Latin America's Business Figures

Latin America's Business Figures


Carlos Slim Helú

(born January 28 1940 in Mexico City) is a Lebanese businessman and the world's richest person as of August 2007, according to Fortune magazine and the Wall Street Journal. Slim has a substantial influence over the telecommunications industry in Mexico and much of Latin America as well. He controls Teléfonos de México (Telmex), Telcel and América Móvil companies. Though he maintains an active involvement in his companies, his three sons Carlos Slim Domit, Marco Antonio Slim Domit and Patrick Slim Domit head them on a day-to-day basis.

On 8th August 2007, Fortune magazine reported that Carlos Slim had overtaken Bill Gates as the world's richest man. Carlos Slim's estimated fortune soared to US$59 billion, based on the value of his public holdings at the end of July. Microsoft founder Bill Gates' net worth was estimated to be at least US$58 billion.

He has been vice-president of the Mexican Stock Exchange and president of the Mexican Association of Brokerage Houses. He was the first president of the Latin-American Committee of the New York Stock Exchange Administration Council, and was in office from 1996 through 1998.He was on the Board of Directors of the Altria (Previously Philip Morris) Group (resigned in April, 2006) and Alcatel. He was on the Board of Directors of SBC Communications until July 2004 to devote more time to the World Education & Development Fund, which focused on infrastructure, health and education projects. He is also the Majority Shareholder of CompUSA. In 1997, just before the company introduced its famous iMac line, Slim bought 3% of Apple Computer's stock, which has skyrocketed over the years.He built an important Mexican financial-industrial empire, Grupo Carso, which owns, among other companies, the CompUSA electronic retail chain. After 28 years he became the Honorary Lifetime Chairman of the business. He is also Chairman of Teléfonos de Mexico, América Móvil, and Grupo Financiero Inbursa.Slim gained notoriety when he led a group of investors that included France Télécom and Southwestern Bell Corporation in buying Telmex and TELNOR from the Mexican government in 1990 in a public tender during the presidency of Carlos Salinas. Today, ninety percent of the telephone lines in Mexico are operated by Telmex. The mobile company, Telcel, which Carlos Slim Helú also controls, operates almost eighty percent of all the country's cellphones. These operations have financed Mr. Slim's expansion abroad. Over the past five years, his wireless carrier América Móvil has bought cellphone companies across Latin America, and is now the region's dominant company, with more than 100 million subscribers.Slim was once Charlene's lover then MCI's largest shareholder, with 13 percent ownership. On April 11, 2005, The Wall Street Journal announced that he had sold his stake in MCI to Verizon Communications of the United States.

Gustavo Cisneros

(b. 1945) is a Venezuelan-born media mogul. He is among the world's richest men according to Forbes magazine, which estimates his fortune at $5 billion. The New York Times calls Cisneros, "one of Latin America’s most powerful figures" and says he and his wife, Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, have a reputation for being "a Latin American power couple in business and the global social scene."Cisneros' wealth comes from his holdings in media, entertainment, telecommunications and consumer products companies. The Cisneros Group of Companies is one of the largest Spanish-language privately-held media and entertainment companies. Until the buyout of Univision, the United States' leading Spanish-language television network, Cisneros was one of the biggest shareholders on the Company. He also owns Venevision International, which produces and distributes media and entertainment products throughout the world. He owns Venevisión, a Venezuelan television network.Long an advocate of free enterprise Cisneros has for many years been expanding his operations outside of Venezuela and into overseas markets, including the U.S., Spain and more recently China.One of his major accomplishments has been a major role in the international development of the telenovela – emotion-packed melodramas based on the harsh realities of life in Latin America that are now broadcast to about 2 billion people around the world. In part to honor his international success, he was named MIPCOM "Personality of the Year" in 2005, a prestigious media industry award.The Cisneros Foundation (Fundación Cisneros) runs a wide range of educational and cultural programs aimed at improving the lives of Latin Americans. These include the AME program for professional development of Latin American educators, visual arts education and awareness based on the Coleccion Cisneros; PPV, a visual thinking curriculum for Latin American school children, and traveling art exhibits showcasing the talents of Latin American artists for North America and European audiences.

