IN his continuing search for the more weird and wondrous in this world, David Ellis says that to keep it all in the family, two of the world’s three wealthiest women are sisters-in-law, and between them worth a cool US$81.1-billion (AU$106-billion) from their links with discount retail giant Walmart.
The just-released Forbes Magazine’s list of World Billionaires says that Christy Walton, widow of John Walton whose father Sam founded Walmart in 1962, has been the world’s richest woman for five of the last six years, with a current worth of US$41.7b (that’s AU$54.5 000,000,000.)
And her sister-in-law Alice Walton is worth just slightly less – US$39.4b or AU$51.55b, even though she is the daughter of the late Sam, whose empire now embraces 11,000 stores in 27 countries and with some 200,000,000 customers a week.
Between these ladies is Liliane Bettencourt who as the main heiress to the L’Oreal cosmetics fortune is the world’s second wealthiest woman with a worth of US$40.1b (AU$52.6b.) However at 92 years of age she has nothing to do today with the running of the French company that her father founded, having been replaced on the board by her son Jean-Victor Meyers in 2012.
Forbes Magazine says there are 1,826 billionaires in the world today, of whom just 187 are women, and with only 26 of these self-made. The rest gained their billions through marriage or inheritance.