These Are the World’s Richest Families (2024)

These Are the World’s Richest Families (1)


Walton wealth soared during the pandemic in a banner year for rich dynasties

By Devon Pendleton

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Scarcely a day goes by without a stock sale hitting the market: $99 million one day, $146 million the next, almost $294 million last week alone.

The discrete offerings, frequently by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., are on behalf of the Waltons, the world’s richest family. In the past seven months they’ve liquidated $6 billion of Walmart Inc. stock — an amount more than double the value of special bonuses Walmart paid its 1.5 million U.S. workers last year for recognition of their contributions during Covid.

These Are the World’s Richest Families (2)

And yet, it’s barely made a dent in their holdings. The descendants of Sam Walton still control 1,334,480,250 shares of Walmart directly and through family trusts, while their fortune, largely tied to their stake in the world’s largest retailer, has increased by $23 billion over the past year because of the rising stock price.

Walmart’s success has kept the family from Arkansas — now in its third generation — wealthier than Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, the two mega-billionaires of our era, and almost $100 billion ahead of the world’s second-richest dynasty, the Mars clan, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Read more: World’s Wealthiest Families Gained $312 Billion Over Past Year

The two families were among the biggest winners in the past year as governments and central banks flooded economies with cash, fueling a boom in e-commerce, comfort food and spending on pets. But they were far from alone. As the pandemic reshaped the way we live and work, the 25 wealthiest families on the planet added $312 billion to their collective fortunes, a 22% gain since last August.

“Its been the perfect storm for dynastic wealth accumulation,” said Bob Lord, an Arizona-based tax attorney and consultant for Americans for Tax Fairness.

Those ranked on the Bloomberg list represent multiple industries and geographies. The Johnsons of Boston-based Fidelity Investments were lifted by the surge in online trading. Asia’s richest family, the Ambanis, benefited from a pivot to green and digital, while the world’s biggest luxury fortunes, whose futures looked fraught at the depths of the health crisis, rose most of all. The family behind Paris-based Hermes soared 75% to $112 billion. The Lauders of Estee Lauder debuted on the ranking.

These Are the World’s Richest Families (3)

The list excludes first-generation billionaires and isn’t definitive — some families’ fortunes, such as the Rockefellers’, are so diffuse it’s hard to track their assets.

Lord doesn’t see much of a surprise in the gains given years of policies designed to benefit the very top echelons of wealth. At the heart of that is tax policy that’s permitted the 0.001% to pay “absurdly” low income tax rates, allowed for giant loopholes in inheritance taxes and enabled a steady decline in corporate rates, he said.

Backlash against widening inequality isn’t new. But as the pandemic deepened the gulf, it’s triggered a cascade of efforts from Beijing to Washington to tax the uber-rich, targeting big companies, investment income and inherited wealth.

In the U.S., President Biden and congressional Democrats have proposed a variety of ways to target the rich, including higher capital gains and income tax rates and new rules that would make it difficult to pass on assets to heirs tax-free.

That’s already spurring families to take action. The Mills family of Chicago sold Medline, their medical business, to private equity firms for more than $30 billion, in part to get ahead of more punitive rates as well as provide liquidity to family members. A Walmart spokesman said the Waltons’ disposals are part of an effort to keep the family’s ownership percentage stable amid stock buybacks, and wouldn't say whether taxes are a motivation. Some of the proceeds will work their way to the family’s philanthropic foundation.

Also, it’s not clear that the Democrats will achieve their objectives in a fiercely divided congress. Some of America’s richest families — the Kochs in particular — have been on the frontline of defending tax breaks for decades, lobbying for provisions they currently enjoy. The Mars family is part of a group that’s spent millions since 2012 lobbying for estate and gift-tax reform, according to Senate disclosures.

The impact of higher inheritance taxes could significantly reshape many of these fortunes. Take the Lees of Samsung. The South Korean clan dropped off this year’s ranking after paying an $11 billion inheritance tax following last year’s death of patriarch Lee Kun-hee.

