Many of the families we work with are happy not to be celebrity names, preferring instead to be prominently known only in their own spheres of influence, or not to be in the spotlight at all.
But some families have names that are famous around the world, either because of the products and services which carry that family name, or because of their levels of wealth, or both.
These are the 10 wealthiest families in the world; many you will have heard of, and some which may surprise you.
- THE WALTON FAMILY
If you’ve not heard of the Waltons, you will certainly have heard of their empire – Walmart.
With an estimated wealth of $190.5 billion, this family is officially the richest one in America and indeed the world.
Walmart was first created in 1962, by Sam Walton, and has expanded from the initial single store to a global company with more than 12,000 stores.
Walmart hires so many people that if it were a city it would be the fourth largest in the US.
- THE MARS FAMILY
The surname best known as a globally successful brand of confectionery, the Mars family are also the force behind M&Ms.
They’re worth an estimated $126.5 billion, and have diversified into pet care company VAC as well.
The company Mars Inc was founded in 1911, and by 2015 was the sixth largest privately held company in America.
It’s now run by the fourth generation of the Mars family.
- THE KOCH BROTHERS
Fred C Koch founded an oil refinery in Kansas 1940, which eventually became known as Koch Industries.
With a new cracking method that refined crude oil into gasoline, the business is now the second largest privately held organisation in America.
Fred’s sons, David and Charles Koch, count as the third wealthiest family in the world with an estimated $124.5 billion.
This is partly due to their father’s work, but they have risen to prominence in their own right through their political and financing activities.
- AL SAUD – THE SAUDI ROYAL FAMILY
The House of Saud is vast and extended, so putting an exact figure on the family’s wealth is tricky, but they have an estimated wealth of $100 billion.
They are certainly the richest family based outside the US.
With a lineage going back almost 100 years, the family’s wealth comes from its relationship with oil company Saudi Aramco, as well as payments from the Royal Diwan.
- THE WERTHEIMER FAMILY
Alain and Gerhard Wertheimer are the brothers who now own the famous fashion house Chanel, which their grandfather co-founded along with Gabrielle Coco Chanel.
Their estimated worth is $57.6 billion, and they reside in France.
- THE DUMAS FAMILY
Hermés, the French fashion house famous for its scarves, was first founded in 1837 by Thierry Hermés.
Descended from Thierry are the Dumas family, who now run the company and are worth an estimated $53.1 billion.
- THE DE SPOELBERCH, VAN DAMME, AND DE MEVIUS FAMILIES
Individually and then collectively dominating the brewing industry for more than 500 years, these three Belgian families joined forces in 1987 when they formed Interbrew.
The brewing company has ensured the families are now worth around $53 billion.
- THE BOEHRINGER AND VON BAUMBACH FAMILIES
With an estimated worth of $51.9 billion, these two families jointly run the Boehringer Ingelheim pharmaceutical company in Germany and have for many generations.
- THE AMBANI BROTHERS
Between them, Mukesh and Anil Ambani are worth an estimated $50.4 billion, thanks to their leadership of Reliance Industries.
This Indian industrial conglomerate was founded in 1957 by their father, and has a portfolio including oil, textiles, gas and petrochemicals, along with telecommunications, entertainment and more.
- THE CARGILL AND MACMILLAN FAMILIES
Cargill Inc is a commodities company which was founded more than 150 years ago in Iowa.
It’s still run by the same two families six generations later, now in Minneapolis.
The Cargills and MacMillans are between them worth around $42.9 billion.
This article was compiled from data provided by investopedia.com.