The world’s richest families

Forbes magazine annually updates its ranking of the richest people on the planet, and for several years in a row, Tesla founder Elon Musk has been in first place. His current net worth is $255 billion. In second place is Bernard Arnault, head of the LVMH concern (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) with a capital of $201 billion, in third place is the head of Amazon Jeff Bezos with a personal fortune of $175 billion. But is there anyone richer than these people? Maybe someone has hidden capital and it is invested in special funds that cannot be tracked? It turns out that there is a person, or rather a family, richer than Elon Musk!

 world's richest families

Who is richer than Elon Musk?

1. Al Nahyan, UAE – $305 billion.

This is the Al Nahyan family, led by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The total capital of the Nahyan dynasty in 2023 is $305 billion, that is, 20% more than that of Elon Musk.
Abu Dhabi, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, is the country’s capital and home to the vast majority of its oil reserves. The ruling Al Nahyan family ruled what is now the UAE for decades, even before oil transformed the royal family’s economy and finances. The ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is also the country’s president. Other family members hold positions in both government and the private sector, somewhat blurring the lines between public and private interests. National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoun oversees nearly $1.5 trillion in assets—both personal and sovereign wealth funds.

2. Walton, USA – $259 billion.

In second place is the Walton family, owners of the Walmart supermarket chain in the USA. The heirs of Sam Walton have successfully managed the corporation for more than half a century and their total capital is $259 billion, which is also more than that of Elon Musk.
Walmart is the world’s largest retailer by revenue, with $611.3 billion in its most recent fiscal year from more than 10,500 stores worldwide. The Walton family owns 46% of the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer, a stake that forms the basis of America’s largest fortune.

3. Hermes, France – $151 billion.

In third place is the Hermes family, owner of the French fashion house. $151 billion
The sixth-generation family owns the French luxury fashion company, known for its Kelly bags, which can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction. Family members holding senior positions at the company include Pierre-Alexis Dumas, artistic director, and executive chairman Axel Dumas.

Mars, USA – $142 billion.

Frank Mars began selling molasses candy in 1902, at the age of 19. The business he created is best known for M&Ms, Milky Way and Snickers bars, although pet care products account for more than half of the company’s nearly $47 billion in sales. The privately owned business in McLean, Virginia is owned by members of the Mars family.

  1. Al Thani, Qatar – $133 billion.

The Al Thani family’s rule over Qatar began in the mid-19th century and continued through Ottoman and British imperialism, the founding of the modern state, wars and two coups. Oil was discovered around 1940, but it was the decision to develop huge offshore gas fields that truly transformed the country and catapulted its rulers into the upper echelons of global wealth. Family members hold numerous political positions and dominate the local economy, owning businesses ranging from hotels to insurers and contractors, as well as valuable overseas assets such as houses in London’s Mayfair, stud farms and fashion brand Valentino. The Al Thani family members number in the thousands, although power is concentrated within a few key branches of the dynasty. At one point, they made up nearly half the population of tiny Qatar, according to a Harvard study.

  1. Koch, USA – $127 billion.

Brothers Frederick, Charles, David and William inherited their father Fred’s oil company. A fraternal feud over control of the company in the early 1980s led to Frederick and William leaving the family business, while Charles and David remained. It became Koch Industries, a Wichita, Kansas-based conglomerate with annual revenues of about $125 billion. The family manages part of its wealth through the family office 1888 Management.

  1. Al Saud – $112 billion

The 91-year-old monarchy for which Saudi Arabia is named can credit the country’s unrivaled oil reserves for shaping its collective fortune. This net worth estimate is based on the total payouts that members of the royal family have received over the past 50 years. The total wealth of the entire dynasty, which includes approximately 15,000 people, is probably much greater. Many members of the royal family made money by brokering government contracts and land deals, and by founding businesses serving state-owned companies such as Saudi Aramco. The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund PIF has assets of more than $700 billion. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally controls more than $1 billion in assets.

  1. Ambani, India – $90 billion.

Dhirubhai Ambani, father of Mukesh and Anil, began building the predecessor of Reliance Industries in the 1950s. When Dhirubhai died intestate in 2002, his widow brokered an agreement between her sons for control of the family fortune. Mukesh now sits at the helm of a Mumbai-based conglomerate that owns the world’s largest oil refining complex. He lives in a 27-story mansion, which is called the most expensive private residence in the world.

  1. Wertheimer, France – $89.6 billion.

Brothers Alain and Gerard Wertheimer reap the benefits of their grandfather’s funding of designer Coco Chanel in 1920s Paris. Their family owns the closely held fashion house that introduced the world to the “little black dress” and generated $17.2 billion in revenue in 2022. The Wertheimers also own racehorses and vineyards. Their half-brother Charles Heilbronn runs the family office, Mousse Partners.

  1. Thomson, Canada – $71 billion

The wealth of Canada’s richest family began in the early 1930s when Roy Thomson opened a radio station in Ontario. He entered the newspaper business and became the country’s leading proprietor and eventually the first Fleet Baron Thomson. The family owns about 69% of financial data and services provider Thomson Reuters through investment company Woodbridge. The Toronto-based company had revenue of $6.6 billion last year.

  1. Cargill, Macmillan, USA – $63.3 billion.
  2. Johnson, USA – $55.7 billion
  3. Boehringer, Germany – $51.3 billion.
  4. Quandt, Germany – $49.4 billion
  5. Albrecht, Germany – $48.4 billion
  6. Pritzker, USA – $46.5 billion.
  7. Hoffman, Switzerland – $44.8 billion
  8. Van Damme, Belgium  – $43.5 billion
  9. Hartono, Indonesia – $42.1 billion
  10. Dassault, France – $39.2 billion.
  11. Cox, USA – $36 billion
  12. Mulier, France – $34.3 billion.
  13. Ferrero, Italy – $33.5 billion
  14. Kuok, Hong Kong  – $32.5 billion.
  15. Duncan, USA – $32 billion


by Abdullah Sam
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