The Lees however are an exception. While South Korea has among the highest inheritance taxes in the world, there’s a multiplicity of ways wealthy families can sidestep levies. In France, inheritances are taxed up to 45% and still the country boasts four families ranked among the world’s richest, more than any nation besides the U.S.

The question mark over future tax policy has been a chief challenge for wealthy families this year, at least in the U.S., according to Karen Harding, head of the private wealth group at Boston-based NEPC.

“When you think about significant wealth, the tax piece is massive. If you structure things right or structure things wrong, it can dominate what the ultimate outcome is,” she said.

These families “can plan for anything, they just need to know what it is.”


Name Walton

Company Walmart

Wealth $238.2bn

Industry Consumer retail

Location Bentonville, Arkansas

Generations 3

These Are the World’s Richest Families (4) Walmart is the world's largest retailer by revenue, with sales of $559 billion from more than 10,500 stores worldwide. The Walton family owns 48% of the retailer, a stake that’s the foundation of the world’s largest fortune.

Did you know?
Walton family members have sold $6 billion worth of shares this year.


1945: Sam Walton buys his first store.

1992: Son Rob becomes chairman after father Sam's death.

2020: Company issues $2.8 billion in special bonuses to U.S. workers for efforts during the pandemic.


Name Mars

Company Mars

Wealth $141.9bn

Industry Confectionery, pet care

Location McLean, Virginia

Generations 5

These Are the World’s Richest Families (5) Frank Mars began selling molasses candies in 1902 at the age of 19. The business he went on to create is best known for M&Ms, Milky Way and Snickers bars, though pet-care products make up about half of the company's $39.2 billion in revenue. The closely held business is owned by members of the Mars family.

Did you know?
Mars pays relatively little in dividends compared to peers, choosing instead to reinvest in the business according to a March 2021 Moody's credit opinion.


1883: Frank Mars is born. He contracts polio as a young boy and is unable to walk to school.

1932: Forrest E. Mars Sr. moves to the U.K.

1963: Mars opens a chocolate factory in the Netherlands.

2001: John and Jacqueline Mars retire from the company.

2020: Two Mars family members file suit to challenge an IRS estate tax ruling.


Name Koch

Company Koch Industries

Wealth $124.4bn

Industry Industrial

Location Wichita, Kansas

Generations 3

These Are the World’s Richest Families (6) Brothers Frederick, Charles, David and William inherited father Fred’s oil firm. A fraternal feud over control of the company in the early 1980s led Frederick and William to leave the family business while Charles and David stayed. It has since grown into Koch Industries, a conglomerate with annual revenue of about $115 billion. The family manages a portion of its wealth through family office 1888 Management.

Did you know?
Spring Creek Capital, an asset-management arm of Koch Industries, invested in more than 250 special purpose acquisition companies in 2021.


1940: Fred Koch co-founds the Wood River Oil & Refining Co.

1961: Charles Koch joins his father Fred at the company.

2017: Koch Industries starts venture capital arm, Koch Disruptive Technologies, led by Charles Koch's son Chase.


Name Hermes

Company Hermes

Wealth $111.6bn

Industry Luxury goods

Location Paris

Generations 6

These Are the World’s Richest Families (7) The sixth-generation family owns the French luxury fashion company famous for its Birkin handbags which can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Among the family members who maintain senior positions at the company are Pierre-Alexis Dumas, the artistic director, and Axel Dumas.

Did you know?
Revenue at the company’s watch division almost doubled in the first quarter from a year earlier.


1837: Thierry Hermes starts to make riding gear for noblemen.

1880: Business moves to 24 Faubourg Saint-Honore, Paris.

1902: Grandsons Emile Maurice Hermes and Adolphe Hermes become joint presidents of the company.

1950s: Emile's sons-in-law, Robert Dumas and Jean-Rene Guerrand, diversify operations.

1978: Jean-Louis Dumas establishes global network of stores.

2014: Axel Dumas becomes chief executive officer.


