The World's 200 Richest Women

17 July 2000

Reporter: Howard Lake, Fundraising UK Ltd

EuroBusiness Magazine has published a report in its August 2000 issue profiling the world's 200 richest women.

EuroBusiness's list of the richest women in the world focuses on women as individual wealth holders, and not on their families' combined wealth. Topping the list by a long way is Helen Walton, widow of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, with an estimated personal wealth of 46 billion. Number two on the list is Lilliane Bettencourt with 14.3 billion.

According to EuroBusiness' Wealth Editor Kevin Cahill: "the list shows, with exceptional clarity, how very great wealth is being created and how it is held."

The first Briton on the list is Queen Elizabeth II, with 3.11 billion. To qualify for the list you need to have wealth of 500 million. That's the wealth of HRH Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece, who closes the list at number 200. Ten percent of list members were listed under the UK heading. While some of the women were octagenarians there were some who were remarkably young: India James, with a wealth of 600 million, is listed as 8 years old!

It was reported earlier this week in ThirdSector magazine (13 July 2000, p.5) that another wealthy young woman, 15-year-old Athina Onassis (number 58 on the list), was considering giving her 1.275 billion fortune to charity when she reached 18.

Kevin Cahill analysed the list.Six of the top nine women had acquired wealth as first generation heirs of new businesses created by their fathers. Eight of the top 40 women either head their own billion-dollar business or are active directors. Only three of the top 40 have inherited "old money." Cahill commented that the list shows that "in the modern world, really serious wealth is now seldom more than a generation or two old. The top five women... are together worth around 90 billion. And the companies behind their wealth... are less than three generations old."

The World's 200 Richest Women is a special report in the August 2000 issue of EuroBusiness magazine.

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