subsequently merged with Thomson Newspapers and formed The Thomson Corporation. From there, they acquired West Publishing in 1996.
Then in 2008, the Thomson Corporation acquired the Reuters Group, a British multinational financial and media information company, creating Thomson Reuters. Currently, it operates as a DLC company with two parent companies: Thomson Reuters and Thomson Reuters Corporation, both of which are publicly listed. They’ve also acquired numerous companies over the years including compliance software company Complinet, Point Carbon A/S, Manatron, GFMS, Emochila, Dr Tax, and Pricing Partners, among several others.
In 2010, Thomson Reuters was ranked the number one Canadian corporate brand by Interbrand.
Currently, the company is headed by Roy’s grandson, David Thomson, who is included on Forbes’ billionaire list with a net worth of over $49 billion. In 2021, their net income exceeded $5.69 billion.
8. The Cargill-MacMillan Family – $65.2 Billion
The Cargill family operates Cargill, Incorporated, one of the largest and most successful food companies in the world. Based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, they’re also the largest privately held corporation in the U.S. based on revenue. Some of their major businesses include trading, distributing, and purchasing grains and other agricultural commodities such as palm oil. Not only that but they’re also involved with the raising of livestock, as well as the production of food ingredients such as vegetable oils and glucose syrup.
Founded by William Wallace Cargill in 1865, the company started out as a grain flat house in Iowa. By the 1930s, the company had grown several folds under the leadership of John Millan, with record profits.
Currently, they have more than 166,000 employees worldwide and are responsible for one-quarter of the U.S.’s grain exports. They also support more than 20 percent of the country’s domestic meat market. For example, all of the eggs used by Mcdonald’s go through their plants.
A family-owned business, the descendants from the Cargill and MacMillan families own over 90 percent of the company. It’s currently headed by Dave MacLennan, who serves as the chairman and CEO.
7. The Wertheimer Family – $79 Billion
The Wertheimer Family owns the French high-end luxury brand Chanel. Despite their wealth, they keep to themselves and rarely speak to the media about the company or their family life. In fact, they’ve never even attended the opening of a Chanel store. Even if they do attend an event, it’s in their own cars. For this reason, they’ve been described as “one of the most discreet billionaires” by the New York Times.
Currently, the company is headed by brothers Gerard and Alain Wertheimer (the latter chairs the brand’s watch division); they had taken over as co-owners following the death of their father, Jacques Wertheimer, in 1996. They are the third generation to run the company.
Founded by Gabrielle Coco Chanel in 1910, Chanel started out as a millinery shop in Paris. They eventually began selling clothes such as flannel blazers, sailor blouses, linen skirts, and sweaters made of jersey fabric. By the end of the First World War, they had also started to sell leather handbags. However, it wasn’t until the mid-1950s that they became a revolutionary fashion piece.
Nowadays, the company offers ready-to-wear, accessories, and luxury goods and employs more than 28,500 worldwide with over 500 boutiques across the globe. In 2021, their total income was over the $4 billion mark.
6. The Ambani Family – $84.6 Billion
The Ambani Family owns Reliance Industries, the only Asian company on our list. Based in Mumbai, the Indian multinational conglomerate company has diverse businesses in retail, energy, textiles, natural gas, mass media, and petrochemicals. Not only are they the largest company in India, but they’re also one of the most profitable. In 2022, their total net income was over $8.5 billion. Given that, it’s not surprising to know that they’re also one of the biggest employers in India.
The largest exporter in India, they account for 7 percent of the country’s total merchandise exports and have access to markets in over 100 countries. They also have a number of subsidiaries including Jui Platforms, Network 18, Digital Fibre Infrastructure Trust, Associates, Reliance Strategic Business Ventures, Former Holdings, Reliance Solar, Reliance Retail, and Reliance Logistics, among numerous others (they have more than 350 subsidiary companies as of 2022). In 2017, they also acquired the Indian mobile network provider Reliance Communications for ₹23,000 crores.
Currently, the company is headed by CEO Mukesh Ambani, whose late father, Dhirubhai Ambani, founded the company nearly five decades ago in 1973.
5. Hermès Family – $94.6 Billion
The Hermès family owns and operates the French luxury fashion house of the same name. Established in 1837 by Thierry Hermès, the company started out as a harness workshop in Paris, one that was dedicated to serving noblemen. By the 1880s, they had introduced saddlery and had begun catering to the elite of Asia, North Africa, Europe, Russia, and the Americas.