These Are the World’s Richest Families (8) The 89-year-old monarchy for which Saudi Arabia is named can credit the nation's unrivaled oil reserves for seeding its collective fortune. This net worth estimate is based on cumulative payouts royal family members are calculated to have received over the past 50 years from the Royal Diwan, the executive office of the king. The total wealth controlled by its estimated 15,000 extended members is likely much higher. Many royals have made money through brokering government contracts and land deals and by founding businesses that service state companies, such as Saudi Aramco. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, son of Saudi's seventh monarch, King Salman, personally controls assets worth more than $1 billion.

Did you know?
Saudi royal Prince Alwaleed sold part of his stake in the Four Seasons hotel chain to Bill Gates’s Cascade investment vehicle for $2.2 billion in September.


1902: Ibn Saud, founder of modern Saudi Arabia, reclaims his ancestral home of Riyadh, kicking off three decades of territorial conquests.

1975: King Faisal is assassinated by his nephew.

2019: Saudi Aramco goes public after revealing itself as world’s most profitable company.


Name Ambani

Company Reliance Industries

Wealth $93.7bn

Industry Industrial

Location Mumbai

Generations 3

These Are the World’s Richest Families (9) Dhirubhai Ambani, the father of Mukesh and Anil, started building the precursor to Reliance Industries in the 1950s. When Dhirubhai died in 2002 without leaving a will, his widow brokered a settlement between her sons over control of the family fortune. Mukesh is now at the helm of the Mumbai-based conglomerate, which owns the world's largest oil refining complex. He lives in a 27-story mansion that’s been called the world’s most expensive private residence.

Did you know?
Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries raised $27 billion from KKR, Silver Lake and others last year to help speed its shift from energy to tech.


1957: Dhirubhai Ambani returns to India from Yemen, and starts a yarn trading business out of a small office in Mumbai.

1977: Mukesh joins the board of Reliance.

2019: Anil spared jail time after Mukesh steps in to settle his overdue payment. Anil issues statement saying he's "deeply grateful."


Name Wertheimer

Company Chanel

Wealth $61.8bn

Industry Luxury goods

Location Paris

Generations 3

These Are the World’s Richest Families (10) Brothers Alain and Gerard Wertheimer are reaping the benefits of their grandfather's funding of designer Coco Chanel in 1920s Paris. Their family owns the closely held fashion house, which introduced the "little black dress" to the world and had revenue of $10.1 billion in 2020. The Wertheimers also own racehorses and vineyards. Their half-brother, Charles Heilbronn, runs family office Mousse Partners.

Did you know?
Chanel paid the family $1.7 billion in dividends in 2019. Last year it paid zero.


1924: Businessman Pierre Wertheimer negotiates a perfume contract with fashionista Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel.

1983: German designer Karl Lagerfeld joins Chanel as artistic director.

2020: Chanel reports an 18% slump in revenue due to the pandemic.


Name Johnson (Fidelity)

Company Fidelity Investments

Wealth $61.2bn

Industry Finance

Location Boston

Generations 3

These Are the World’s Richest Families (11) The Boston mutual-fund empire was founded by Edward C. Johnson II in Boston in 1946. It is now run by his granddaughter, Abigail. The closely held firm has responded to the shift away from actively-managed funds in favor of low-cost index funds by launching zero-expense ratio funds and building a digital asset arm. The Johnsons’ family office, Crosby, is based in New Hampshire.

Did you know?
Fidelity announced plans in August to hire 9,000 new workers in the U.S. by the end of year amid a surge in stock trading.


1946: Boston-based lawyer Edward C. Johnson II founds the Fidelity Management and Research Company

1977: Ned Johnson becomes CEO.

2018: Abigail Johnson spearheads Fidelity’s push into cryptocurrencies with launch of Fidelity Digital Assets.


