When we think of the richest people in the world, chances are that the likes of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and a few other well-known names come to mind.
But they’re not the only ones out there with incredible wealth – the thing about most millionaires is that they tend to stay under the media radar. Sometimes, that’s because they don’t necessarily want the world to know how much money they actually have – especially if the way they accumulated it wouldn’t exactly make them person of the year.
Other times, it’s as simple as wealthy people just wishing for a quiet life away from scandals, gossip, and publicity in general.
1. Maria Fissolo
While we do have some millionaires with highly questionable sources of wealth coming up, Maria Fissolo’s $24.6 billion in net worth comes from… Kinder Eggs, among other things.
Maria Fissolo is the widow of Michele Ferrero, the founder of Ferrero SpA – the second biggest chocolate producer in the world. Nutella, Tic Tacs, Raffaello, and the sweets in the Kinder series – like Kinder Surprise and Kinder Bueno – are all Ferrero products.
When Michele Ferrero passed away in 2015, his wealth was inherited by Maria Fissolo – who is now 81 and is living the life in Monaco.
2. Amancio Ortega
You may not be familiar with Ortega’s name, but you’re sure to have at least walked past his products. The Spanish billionaire is the founder Zara, the chain of clothing and accessories shops. His net worth is estimated at $77 billion – that’s more than that of Mark Zuckerberg. He’s among the wealthiest retailers – if not the wealthiest – in the world.
By all accounts, Ortega prefers the quiet life, staying out of the spotlight and generally not getting involved in many public events. He lives in A Coruña, a coastal town in the North-West of Spain, where he opened the first Zara back in 1975.
3. Bashar al-Assad
The Syrian president’s reign has been described as dictatorship, and it’s definitely not an unreasonable statement. Bashar al-Assad took over the role of the president in 2000, succeeding his father Hafez al-Assad – who reigned over Syria for almost 30 years.
Officially, Bashar al-Assad’s wealth is estimated at around $1.5 billion – a fairly modest amount for the head of a country. Not-so-official estimates, however, tell a completely different story. Many believe that Bashar al-Assad’s wealth is fragmented and hidden away in separate locations, coming to a total of over $120 billion. Considering that the combined reign of Bashar and his father comes to almost 50 years, they’re bound to have stashed away at least that amount – especially given the questionable politics of Syria in general.
4. Hassanal Bolkiah – Sultan of Brunei
Only the most attentive geography buffs will know where Brunei is off the top of their heads. It’s a country in the north of Borneo, with a population of around 430,000. That’s fewer people than live in Manchester.
Hassanal Bolkiah is the Sultan of Brunei, and although his official worth comes in at around $20 billion, many speculate the actual number is bound to be much, much higher. The Sultan’s car collection alone is allegedly worth around $4 billion, and given that he’s the head of a country rich in oil and gas, well – these sorts of people tend to do really, really well for themselves financially.
5. The House of Saud
We’ve all heard of Saudi Arabia – the country in Western Asia – but did you know that the name of the country actually comes from the surname of its royal family?
Mostly through the extraction of oil, The House of Saud has amassed staggering amounts of wealth – estimated at $1.4 trillion. Just for comparison, the entire city of London produces half that amount in GDP on a good year. Some estimates put the family’s net worth at even more – up to $2 trillion. It’s not as if The House of Saud is about to make their books public, so the large margin of error in estimates is down to how difficult it is to locate all of their assets.
The entire family is estimated to include around 15,000 members, though it’s about 2,000 individuals that hold the majority of the money and power.