The Top 10 Richest Women

10. Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler: $8.7 billion

Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler is one of the owners of Schaeffler Group, one of the world’s largest producers of roller bearings. The other owner is her son Georg F. W. Schaeffler.


9. Yang Huiyan: $9 billion

Yang Huiyan (born 1981) is the majority shareholder of Country Garden Holdings and is currently considered the wealthiest person in Mainland China, with an estimated net worth of $7.4 billion USD as of March 2009. She is the daughter of Yang Guoqiang, who started his company Biguiyuan in 1997 and transferred 70% of Country Garden’s shares to her before its IPO in 2007. The wealthiest mainland Chinese in the previous year, 2006, was Huang Guangyu. Country Garden’s initial offering raised about $1.6 billion, or as much as Google raised in 2004 in the United States. Yang’s net worth was estimated at $16.2 billion USD in October 2007.


8. Susanne Klatten: $9.6 billion

Susanne Klatten (born Susanne Hanna Ursula Quandt on 28 April 1962 in Bad Homburg, Germany) is the daughter of Herbert and Johanna Quandt. As of 2009, she is the richest woman in Germany and the 35th richest person in the world. On her father’s death she inherited his 50.1% stake in pharmaceutical and chemicals manufacturer Altana. She sits on Altana’s supervisory board and helped transform it into a world-class corporation in the German DAX list of 30 top companies.

In 2006 Altana AG sold its pharmaceutical activities to Nycomed for €4.5 billion, leaving only its specialty chemicals business. The €4.5 billion was distributed to shareholders as a dividend. Altana maintained its stock exchange listing and Susanne Klatten remained its majority shareholder. In 2009 she bought almost all shares she did not already own in Altana.


7. Birgit Rausing: $11 billion

Dr Birgit Rausing (born 1924) is a Swedish art historian and philanthropist. After death of her husband Gad Rausing in 2000, with her 3 children, inherited packaging giant Tetra Laval. In 1944 her father-in-law founded Tetra Pak, which revolutionized the packaging of liquids such as juices and milk. She is the third wealthiest person in Sweden, according to Forbes magazine, with an estimated net worth of around US$13.0 billion.


6. Anne Cox Chambers: $12.6 billion

Anne Cox Chambers (born December 1, 1919) is a media proprietor, who is primary owner of Cox Enterprises, a privately held media empire that includes newspapers, television, radio, cable television, and other businesses. She is the daughter of James M. Cox, a newspaper publisher and 1920 Democratic Presidential nominee, and his second wife, Margaretta Parker Blair. She owns and controls her father’s business interests, through Cox Enterprises. For 33 years she co-owned the family company with her sister, Barbara Cox Anthony, who died on May 28, 2007. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.


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5. Abigail Johnson: $13 billion

Abigail Pierrepont Johnson (born December 19th, 1961) is an American businesswoman. Johnson is President of Fidelity Investments Personal and Workplace Investing. Fidelity is led by her father, Edward Johnson. After a brief stint as a consultant at Booz Allen & Hamilton from 1985-86 and her MBA, she joined her father’s company, Fidelity Investments, as an equity portfolio manager from 1988 until 1997. She is the 48th richest person in the world, and her current net worth is up from $10 billion in 2009 to $11.5 billion in 2010. Her father is in 85th place with US$8 billion.


4. Jacqueline Mars: $14.0 billion

Jacqueline Badger Mars is the daughter of Forrest Edward Mars, Sr., and granddaughter of Frank C. Mars, founders of the giant American candy company Mars, Incorporated. With her share of the company, she is worth US$9 billion. As of March 2009 she is the 58th richest person in the world, and the 19th richest person in the United States according to Forbes; she is also the fourth richest American woman. She is twice divorced and has 3 children.  She attended and was graduated from the boarding school Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1961.


3. Christy Walton: $15.9 billion

Christy Ruth Walton is the wife of late John T. Walton. After his death in June 2005, she inherited his fortune of $15.7 billion. As of March 2010, she is the 12th richest person in the Forbes World’s Billionaires, with an estimated net worth of US$22.5 billion, source Wal-Mart and First Solar.  She currently resides in Jackson, Wyoming. She has one son, Lukas.


2. Alice Walton: $20.6 billion

Alice Louise Walton (born October 7, 1949 in Newport, Arkansas) is an American heiress to the Wal-mart fortune. She is the daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and Helen Walton, and sister of S. Robson Walton, and Jim Walton. Another brother, John T. Walton died in a 2005 plane crash. In March 2010, her estimated net worth was US$20.6 billion, making her the richest woman in the world along with her sister-in-law Christy Walton.


1. Liliane Bettencourt: $20.7 billion

Liliane Bettencourt (born 21 October 1922) is a French heiress, socialite, businesswoman and philanthropist. She is one of the principal shareholders of L’Oréal and, with a fortune estimated at US$20 billion, is one of the wealthiest people in the world. Forbes ranks Bettencourt at 17th in its list of the world’s wealthiest persons with an estimated fortune of US$20 billion. She is the richest woman in Europe, the third richest woman in the world (behind Christy Walton and Alice Walton and the second richest person in France (behind Bernard Arnault).


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