Name Thomson

Company Thomson Reuters

Wealth $61.1bn

Industry Media

Location Toronto, Canada

Generations 3

These Are the World’s Richest Families (12) The wealth of Canada’s richest family originated in the early 1930s when Roy Thomson opened an Ontario radio station. He branched out into newspapers and became the country’s leading owner. The family holds about a two-thirds stake in financial data and services provider Thomson Reuters through investment firm Woodbridge. The company had $6 billion of revenue last year.

Did you know?
Roy wrote in his 1975 memoir he set up trusts ensuring family control of the business for 80 years "so that death duties will not tear it apart."


1934: Roy Thomson buys his first newspaper, the Timmins Press.

1976: Roy’s son Ken becomes chairman of the family business interests after Roy dies.

2018: Thomson Reuters sells a majority stake in its financial and risk unit to Blackstone.


Name Boehringer, Von Baumbach

Company Boehringer Ingelheim

Wealth $59.2bn

Industry Pharmaceuticals

Location Ingelheim am Rhein, Germany

Generations 4

These Are the World’s Richest Families (13) The German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim was founded in 1885 by Albert Boehringer. More than 130 years later, the Boehringer family, encompassing the von Baumbachs, is still in charge. Chairman Hubertus von Baumbach and his extended family are owners of the closely held company. They invest in private equity through family office Profunda.

Did you know?
The company's Type 2 diabetes drug Jardiance is its top seller. It generated $2.9 billion in revenue in 2020.


1885: Albert Boehringer buys a small tartar factory in Germany.

1939: Albert Boehringer dies.

1992: Erich von Baumbach, son-in-law of Albert Boehringer Jr., is appointed chair of shareholders' committee.

2015: The company appoints a family member, Hubertus von Baumbach, as CEO for the first time in 25 years.


Name Cargill, MacMillan

Company Cargill

Wealth $51.6bn

Industry Industrial

Location Minneapolis

Generations 6

These Are the World’s Richest Families (14) Members of this family are majority owners of Cargill, a food and agriculture company that had revenue of $134 billion in the 12 months ending in May. It was founded by William W. Cargill, who started the commodities business with one grain storage warehouse in Conover, Iowa, in 1865. His descendants maintain control of the industrial giant. Both branches share a family office, Waycrosse.

Did you know?
The company had its highest-ever profit of $4.9 billion in fiscal 2021.


1865: William W. Cargill becomes the owner of a grain warehouse.

1884: John H. MacMillan starts working in his father's bank in Wisconsin.

1932: John MacMillan Jr. becomes general manager as his father experiences health issues.

1960: Erwin Kelm becomes the first Cargill president who is not a family member.

1980: Cargill enters the coffee-trading business.

2015: Cargill spins off investment firm Black River Asset Management into three separate companies.


Name Albrecht

Company Aldi

Wealth $51bn

Industry Consumer retail

Location Essen and Muelheim, Germany

Generations 3

These Are the World’s Richest Families (15) Brothers Theo and Karl Albrecht took over their parents’ grocery store after returning home from World War II and turned it into Aldi, a national chain of discount supermarkets. The brothers divided the business in the 1960s. The two branches – Aldi Nord and Aldi Sued – now have more than 10,000 stores combined. Theo’s side of the family also owns Trader Joe’s, which it bought in 1979.

Did you know?
Aldi Nord is controlled by three trusts, set up by Theo Sr. to ensure long-term family control.


1913: Albrecht grocery store opens in Essen, Germany,

1971: Theo Albrecht kidnapped for 17 days and $2 million is paid for his release.

2014: Karl Albrecht dies, passing control of Aldi Sued to his two children.


Name Lauder

Company Estee Lauder

Wealth $49.3bn

Industry Cosmetics

Location New York

Generations 3

These Are the World’s Richest Families (16) Raised in Queens to Hungarian-Czech immigrants, Estée Lauder began selling skin care and makeup products in New York beauty salons. In 1946 she and her husband Joseph launched a company to sell her own skin creams, and after one year received an order for $800 worth of products from Saks Fifth Avenue. Today Estee Lauder sells skin care, hair products, fragrance and cosmetics throughout the world. Still controlled by members of the family, it had revenue of $16.2 billion in fiscal 2021. RSL Investments is the investment office of second-generation member, Ronald.