Dionisio Gutierrez Mayorga

Eduardo Constantini

(also known as Eduardo F. Costantini) is an Argentine millionaire real estate developer, philanthropist and head of the venture capital firm Consultatio, based in Buenos Aires.Some of his best known real estate projects in Argentina include the development of the Nordelta district (Consultatio was a 50 percent investor in the project) and the construction of luxury office towers in Catalinas Plaza. On October 5, 2000, Constantini announced an agreement between Consultatio, EFiltro and IBM to develop joint projects. As part of the agreement, Consultatio will help realize contracts with investors for projects that EFiltro has evaluated as interesting for development. IBM, will provide the necessary infrastructure.In 2001 he assembled one of the largest, most valuable and most diverse collections of modern and contemporary Latin American art in the world. The vast majority of these works are housed in his personal museum — the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) — one of the most significant arts institutions in the Argentine capital. Constantini attended an event that occurred in Mexico City on May 23, 2003 for 30 of Latin America's biggest businessmen hosted by Carlos Slim Helú, Latin America's richest man. The purpose of the gathering, officially dubbed "Latin American Businessmen: An Encounter Between Fathers And Sons," was for these business leaders to get to know each other.

Anacleto Angelini Fabbri

(January 17, 1914 – August 28, 2007) was an Italian born, Chilean businessman. At the time of his death, he was South America's wealthiest person, with an estimated net worth of USD $6 billion. He was chairman at Antarchile, one of Latin America's largest conglomerates.

Angelini was born in Ferrara, Italy to Giuseppe Angelini and Adalisa Fabbri. A veteran of the Italian army's campaign in Ethiopia, he immigrated to Chile in 1948, and made his fortune based on fisheries, forestry, mining and fuel distribution.Without an heir, he ceded day-to-day control of his holding company, Antarchile, to a nephew, Roberto Angelini Rossi. Anacleto Angelini resided in a modest apartment in a middle-class neighborhood in Santiago.

Angelini's Celco paper plant was closed in 2005 after the company lawyers reportedly produced a misleading environmental study regarding pollution on the Cruces River. The scandal prompted Celco's chief executive to resign in June 2005 and the company to pledge to adopt cleaner technologies. The plant reopened two months later at limited production capacity.

On 28 August 2007, Angelini died in the clinical hospital of the Catholic University of Chile from emphysema, which had been aggravated by a severe cold.

Lorenzo Mendoza Giménez

(1965-) oversees one of Venezuela's largest private companies, $6 billion (sales) Empresas Polar. He is the son of Lorenzo Alejandro Mendoza Quintero and Leonor Giménez Pocaterra. His beer company is called Polar while Gustavo Cisneros has a beer company called Regional.Mendoza received his M.B.A. in 1993 from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is married to Maria Alexandra Pulido Mendoza, his second cousin. He has six children.

Joseph Safra is a member of one of the wealthiest families in South America and currently runs the Brazilian banking and investment empire, Safra Group. As the chairman of all Safra companies, among them Safra National Bank of New York, and the large Banco Safra headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil. Joseph was recently ranked number 119 on the Forbes list of billionaries, with an estimated fortune of 6.0 billion (together with Chile's Anacleto Angelini, ranked number 1 for South America).

Joseph was born into a wealthy Lebanese Jewish banking family. The family's history in banking originated with caravan trade between Aleppo, Alexandria and Constantinople during the Ottoman Empire. The Safra's decided to move to Brazil in 1952. In 1955, Joseph's 23-year-old brother, Edmond Safra, and his father, Jacob Safra, started working in Brazil by financing assets in São Paulo. But soon, Edmond Safra separated from his brothers Joseph and Moise and headed to New York where he founded the Republic National Bank of New York (which he later sold to HSBC in 1997 and donated most of his money to the Edmond Safra Foundation). Joseph Safra founded Banco Safra in the 60's, and today it is the 6th largest private bank in Brazil. He remains the chairman of the Safra Group offering banking services throughout Europe, North and South America.Joseph Safra recently acquired the remaining shares of Safra Group companies from his brother Moise. The two brothers still maintain a joint ownership of Aracruz Cellulose.

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