Revealed: The World’s Richest Families 2023 – Oil Fortunes Shape Global Wealth Distribution


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The Bloomberg ‘World’s Richest Families 2023’ list, published earlier this week, revealed how the global wealth distribution is being reshaped by oil fortunes.

Based on the ranking, the House of Nahyan, the kin of Emirati President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has been identified as the wealthiest lineage globally. Their primary location, Abu Dhabi, is where the majority of the United Arab Emirates’ oil reserves are located. The net worth of the ruling family is estimated to be around $305 billion, making them the richest dynasty worldwide.

Second-richest is the US-based Walton family, which owns the world’s largest retailer by revenue, Walmart. Their estimated wealth amounts to $259.7 billion. Rounding up the top three is the French Hermes dynasty, which owns the eponymous luxury fashion brand. The House of Hermes’ estimated wealth is $150.9 billion.

The Mars family, which owns the US confectionery giant bearing their name, is the fourth richest, with a combined fortune of $141.9 billion.

Another new entrant– the House of Al Thanis, the royal family of Qatar– took fifth place in the ranking with an estimated $155 billion. The royals’ wealth is based on Qatar’s massive offshore oil deposits. However, Al Thanis also has signficant foreign assets, such as the fashion label Valentino.

The top ten also lists the Koch family, owners of the US petrochemical corporation Koch Industries ($127.3 billion), and the House of Saud, the royal family of Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter ($112 billion). They are followed by the Ambani family, owners of the Indian oil company Reliance Industries ($89.9 billion); the Wertheimers, owners of the French fashion house Chanel ($89.6 billion); and the Thompsons, holders of a controlling stake in Reuters news agency ($71.1 billion).

According to Bloomberg’s calculations, the combined wealth of the world’s 25 richest families has grown by $1.5 trillion over the past year, or roughly 43%. The agency also noted that the three Gulf families included in the ranking are “likely far richer than these conservative estimates.”

The wealthiest Russian individual, Vladimir Potanin, who helms Interros and holds a significant stake in Norilsk Nickel, boasts a net worth of $30 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His standing in the ranking is 49th.

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