Did you know?
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, founded by Leonard’s late wife, Evelyn, has raised $1 billion since its inception in 1993.


1946: Estee Lauder develops her own beauty line, starting with four products.

1958: Following service at sea as a naval officer, Leonard Lauder joins his mother’s company.

2010: William Lauder steps down as CEO of Estee Lauder. Non-family member Fabrizio Freda takes over.


Name Hoffmann, Oeri

Company Roche

Wealth $47.3bn

Industry Pharmaceuticals

Location Basel, Switzerland

Generations 5

These Are the World’s Richest Families (17) Drug maker Roche Holding was founded by entrepreneur Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche in 1896. His descendants control 9% of the company, whose blockbuster oncology drugs helped the group generate $62 billion in 2020 revenue. Family members have been prominent supporters of nature conservation.

Did you know?
The family shareholder pool received more than $700 million in dividends from Roche in 2020.


1896: Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche launches a medicine company at 28.

1932: Fritz Hoffmann's son Emanuel dies in a traffic accident.

1961: Lukas Hoffmann co-founds World Wildlife Fund.

1996: Andre Hoffmann joins the board of Roche.

2019: Seven members of the fifth generation join the family's shareholder pool.


Name Mulliez

Company Auchan

Wealth $45.9bn

Industry Consumer retail

Location Lille, France

Generations 4

These Are the World’s Richest Families (18) The Mulliez family had already built a retail empire by the time Gerard Mulliez started Auchan, known as France’s Walmart, in 1961. Auchan has grown into one of Europe’s biggest supermarket chains. The family holding company, Association Familiale Mulliez, controls a diverse group of retail businesses, including home-improvement chain Leroy Merlin. Their family office, Creadev, focuses on entrepreneurs trying to increase access to essential goods and services.

Did you know?
Creadev allocates about $236 million to invest every year.


1931: Gerard Mulliez is born into a family that runs a clothing company.

1961: Mulliez opens the first Auchan store in France.

1998: Auchan expands into Hungary.

2020: China’s Alibaba pays $3.6 billion to take control of a Chinese hypermarket operator from the Mulliez family.


Name Quandt

Company BMW

Wealth $42.3bn

Industry Automotive

Location Munich

Generations 4

These Are the World’s Richest Families (19) Herbert Quandt helped turn Bayerische Motoren Werke from a struggling carmaker into one of the world's largest manufacturers of luxury vehicles. Family matriarch Johanna Quandt died in 2015 and her children, Stefan Quandt and Susanne Klatten, own nearly half the company.

Did you know?
BMW’s first quarter revenue rose 22% from a year earlier.


1883: Emil Quandt acquires a textile company owned by his late father-in-law.

1933: Guenther Quandt joins the Nazi Party.

1995: An overhaul of insider trading laws forces the family to disclose it owns nearly half of BMW.

2015: Johanna Quandt, Herbert's widow, dies.


Name Dassault

Company Dassault Systemes

Wealth $41.9bn

Industry Software, Aviation

Location Paris

Generations 3

These Are the World’s Richest Families (20) Born in Paris in 1892, Marcel Dassault invented a type of aircraft propeller during World War I that was used by the French military. By the 1960s Marcel’s company, Dassault Aviation, was shipping planes overseas, eventually becoming best known for its Mirage and Rafale fighter jets. The family-controlled Dassault Group today also includes software, media and real estate businesses. Its most valuable company is Dassault Systemes, a technology company with more than $5 billion in revenue that provides 3D surface modeling of wind tunnels and other structures. The family invests in venture, real estate, private debt and other assets through family office Groupe Industriel Marcel Dassault.

Did you know?
Dassault comes from the French word for “attack,” and was the alias for Marcel’s brother, a resistance fighter in World War II.


1928: Marcel Dassault sets up airplane manufacturing company Société des Avions Marcel Bloch, which he later renames Dassault Aviation.

