Carlos Slim Helú, born 28 January 1940 in Mexico City, is a Mexican business magnate, engineer, investor and philanthropist. From 2010 to 2013, Slim was ranked as the richest person in the world by the Forbes business magazine. He derived his fortune from his extensive holdings in a considerable number of Mexican companies through his conglomerate, Grupo Carso. As of April 2019, he is the fifth-richest person in the world according to Forbes‘ listing of The World’s Billionaires, with he and his family having a net worth estimated at $63.1 billion. He is the richest person in Latin America.
His conglomerate includes education, health care, industrial manufacturing, transportation, real estate, media, energy, hospitality, entertainment, high-technology, retail, sports and financial services. He accounts for 40% of the listings on the Mexican Stock Exchange, while his net worth is equivalent to about 6 percent of Mexico’s gross domestic product. As of 2016, he is the largest single shareholder of The New York Times Company.
Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about him:
10. Though he loves to talk about technology, he is similar to Warren Buffett in that he prefers a pen and a paper to a computer.
9. He combined the entrepreneurial spirit passed down to him from his father, with being in the right place at the right time, acquiring several companies that were in the pits during the Mexican Revolution and growing them into billion dollar cash cows.
8. While being described as living a relatively frugal life, he is a cigar enthusiast and avid art collector.
7. His companies control 80% of the land lines and 70% of the cell phones in Mexico. His company was denied the opportunity to move into television in Mexico because of his perceived monopoly on the phone industry.
6. He is the son of Lebanese Christian immigrants to Mexico. His dad left Lebanon at the age of 14, and eventually became very successful with his new life in Mexico.
5. Slim controls more than 200 companies, taking diversification of assets to a new level. Among those are the New York Times, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Sears.
4. Helú still lives in Mexico and despite the current high crime rate, even drives himself to work.
3. He is obsessed with baseball because of his passion for statistics. He loves the New York Yankees.
2. By age 12, Carlos Slim bought his first stock, an investment in the Banco Nacional de Mexico. His investment paid off, as the bank was acquired by Citi.
1. Slim alone is worth about 6% of Mexico’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)!