Carlos Slim Helu

Carlos Slim Helu is a Mexican business tycoon, investor and philanthropist. He is currently the second richest man in the world with a net worth of $67 Billion. He held the No.1 position from 2010 to 2013. He is the chairman of America Movil and Chief Executive of Telmex. His holds a considerable amount of stocks in communications, technology, retail and finance industries in Mexico through his conglomerate Grupo Carso.

Quick Facts

Net Worth : $67 Billion

Source : Telecommunications

Born : January 28 1940 (Age 73)

Nationality: Mexican

carlos slim

World's Second Richest Man

Carlos Slim has held the position of the richest man on earth from 2010 to 2013. Smart investments in various companies enabled him to triple his wealth since 2005. Recently, Bill Gates overtook Slim and regain the top spot. While Slim scatters his personal fortunes in many different companies, America Movil remains the largest contributor to his personal wealth accounting for $49 Billion of his net worth. His total net worth is estimated to be around $67 Billion.

carlos slim richest mexican

Slim is the first Mexican to top the list of richest man in the world. He is also the first man from an Emerging Economy to top the list. Prior to Slim, the world's richest man has been held by an American for 16 years.

Business Genius

Since young, Slim has been exposed to business practices and training by his father. Slim's family owns real estate in the flourishing commercial district of Mexico City. The family business and real estate became a major source of wealth for the family.

With a good financial background an early training, Slim learnt how to be a good businessman and investor at a very young age. At the age of 12 he bought shares in a Mexican bank. This became the foundation of aggressive acquisition and stock investments in later stages of his business career.

carlos slim helu younger days

Younger Days

After graduating from college, Slim started a career as a trader in Mexico. He later went on to form his own brokerage firm. He also expanded his investments into individual businesses that ranges from construction, retail, manufacturing and restaurants, real estate and mining industries.

By the 70s, acquired seven more businesses and even bought an interest in a printing business. In the 80s Slim consolidated all his business under one parent company called Grupo Galas. By this time his conglomerate covers food and tobacco industry.

Opportunity Taker - Buying At Bargain Prices 

The Mexican economic crisis in 1982 saw Carlos Slim exercising his talents in business by buying business and companies at bargain prices. The Mexican economy went through a bad period with banks and businesses being collapsing and being nationalized. 

carlos slim helu

Slim took advantage of this situation and bought large interests or at times entire companies. His investments include:

  • General Popo
  • Reynolds Aluminio
  • Bimex Hotels
  • 40% interest in Mexican arms of British American Tobacco
  • 50% of The Hershey Company
  • Seguros de Mexico
  • Cigatam

Telecommunications Tycoon

Carlos Slim is most well known for his business involvement in the telecommunications industry. In 1990, he formed a venture sith France Telecom and Southwestern Bell Corporation to buy landline telephony company Telmex from the Mexican government. By 2006, 90 percent of the telephones line in Mexico were operated by Telmex. His mobile telephone company Telcel has an 80% market share of the country's cellphones.

The holding company of America Movil, America Telecom was incorporated in 2000. The company invested in various cell phone companies outside Mexico, which includes Brazilian ATL, Telecom Americas, Techtel of Argentina and others in Guatemela and Ecuador.

america movil

America Movil is the fourth largest mobile network operator in terms of equity subscribers in the world. It serves 246 million subscribers in 18 countries. With a market value of $93 Billion in 2012, America Movil is the most valuable company in Mexico larger than the next 3 most valuable companies combined.

Other Investments

Slim has huge stakes and investments in many different types of businesses. Here are some of them:

  • Opened Saks Fifth Avenue in Santa Fe, Mexico
  • Has a 8% stake in The New York Times Company
  • Bought the Mexican arm of Sears Roebuck

Monopoly and Inequality

Slim's personal fortune is often the subject of criticism as his fortune is made in a developing country like Mexico. The average per capita of Mexico is below $14,500 per year and about 17% of the population live in poverty.

Slim's Telmex control 90% of the landline telephone in Mexico while Telcel controls 80% of the cellphone market in the country. Telmex charges are among the highest for phone usage in the world.

Slim's domination of Mexico's conglomerates has been said to stunt the growth of smaller companies which result in the shortage of paying jobs and forcing Mexicans to move to the United States to seek better jobs.

carlos slim and wife

Carlos Slim Helu and wife Soumaya

Personal Life

Slim married Soumaya Domit Gemayel in 1967 and they remain married until her death in 1999. They have 6 children, Carlos, Marco Antonio, Patrick, Soumaya, Vanessa and Johanna.


Slim established two funds for philanthropic purposes, namely, Fundación Carlos Slim Helú in 1986  and Fundación Telmex in 1995. Slim claims he has funded the former fund with $4 Billion for charitable purposes but we are unable to confirm his claims as Mexican foundations are not required to publish financial information.

museum soumaya

Musuem Soumaya

The foundation also announced that it will invest more then $250 Million to develop Mexican Sports programs from grass roots to Olympic levels. The foundation is the sponsor of Museo Soumaya in Mexico City.

The museum is build in honor of his late wife and contains the world's second-largest collection of Rodin sculptures. It also holds 66,000 pieces of arts, including religious relics, works by Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Leonardo Da Vinci. 

Interesting Facts about Carlos Slim Helu

  • Despite being a billionaire, Slim lives in a modest six-bedroom house, a mile away from his office
  • Carlos Slim does not own a fleet of luxury cars. He likes to drive a car himself instead of having a chauffeur. 
  • He is a fan of Baseball Club "New York Yankess"
  • His company Grupo Carso is named after him and his wife Soumaya. The first three letters of his name and first two letters of his wife's name
  • He is the first man from a developing country to be the richest man in the world
  • Slim is of Lebanese descent
  • He was already born rich but made use of his wealth to build more businesses
  • He is a Maronite Christian. Maronite Christian numbers about 3.5 million in the whole. So called because they follow Saint Maron.
  • He likes to stay up late reading history books especially about Genghis Khan and his deceptive warfare.
  • He has the opinion that donation and charity is not the best way to help the poor. Building businesses and providing jobs with income is the way.

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