1986: Marcel Dassault dies. His son Serge takes over as chief executive of Dassault Group.

2018: Serge Dassault dies at 93, passing control of Dassault Group to his four children.


Name Newhouse

Company Advance Publications

Wealth $41.6bn

Industry Media

Location New York

Generations 3

These Are the World’s Richest Families (21) Samuel Irving Newhouse founded Advance in 1922. He built up a portfolio of newspapers, magazines, cable television and radio stations that sons Samuel and Donald eventually ran. In recent years the group has sought to diversify, and purchases have included the Ironman race series. A family-owned fund, Advance Venture Partners, invests in software, commerce and media sectors.

Did you know?
Advance bought Reddit in 2006 for reportedly between $10 and $20 million. They’re still one of the largest shareholders of the site, which was recently valued at $10 billion.


1922: S.I. Newhouse establishes Advance Publications.

1998: Book publisher Random House sold to Bertelsmann.

2019: Conde Nast appoints Jonathan Newhouse as chairman of its board.


Name Van Damme, De Spoelberch, De Mevius

Company Anheuser-Busch InBev

Wealth $40.2bn

Industry Beverages

Location Leuven, Belgium

Generations 5

These Are the World’s Richest Families (22) The collective enterprise of these three Belgian beermaking families has roots in the 14th century. The Van Damme family joined the others when the 1987 merger between Piedboeuf and Artois led to the creation of Interbrew, which merged with Brazil’s AmBev in 2004.

Did you know?
The De Spoelberch and De Mevius families founded investment firm Verlinvest, a major shareholder in Oatly.


1895: Edmond Willems, owner of the Artois brewery, dies.

1926: Stella Artois is released as a Christmas beer.

1968: Artois takes over the Dommelsch Brewery.

1987: The Artois and Piedboeuf breweries merge.

2016: AB InBev merges with SABMiller.


Name Cox

Company Cox Enterprises

Wealth $38.6bn

Industry Communications, automotive

Location Atlanta

Generations 4

These Are the World’s Richest Families (23) The Cox family controls Cox Enterprises, a conglomerate with nearly $20 billion in revenue. Its Cox Communications division is one of the largest cable companies in the U.S. James M. Cox founded the company in 1898. His descendants, including James C. Kennedy and Blair Parry-Okeden, remain shareholders. The family invests outside the company’s core areas of autos and communications through the Cox Family Office.

Did you know?
Cox has invested more than $1 billion in cleantech. It recently bought indoor farming company BrightFarms.


1898: James M. Cox, 28, borrows $26,000 from friends and family to purchase the Dayton Evening News in Ohio.

1957: Jim Cox Jr. takes over the company after his father's death.

1988: Jim Kennedy, grandson of founder James Cox, is promoted to CEO and chairman.

2018: Alex Taylor takes charge of Cox Enterprises.


Name Rausing

Company Tetra Laval

Wealth $35.9bn

Industry Packaging

Location London

Generations 3

These Are the World’s Richest Families (24) The family’s wealth originated with the drink cartons pioneered by Ruben Rausing in Sweden in the 1950s. Descendants of Ruben’s son Gad control closely held Tetra Laval, one of the world’s biggest packaging companies. Another son of Ruben's, Hans, sold his stake in the business to Gad in 1995 and later invested in eco-friendly packaging and equities through London-based family office, Alta Advisers.

Did you know?
Tetra Laval’s dairy-equipment business, DeLaval, was the only division that saw an increase in sales last year, on rising demand for automated milking machines.


1929: Ruben Rausing becomes a partner in a packaging company.

1995: Hans Rausing sells his 50% stake in the business to brother Gad.

2019: Hans Rausing dies.


