Carlos Slim Helú has a name that not everyone may recognize, but his influence is far-reaching all over the world. Although he built a vast majority of his fortune in telecommunications, Slim currently owns over 200 businesses in a number of different industries. Forbes lists him as 2nd on the list of this year’s billionaires, trailing closely behind Bill Gates.
Slim became a billionaire after he purchased investments at low prices that would later become extremely valuable during the economic crash in Mexico during the early 1980s. He controls about 5% of Mexico’s annual economic output with his personal wealth, and despite the constant ups and downs of the telecommunication markets, he is continuously builds his wealth through his business savvy senses.
Slim’s most profitable business venture was TelMex, which has substantial control over Mexico’s landlines and cell phones. His name is tied in with a number of trades and industries including automobiles, tobacco, airlines, construction, and many more. He stands as the largest individual shareholder in The New York Times Company with 16.8%, has opened a Saks Fifth Avenue in New Mexico, and recently gained control of Telekom Austria – his first successful acquisition in Europe.
Carlos Slim Helú is also famously a philanthropist. He uses his wealth towards different causes, including protecting culture and arts, preserving the environment, and providing affordable health care to citizens.