Carlos Slim, Chairman of Grupo Carso, arriving in the Presidential Palace for a meeting with Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on October 24, 2007
|Born||Carlos Slim Helú
January 28, 1940
Mexico City, Mexico
|Residence||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Alma mater||Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México|
|Occupation||Chairman & CEO of Telmex, América Móvil, Samsung Mexico and Grupo Carso|
|Known for||World's wealthiest person (2007, 2010-2013)|
|Net worth||US$71.2 billion (2013)|
|Spouse(s)||Soumaya Domit (m. 1967; w. 1999)|
|Parents||Julián Slim Haddad (deceased)
Carlos Slim Helú (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkaɾlos esˈlim eˈlu]; born January 28, 1940) is a Mexican business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. From 2010 to 2013, Slim was ranked as the richest person in the world, but that position has been regained by Bill Gates. His extensive holdings in a considerable number of Mexican companies through his conglomerate, Grupo Carso, SA de CV, have amassed interests in the fields of communications, technology, retailing, and finance. Presently, Slim is the chairman and chief executive of telecommunications companies Telmex and América Móvil.
América Móvil, which was Latin America’s largest mobile-phone carrier in 2010, accounted for around US$49 billion of Slim's wealth by the end of that year. His corporate holdings as of December 2013 have been estimated at US$71.2 billion.
Slim was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1940 to Maronite Catholic parents Julián Slim Haddad and Linda Helú, both of Lebanese descent. His father, born Khalil Salim Haddad Aglamaz, emigrated to Mexico from Lebanon (then part of the Ottoman Empire) at the age of 14 in 1902 and changed his name to Julián Slim Haddad. It was not uncommon for Lebanese children to be sent abroad before they reached the age of 15 to avoid being conscripted into the Ottoman army; four of Haddad's older brothers were already living in Mexico at the time of his arrival.
Carlos Slim's mother, Linda Helú Atta, was born in Parral, Chihuahua, of Lebanese parents who had immigrated to Mexico in the late 19th century. Her parents upon immigrating to Mexico had founded one of the first Arabic language magazines for the Lebanese-Mexican community, using a printing press they had brought with them.
In 1911, Julián established a dry goods store, La Estrella del Oriente (The Star of the Orient). By 1921, he had purchased real estate in the flourishing commercial district of Mexico City. These enterprises became the source of considerable wealth.
In August 1926, Julián Slim and Linda Helú married. They had six children: Nour, Alma, Julián, José, Carlos and Linda. Julián senior, who had been influential in the Lebanese-Mexican business community, died in 1953.
Slim and his siblings were taught basic business practices by their father, and at the age of 12, Slim bought shares in a Mexican bank. At the age of 17, he earned 200 pesos a week working for his father's company. He went on to study civil engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, while teaching algebra and linear programming there meaning that he was concurrently a professor and student there. After graduating from college, Slim began his career as a trader in Mexico to hone his business skills. He would then go on to form his own brokerage firm that later expanded to invest in individual businesses, ranging from construction and manufacturing to retail and restaurants. In 1965 he incorporated Inversora Bursátil and then bought Jarritos del Sur. In 1966, already worth US$40 million, he founded Inmobiliaria Carso. Three months later he married Soumaya Domit Gemayel (the Carso name derives from the first three letters of Carlos and the first two of Soumaya) and they remained married until her death in 1999.
Companies found within the construction, real estate and mining industries were the focus of his early career. By 1972 he had established or acquired a further seven businesses in these categories, including one which rented construction equipment. In 1976 he branched out by buying a 60% interest in a printing business and in 1980 he consolidated his business interests by forming Grupo Galas as the parent company of a conglomerate that had interests in industry, construction, mining, retail, food, and tobacco.
In 1982 the Mexican economy, which had substantially relied on oil exports, contracted rapidly as the price of oil fell and interest rates rose worldwide. Banks and other businesses were nationalized, crippled or collapsed and the peso was devalued. At this time, and during the period of recovery to 1985, Slim invested heavily. He bought outright, or a large percentage of, numerous Mexican businesses, including Reynolds Aluminio, General Popo (General Tire's trading name in Mexico), Bimex hotels and Sanborns, a food retailer. He also acquired a 40% interest in the Mexican arms of British American Tobacco and 50% of that of The Hershey Company. He moved into financial services as well, buying Seguros de México and creating from it, along with other purchases such as Fianzas La Guardiana and Casa de Bolsa Inbursa, the Grupo Financiero Inbursa. Many of these acquisitions were financed by the cash flows from Cigatam, a tobacco business which he bought early in the economic downturn.
He added the Nacrobre group of companies – which trade in copper and aluminium products – in 1988, along with a chemicals business, Química Fluor, and others.
In 1990 the Grupo Carso was floated as a public company, with share placements initially in Mexico and then worldwide.
