Alice Walton, heiress to the Wal-Mart Stores Inc fortune, listens during an interview at the Crystal Bridges
A banner year for billionaires has lifted the fortunes of female moguls around the globe. An all-time high of 2043 people made the ranks of FORBES’ World’s Billionaires, 227 of whom are women — a jump from last year’s 202 and a record for women billionaires. They make up 11% of the list and have a collective net worth of $852.8 billion. The majority of the richest women in the world inherited their money.
For the second year running, France’s Liliane Bettencourt is the world’s wealthiest woman with a $39.5 billion net worth. The cosmetics heiress’ fortune is $3.4 billion more than a year ago, but that was only good enough to secure her a spot at no.14 on the list, down from no.11 last year. Bettencourt owns a third of L’Oreal with her children; her father, Eugene Schueller, founded the company in 1907 and passed away in 1957. The 94-year-old, who suffers from dementia, has been mired in a legal battle against former confidante and photographer Francois-Marie Banier. In 2016, Banier was ordered to pay a $400,000 fine and relinquish $90 million in assets by a French appeals court, after he was found guilty of swindling Bettencourt in 2015. Banier is appealing the decision, while Bettencourt is appealing the reduced damage payment.
The second richest female in the world is Alice Walton, who is worth $33.8 billion, $1.5 billion more than last year, but slips a spot in the yearly rankings to no.17 in 2017. The only daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, Alice has not taken an active role in the family business but is the wealthiest woman in America, primarily thanks to her share of Wal-Mart stock and hefty dividends payments. She is one of four Walton women in the ranks, who altogether are worth a combined $49.5 billion. The others are her sister-in-law Christy Walton, the widow of her brother John, and her cousins, Anne Walter Kroenke and Nancy Walton Laurie.
Rounding out the world’s top 10 richest women is a group of heiresses who may not be personally well known but who make their fortunes from big and beloved brands. That includes Jacqueline Mars, worth $27 billion, whose grandfather Frank Mars founded the world’s largest candymaker, Mars Inc., in his kitchen in 1911; Maria Franca Fissolo, worth $25.2 billion, whose father-in-law created the spread that became Nutella, and whose late husband, Michele Ferrero, built the Ferrero Group into a snacks powerhouse with Ferrero Rocher, Kinder Chocolate and Tic Tacs brands under its umbrella; and Steve Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, whose $20 billion fortune comes from her shares in Apple and Disney.
The woman who had the best year was Gina Rinehart. The iron ore magnate’s net worth jumped $6.2 billion to $15 billion, making her the richest person in her country and no. 69 in the world, a big jump from her spot at no. 127 a year ago.
Source By https://www.forbes.com