It could well be that X Æ A-12 (yes, it’s a name) might be the richest heir in the world. His dad, Elon Musk, is already worth $68.7 billion and still has a fair few money-making years in front of him. But who knows – maybe Musk will blow all his money on a spaceship before little X Æ A-12 inherits a bean. The future’s another country, but the present is a calculable thing. So, for the purposes of this post, we’ve looked at the people who’ve already inherited everything they’re ever going to inherit to give you the low down on the 10 richest heirs in the world. Here they are (although as a slight warning before we kick-off, we’ve gone for families rather than individuals where applicable, if for no other reason than to avoid too much repetition of the world “Walton”).
10. Albrecht Family – Net Worth: $41 billion
Like the Waltons, the Albrecht family made their millions by developing a multinational chain of affordably priced grocery stores. It all started when brothers Theo and Karl Albrecht took over control of their parents’ grocery store after World War I. Sensing the time was ripe for expansion, they slowly began to build an empire that now expands across 20 countries and 10,000 stores. The family’s combined net worth is believed to be around $41 billion.
9. Johnson Family – Net Worth: $46.3 Billion
In 1946, Edward C. Johnson II founded Fidelity Investments. Today, it’s one of the largest financial services firms in the world. His heirs, meanwhile, are one of the richest families in the world, with a combined net worth of $46.3 billion.
8. Dumas Family – Hermès: $49.2 billion
Don’t underestimate just how rich you can get off neckties and perfumes. Since Thierry Hermès decided to get into business designing riding apparel for the upper classes in the 19th century, Hermès has grown into one of the leading fashion brands in the world. As you’d expect, Thierry’s descendants aren’t doing too badly for themselves – according to the latest estimates, the family’s combined net worth is $49.2 billion.
7. Ambani Family – Net Worth: $51.1 billion
The Ambanis are the richest family in Asia. They’ve made their fortune (which is estimated to be around $81.2 billion) through Reliance Industries, a multinational conglomerate company with interests in energy, petrochemicals, natural gas, retail, telecommunications, mass media, and textiles. The company was founded by Dhirubhai Ambani in 1966. Since his death, his son, Mukesh Ambani, has served as CEO. Under his stewardship, the company has grown exponentially and now ranks as the largest company in India by revenue.
6. Boehringer, von Baumbach Families – Net Worth: $51.9 Billion
Up next is the Boehringer and von Baumbach families, who owe their enormous wealth to German pharmaceuticals company Boehringer Ingelheim. Several generations and 130 years after the company was founded, the families still retain control of the company, which may well explain their giant net worth of $51.9 billion.
5. Wertheimer Family – Net Worth: $54.4 Billion
Chanel was founded in 1909 by Gabrielle Coco Chanel and Pierre Wertheimer. Since then, it’s become one of the most well-known and exclusive fashion houses in the world. These days, it’s run by Pierre’s grandsons, Alain and Gerhard Wertheimer, who helped reverse the then-struggling company’s fortunes when they took control in the 1970s. The family’s combined net worth is $54.4 billion.
4. Mars Family – Net Worth: $90 Billion
Up next with a net worth of $90 billion is the Mars family. Like the Waltons, the Mars family have made their wealth through a multigenerational business that focuses on providing the kind of cheap and cheerful goods that never go out of fashion. But while the Waltons sell a little bit of everything, the Mars family prefers to keep things sweet. Whenever you buy a Twix, a Mars Bar, a Snickers, or a bag of M&Ms, your money goes straight into the Mars’ pockets… or rather, the pockets of their family business, Mars Inc, which, according to Wikipedia, ranks as the 6th largest privately held company in the United States.
3. Koch Family – Net Worth: $109.7 Billion
When Fred Koch Sr. died, his enormous fortune and control of Koch Industries (maker of Dixie cups and Quilted Northern toilet paper, among other things) passed to his sons. Two of them, Bill and Fred Jr, didn’t have too much interest in the business, and sold their stakes to their brothers, David and Charles, in the 80s. Charles and David spent the next few decades devoting their time to the business and their money to slightly controversial political causes. David died in 2019, leaving his wealth to his widow Julia and their children. The family’s combined net worth is estimated by Investopedia to be in the region of $109.7 billion.
2. Walton Family – Net Worth: $300 Billion
Estimates about the Walton Family’s net worth vary considerably, but according to celebritiesnewss.com, it’s currently sat at a staggering $300 billion, making them far and away the richest heirs in America, but a very, very long way away from being the richest heirs in the world. The start of their story began in 1962, when Sam Walton founded a little store called Wal-Mart Discount City in Rogers, Arkansas. In the years since, that little store has grown up to become the largest corporation by revenue in the world. When Walton died in 1992, his fortune and shares in Walmart passed onto his widow and children.
1. Saudi Royal Family – Net Worth: $2 Trillion
There’s wealthy and then there’s the Saudi Royal family. According to wealthypersons.com, the descendants of Muhammad bin Saud are currently worth the frankly jaw-dropping sum of $2 trillion (and no, that’s not a typo). In fairness, it’s a big family, with around 15,000 members in total. The bulk of the wealth (not to mention the power), however, is held in the hands of a core group of 2000 family members. The family’s wealth is largely attributable to the payments it’s received from the Royal Diwan, the king’s executive office, along with its ties to the oil company Saudi Aramco.