Later in 1990 he acted in concert with France Télécom and Southwestern Bell Corporation in order to buy landline telephony company Telmex from the Mexican government. By 2006, 90 percent of the telephone lines in Mexico are operated by Telmex, whilst his mobile telephony company, Telcel, operates almost eighty percent of all the country's cellphones. Telcel was created out of the Radiomóvil Dipsa company.
1999 saw Slim expanding his business interests beyond Latin America. He set up Telmex USA and also acquired a stake in Tracfone, a US cellular telephone company. At the same time he established Carso Infraestructura y Construcción, S. A. (CICSA) as a part of the Grupo Carso, this being a construction and engineering company. It was also at this time that he had heart surgery and subsequently passed on much of the day-to-day involvement in the businesses to his children and their spouses.
América Telecom, the holding company for América Móvil was incorporated in 2000. It took stakes in various cellular telephone companies outside Mexico, including the Brazilian ATL and Telecom Americas concerns, Techtel in Argentina, and others in Guatemala and Ecuador. In subsequent years there was further investment in this sphere, including deals involving companies in Colombia, Nicaragua, Peru, Chile, Honduras, and El Salvador. 2000 also saw a venture with Microsoft which led to the start of the Spanish T1msn portal, later renamed ProdigyMSN.
He formed Impulsora del Desarrollo y el Empleo en America Latina SAB de CV (IDEAL – roughly translated as "Promoter of Development and Employment in Latin America"), a Mexico-based company primarily engaged in not-for-profit infrastructure development. This was in 2005, when he also invested in the Volaris airline.
Having amassed a 50.1% stake in Cigatam, the tobacco company, Slim reduced his holdings by selling a large part of that to Philip Morris in 2007 for $1.1bn, while in the same year also selling his entire interest in a tile company, Porcelanite, for $800m. He also licensed the Saks name and opened Saks Fifth Avenue in Santa Fe, Mexico. The following year saw him take a 6.4% stake in The New York Times Company, which increased to 8% by 2012.
On December 8, 2007, Grupo Carso announced that the remaining 103 CompUSA stores would be either liquidated or sold, bringing an end to the struggling company as it was then known; although the IT Tech part of CompUSA continues under the name Telvista with U.S. locations in Dallas, Texas (U.S. Corporate Office) and Danville, Virginia. Telvista has five centers in Mexico (three in Tijuana, one center in Mexicali, and one in México City). After 28 years Slim became the Honorary Lifetime Chairman of the business. He is also Chairman of Teléfonos de Mexico, América Móvil, and Grupo Financiero Inbursa.
On August 4, 2007, The Wall Street Journal ran a cover story profiling Slim. The article said, "While the market value of his stake in publicly traded companies could decline at any time, at the moment he is probably wealthier than Bill Gates". According to The Wall Street Journal, Slim credits part of his ability to "discover investment opportunities" early to the writings of his friend, futurist author Alvin Toffler.
On August 8, 2007, Fortune reported that Slim had overtaken Gates as the world's richest person. Slim's estimated fortune soared to $59 billion, based on the value of his public holdings at the end of July. Gates' net worth was estimated to be at least $58 billion.
On March 10, 2010, Forbes once again reported that Slim had overtaken Gates as the world's richest person, with a net worth of $53.5 billion. At the time, Gates and Buffett had a net worth of $53 billion and $47 billion respectively. He was the first Mexican to top the list. It was the first time in 16 years that the person on top of the list was not from the United States. It was also the first time the person at the top of the list was from an "emerging economy."
In March 2011, Forbes stated that Slim had maintained his position as the wealthiest person in the world, with his fortune estimated at $74 billion.
In December 2012, According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Carlos Slim Helú remains the world's richest person with an estimated net worth of $75.5 billion.
On March 5, 2013, Forbes stated that Slim is still maintaining his first place position as the wealthiest person on the globe, with an estimated net worth of US$73 billion.
Slim owns the Duke Seamans mansion, a 1901 Beaux arts house. Inside the house, there are 12 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, a doctor’s office in the basement with the size of the mansion pegged at a total of 20,000 sqft.
In 1995 he established Fundación Telmex, a broad-ranging philanthropic foundation. This followed the creation of his eponymous non-profit philanthropic foundation, Fundación Carlos Slim Helú in 1986. In 2007 Slim announced that the latter body had been provided with an asset base of $4 billion and that it would be establishing Carso Institutes for Health, Sports and Education. Furthermore, it was to work in support of an initiative of Bill Clinton to aid the people of Latin America. Because Mexican foundations are not required to publish their financial information, it is not possible to confirm Slim’s claims of charitable giving through a public source.
Among the activities of Fundación Telmex has been the organisation of Copa Telmex, an amateur sports tournament which in 2007 was recognised by Guinness World Records as having the most participants of any such tournament in the world, a record which it extended in 2008. Together with Fundación Carlos Slim Helú, this organisation announced in the same year that it was to invest more than $250 million in Mexican sports programmes, from grass-roots level to Olympic standard.