Name Kwok

Company Sun Hung Kai Properties

Wealth $35.6bn

Industry Real Estate

Location Hong Kong

Generations 3

These Are the World’s Richest Families (25) Kwok Tak-seng co-founded the predecessor to real estate company Sun Hung Kai Properties in 1963, going on to buy up lots of land in an optimistic bet on the city’s future development. It went public in 1972. The company has since become one of Hong Kong’s largest property developers and the basis of the Kwok family fortune. His sons, Walter, Thomas and Raymond, assumed control when he died in 1990.

Did you know?
The company reported $3.7 billion in contracted sales for its residential properties in the fiscal 2021 year.


1972: Kwok Tak-seng, a grocery wholesaler, incorporates Sun Hung Kai Properties.

2018: Walter Kwok dies, a decade after he was ousted as chairman in a feud with his brothers.

2020: Thomas Kwok re-joins family company as a senior director at a subsidiary after serving prison sentence for a bribery case.


Name Pritzker

Company Hyatt Hotels

Wealth $35.3bn

Industry Hotels

Location Chicago

Generations 4

These Are the World’s Richest Families (26) The son of a Ukrainian immigrant, A.N. Pritzker began investing in real estate and troubled companies while working for his father’s law firm. The investments seeded the fortune of one of America’s oldest dynasties, whose assets include Hyatt Hotels. Family members are prominent Democrats, with Penny Pritzker serving as U.S. commerce secretary under President Barack Obama. Family-owned investment vehicles include Pritzker Organization and Pritzker Private Capital.

Did you know?
The family sold 60% of industrial conglomerate Marmon to Berkshire Hathaway for $4.5 billion in 2007.


1903: Ukrainian Jewish immigrant Nicholas Pritzker establishes the law firm Pritzker & Pritzker.

1936: A.N. Pritzker and brother Jack branch out from law and start investing in real estate.

1957: Nicholas's grandsons Jay and Donald Pritzker create the Hyatt Hotels chain.

2019: J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, becomes governor of Illinois.


Name Ferrero

Company Ferrero

Wealth $34.5bn

Industry Confectionery

Location Alba, Italy

Generations 3

These Are the World’s Richest Families (27) Michele Ferrero built a global chocolate confectionery company from a single store in the small Italian town of Alba. His son Giovanni took sole charge of the family business after his brother Pietro died in a cycling accident in 2011. Ferrero acquired Nestle's U.S. candy business for $2.8 billion in 2018. The family manages money through their firms including Monaco-based Fedesa and Luxembourg-based Teseo Capital.

Did you know?
Newer products like Nutella biscuits boosted the company’s net sales to $14.6 billion in fiscal 2020.


1946: Pietro Ferrero creates a sweet paste from hazelnuts, sugar and cocoa in war-ravaged Italy.

1964: First jar of Nutella is produced.

2020: Company acquires U.K. granola-bar maker Eat Natural, in nod to healthier snack trend.


Name Johnson (SC)

Company SC Johnson

Wealth $33.8bn

Industry Household goods

Location Racine, Wisconsin

Generations 5

These Are the World’s Richest Families (28) Five generations of the Johnson family have built SC Johnson into a household-goods empire. Samuel C. Johnson began selling parquet flooring in 1882, a trade that became the foundation for SC Johnson. Fisk Johnson is the company’s chairman and chief executive. Its brands include Mr. Muscle, Raid and Windex. Johnson Keland Management is the name of their family office.

Did you know?
The family has a long history of collecting American art. Frank Lloyd Wright designed SC Johnson’s administration building.


1886: Samuel C. Johnson starts touring the countryside, selling flooring.

1906: Herbert F. Johnson Sr. becomes a partner.

1928: Herbert F. Johnson Jr. inherits the company at age 28, after his father's death.

1955: Samuel C. Johnson, great-grandson of the founder, becomes head of the new products division.

2004: Fisk Johnson becomes CEO.


Net worth figures are as of September 10, 2021. 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 Scott Carpenter, Ben Stupples, Tom Maloney, Venus Feng, Sophie Alexander, Blake Schmidt, David Kocieniewski.

  • Edited by: Pierre Paulden, Andrew Heathcote, Steven Crabill

  • Photos: Getty Images

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