Forbes 2015 ranking of billionaires includes 40 Canadians. From the 2014 rankings, four billionaires in Canada remained at their same status this year, and one moved up four spots to earn a position in the top five. Holding the top spot is Media magnate and chairman of Thomson Reuters, David Thomson with over $25 billion in U.S. dollars. Mr. Thomson is also on the global list ranking at 25th. David Thomson is a 3rd generation CEO and the figurehead of the merger with Reuters in 2008. His wealth is spread between various family members with Mr. Thomson holding 14% of the family holdings company, Woodbridge. The business was started by David Thomson’s grandfather in 1931 with one radio station; it was taken over by David’s father Ken who ran it until David took over.
Executive chairman of George Weston and retail/grocery giant, Galen Weston is Canada’s second richest with a family fortune worth over $9 billion. Mr. Weston’s business was founded in 1882 by his grandfather and has been in the family since that time. Mr. Weston ranks at 131st for wealthiest globally. Weston took over his family’s chain of stores and saved the failing company when he closed several stores, upgraded the locations he kept and hired, Dave Nichol who is a marketing legend. Weston’s son, Galen G. now runs the business.
Founder, Chairman and CEO of Jim Pattison Group, Jim Pattison comes in third richest on Canada’s Billionaire List with a $7.5 billion fortune and is listed 177th richest globally. Following behind Pattison is James Irving of the J.D. Irving conglomerate owner with a net worth of $6.5 billion and ranking 216th on the global richest list. Pattison began as a car salesman and even though they have a reputation, Pattison says honesty is the key to success. The Jim Pattison Group has stakes in; broadcasting, entertainment, radio stations and consumer retail, having just purchased 15 SafeWay stores. James Irving’s family’s wealth started with one sawmill in the 19th century. They reached into other areas such as; energy, forestry, shipbuilding and media ensuring each industry supported the other.
Joseph Tsai, Vice Chairman for the Alibaba Group is the fifth billionaire on the top five billionaires in Canada. Mr. Tsai moved up four spots from his ranking in 2014 when according to Forbes, he doubled his wealth. This increase was done after the e-commerce company began trading in the United States. His global ranking also moved from 408th to 248th after this change.
Bill Gates still holds the title as the richest person in the world. His net worth is over $79 billion. Mr. Gates has held this title for 16 out of 21 years. The second richest is Carlos Slim Helu, a Mexican telecom mogul whose net worth is $77 billion. According to Forbes, with a net worth over $72 billion, Warren Buffet at 84 years of age is the third wealthiest person. Mr. Buffet moved up one slot this year to hold the third wealthiest from last year.