Nowadays, they specialize in leather goods, perfumery, watches, jewelry, lifestyle accessories, ready-to-wear, and home furnishings. While the company experienced a decline in the 1990s, it was only temporary. By the 2000s, their sales had grown significantly. Around that same time, they launched The Hermès Foundation, which aims “to support creation and craftsmanship activities.” They also operate several contemporary art spaces including Le Forum in Tokyo, La Verriere in Belgium, and Atelier Hermes in South Korea.
In 2018, they opened a multi-story retail store in Dubai, which is their largest location to date. And the following year, they were included in Forbes list of “World’s Most Valuable Brands.”
Today, the company is headed by Axel Dumas, who serves as the executive director, and Pierre-Alexis Dumas, who is the executive vice president. In 2021, their total net income was over €2.445 billion (approximately $2.6 billion USD).
4. The Al Saud Family – $105 Billion
The Al Saud Family or the House of Saud, is the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia. Its members include the descendants of Muhammad bin Saud, the founder of the First Saudi state, as well as his brothers. However, the ruling faction is mainly led by the descendants of Ibn Saud, who is credited as the modern founder of Saudi Arabia. In total, the family consisted of nearly 15,000 members. However, only 2,000 possess the majority of influence, wealth, and power. For this reason, it’s hard to access the exact wealth of the family (many have also founded businesses, which makes it even more difficult to calculate).
As it is, succession to the throne was designed so that it’s passed from the son of the first king to another. The current king, King Salman, had replaced his brother, who was the next crown prince, as well as his nephew.
The Saudi royal family also has connections with Saudi Aramco, one of the most profitable companies in the world. Not only do they have the second-largest crude oil reserves but they also have the largest daily oil production worldwide.
3. The Koch Family – $129 Billion
The Koch family owns Koch Industries, one of the largest privately owned companies in the U.S. Headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, the corporation is mainly involved in the refining, manufacturing, and distribution of chemicals, energy, minerals, petroleum, fertilizer, and pulp and paper. Not only that but they also deal with commodity market trading, chemical technology equipment, as well as other investments.
Founded in 1940 by Fred C. Koch, the company came to be after he developed a new way of refining crude oil. Following his death in 1967, the company was split among his sons. Nowadays, it’s headed by Charles Koch (he partnered up with his brother David up until his death in 2019), who has an estimated net worth of nearly $60 billion.
Currently, the company employs more than 122,000 individuals across 60 countries. They also own a number of subsidiaries including Flint Hills Resources LP, Guardian Industries, Kock Supply & Trading, Invest, Georgia-Pacific, Arteva Europe S.a.r.i., and Molex, among others.
2. Mars Family – $160 Billion
The Mars family owns Mars, Inc., one of the largest confectionary companies in the world. According to Forbes, they are the fourth largest privately held company in the U.S. In 2020, their total revenue was over $37 billion; it later went up to $40 billion in 2021.
The company began in 1911 when Frank C. Mars began selling a buttercream candy out of his Tacoma home. From there, he eventually bought a factory, which produced and sold fresh candy wholesale. However, it wasn’t until he created the Milky Way bar in 1923, that the company became widely known. Advertised as “chocolate malted milk in a candy bar”, it quickly became the best-selling chocolate bar in the U.S. Not long afterward, he created the Snickers bar, which also proved to be popular in the US markets.
Nowadays, the company creates several popular confectionary items including Mars bars, Twix, Snickers, Skittles, M&M’s, and Milky Way Bars. They also produce pasta sauce as well as pet foods, including the Royal Canin, Pedigree, Nutro, and Whiskas brands. In 2007, they also introduced a genetic test for dogs called the Wisdom Panel.
Currently, the Mars company is run by the fourth generation of the family.
1. The Walton Family – $224.5 Billion
The Waltons is the richest family in the United States with an estimated net worth of $224.5 billion. Their wealth comes from the retail behemoth Walmart, which was founded by Sam Walton in 1962. Currently, the retailer is the largest company in the world, with a revenue of $570 billion in 2022.
In total, there are more than 10,500 retail stores worldwide and over 4,700 across the United States. If you were to comprise all of the employees into their own city, it would be the fifth-most populous in the U.S—that’s how many employees they have.
Founded in 1962, the company began when Sam Walton, a former JC Penney employee, purchased a store with the aim of selling products at low prices to get more sales. While he initially experienced setbacks, mainly due to the high lease price, he was eventually able to locate lower-cost suppliers, which allowed him to undercut his competitors on pricing. He later opened the first Wal-Mart Discount City Store on July 2, 1962.
By 1969, the company had become incorporated and had changed its name from Wal-Mart, Inc. to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. That same year, they opened their first distribution center and home office.
As of 2022, Sam Walton’s descendants own more than 50 percent of the company through their holding company.