Brazil is the biggest economic power in the South American continent. According to the Forbes List of 2012 World Billionaires by US dollar, there were 34 Brazilians included in that uber-rich group. Even in terms of Brazilian currency, there are 74 individuals and families in Brazil who can call themselves billionaires. Here is however a list of the richest Brazilian men, according to Forbes rankings and in evaluated in terms of US dollars1.
Eike Batista is Brazil’s richest man. This 55-year old mining tycoon is currently worth US$14.9 billion, a big drop from the US$30 billion he was worth roughly six months ago. At that time he was one of those rare tycoons who actually made more money in the last recession. His oil and gas driller, OGX Petroleo e Gas, produced its first oil in a test well offshore in late January; his 61% stake in the company is worth $19.8 billion, two-thirds of his net worth. Presently, he is the chairman of Brazilian conglomerate EBX Group. The group includes five companies that trade on the BOVESPA´s Novo Mercado, a special segment of the São Paulo stock market where enterprises with the highest standards of corporate governance are listed. Batista lost half his fortune in recent months due to the decrease of his listed companies’ share prices.
A former offshore power-boat racing champion, Batista has been married to a Playboy cover model and in 2009 questioned by the Brazilian police in connection with smuggling. However Batista denied all charges and emerged unharmed.
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Jorge Paulo Lemann
Lemann figures in the Forbes List as the second richest Brazilian with net worth of $14.5 billion USD. A self-made billionaire, Lemann actually started out as an investment banker having graduated from Harvard University but then went on to built a fortune in beer with partners, Marcel Telles and Carlos Alberto Sicupira. All the three have a controlling stake in Anheuser-Busch InBev and are now trying to turn around hamburger chain Burger King, which they bought via their investment firm 3G Capital for $4 billion in 2010. The 73 year old Lemann resides in Sau Paulo and is married with five children.
The third richest Brazilian in the world is Joseph Safra with a current with a net worth of $12.8 billion. Till March 2012, he had a net worth of $13.8 billion USD and also ranked 52nd on Forbes list of world billionaires but since then he has lost a billion dollars, mostly because of the Brazilian real currency devaluation.
The source of Saffra’s wealth is banking and currently he is his country’s richest banker. His Banco Safra is the ninth largest bank in Brazil, even then he is looking to expand his interests which is why in 2011 November His Grupo Safra announced in November it would spend roughly $1.1 billion to acquire control of Bank Sarasin, a private bank in Switzerland, from Rabobank of the Netherlands. Apart from this Joseph Safra has also been splurging on enhancing his business reputation since he paid $285 million early 2011 for the office portion of the 660 Madison Avenue building in Manhattan, home to Barneys New York.
Antônio Ermírio de Moraes
Antônio Ermírio de Moraes is the next name of the list of richest Brazilian men with a personal fortune of $12.2 billion USD. Apart from this, he has also been ranked number 316 on the Forbes list of 2012 world billionaires, De Moraes is the chairman of the Votorantim Group, one of the country's largest companies, specialized in metals, paper, cement and frozen orange juice. Apart from adding on to his wealth, De Moraes has also nurtured political ambitions - He ran for governor of São Paulo State in 1986, but lost the elections. In general though, during the course of his career, Moraes has had direct political involvement with campaigns to promote democracy, the improvement of the national health system and the generation of job opportunities. The top Brazilian businessman is also the grandfather of Indycar Series driver Mario Moraes.
Marcel Hermann Telles is the long-time partner of Jorge Paulo Lemann, the second richest man in Brazil. Telles owes his fortune of $5.7 billion USD to his stake in Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest beer company that Telles founded with Lemann and Carlos Alberto Sicupira. Telles has a degree in economics from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. In his personal life, the entrepreneur likes to practice diving and spend free time in Monaco. Telles is married and has two children.
Carlos Alberto Scipura
The final member of the trio that had founded Anheuser-Busch InBev, Carlos Alberto Scipura has a net worth of $5.2 Billion USD, as of March 2012. Apart from having a controlling stake in the AB InBev, the trio founded the investment firm 3G Capital which in turn bought hamburger chain Burger King in 2010 and is working to turn it around. The three partners also control listed Brazilian retailer Lojas Americanas.
The 64 year old Brazilian billionaire also ranks 196 on Forbes List of 2012 World Billionaires. Scipuro is married with three children and lives in Sau Paulo, Brazil.
The youngest member on the list of richest Brazilian men is thirty-year old Eduardo Saverin who owes his current net worth of $2.2 billion to his early involvement in the Facebook venture which has turned out to be one of the most defining cultural trends in modern times. The Brazil-born billionaire renounced his American citizenship in 2011 in favour of the highly developed Asian city-state Singapore. While the renunciation drew accusations of tax evasion in the US, Saverin defended his decision purely on personal grounds of choice of lifestyle. However Saverin has been careful to move to Asia only after settling lawsuit with former best friend Mark Zuckerberg and the social network. He has since invested in startups, including Qwiki and Jumio, which created the online payment company Netswipe.
What was America’s loss seems to be Asia’s gain since at just thirty years and still single, Saverin is one of the most sought after billionaires in the world after Zuckerberg got hitched last year in 2011.