The Fundación Carlos Slim Helú sponsors the Museo Soumaya in Mexico City which contains the world's second-largest (and largest private) collection of Rodin sculptures, including The Kiss. Named after Slim's late wife, Soumaya Domit, the Museo Soumaya holds 66,000 pieces, including religious relics, works by Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and coins from the viceroys of Spain. In particular, the museum holds the largest Dalí collection in Latin America. It was inaugurated in 2011 by the President of Mexico, Nobel Prize laureates and other celebrities.
In 2000, Slim, along with ex-broadcaster Jacobo Zabludowsky organized the Fundación del Centro Histórico de la Ciudad de México A.C. (Mexico City Historic Downtown Foundation), with the objective of revitalizing and rescuing Mexico City's historic downtown area to enable more people to live, work and find entertainment there. He has been Chairman of the Council for the Restoration of the Historic Downtown of Mexico City since 2001.
In 2011 he, along with the President of Mexico, Mexico City Mayor and Mexico City Archbishop, inaugurated the first phase of Plaza Mariana close to Basilica de Guadalupe. The complex, whose construction was funded by Slim, includes an evangelization center, museum, columbarium, health center, market and parking lot.
Slim has been vice-president of the Mexican Stock Exchange and president of the Mexican Association of Brokerage Houses.[when?] 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.
Slim was on the Board of Directors of the Altria Group (previously known as Philip Morris) until his resignation in April 2006. Slim was also on the Board of Directors of Alcatel. Slim currently sits on the Board of Directors for Philip Morris International. He was on the Board of Directors of SBC Communications until July 2004, when he quit to devote more time to the World Education & Development Fund, which is focused on infrastructure, health and education projects. In 1997, just before the company introduced its iMac line, Slim bought 3% of Apple Inc.'s stock.
The Mexican magnate's growing fortune has caused controversy because it has been amassed in a developing country where average per capita income does not surpass $14,500 a year, and nearly 17% of the population lives in poverty. Critics claim that Slim is a monopolist, pointing to Telmex's control of 90% of the Mexican landline telephone market. Slim's wealth is the equivalent of roughly 5% of Mexico's annual economic output. Telmex, of which 49.1% is owned by Slim and his family, charges among the highest usage fees in the world, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
According to Professor Celso Garrido, an economist at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Slim's domination of Mexico's conglomerates prevents the growth of smaller companies, resulting in a shortage of paying jobs and forcing many Mexicans to seek better lives in the United States of America. The Mexican Senate, which has received contributions from Carlos Slim, has made it easier for firms to hire and fire workers, and shorten labor disputes.
Slim has stated, "When you live for others' opinions, you are dead. I don't want to live thinking about how I'll be remembered," by Mexican people claiming indifference about his position on Forbes list of the world's richest people and has said he has no interest in becoming the world's richest person. When asked to explain his sudden increase in wealth at a press conference soon after Forbes annual rankings were published, he reportedly said, "The stock market goes up ... and down", and noted that his fortune could quickly drop.
Carlos Slim has been attempting to expand his telecom empire beyond Americas and targeting acquisition of KPN. Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp has stated in Sep-13, that an acquisition of KPN by a “foreign company,” i.e. América Móvil (NYSE:AMX), the telecom giant controlled by Slim, could have consequences for national security.
- Entrepreneurial Merit Medal of Honor in 1985 from Mexico's Chamber of Commerce.
- "Gold Patron" of the American Academy of Achievement,
- Commander in the Belgian Order of Leopold II
- CEO of the year in 2003 by Latin Trade magazine
- CEO of the decade in 2004 by Latin Trade magazine
- Fundacion Telmex received in 2007 the National Sports Prize of Mexico for sports promotion
- In 2008 his philanthropy was recognised with the award of The National Order of the Cedar by the Lebanese government.
- In 2011 the Hispanic Society of America awarded Fundacion Carlos Slim the Sorolla Medal for its contribution to the arts and culture
- On May 20, 2012 Slim was awarded a Honorary Doctorate in Public Service from George Washington University
Slim was married to Soumaya Domit from 1967 until her death in 1999. Among her interests were various philanthropic projects, including the creation of a legal framework for organ donation. Slim has six children: Carlos, Marco Antonio, Patrick, Soumaya, Vanessa, and Johanna.
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- Museo Soumaya inaugurated (spanish)
- Mexico City Historic Downtown Foundation (spanish)
- Inauguration of Plaza Mariana
- Description of Plaza Mariana (spanish)
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- Fundación, Carlos Slim (Mat 12th, 2013). "$3.5 billion". Link. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
- "About the Academy: Academy Patrons". Academy of Achievement website. Academy of Achievement. 2007. Retrieved August 6, 2007.
- The Hispanic Society of America award
- Honorary Doctorate in Public Service by George Washington University
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Carlos Slim.|
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Carlos Slim Helú|
- Official website
- Profile at Forbes
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Carlos Slim collected news and commentary at The Guardian
- Carlos Slim collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Carlos Slim collected news and commentary at The Wall Street Journal
- Carlos Slim at the Notable Names Database
- "From the Richest man in the World".
|World's richest person
2010 – present