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  • Carlos Slim Helú is a Mexican business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. From 2010 to

  • 2013, Slim was ranked as the richest person in the world,. The position was regained by

  • Bill Gates in 2014 before Slim reclaimed the position again on July 15, 2014. Known as

  • the "Warren Buffett of Mexico", Slim has 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, real estate, airlines, media, technology, retailing, and

  • finance. Presently, Slim is the chairman and chief executive of telecommunications companies

  • Telmex and Américavil. Américavil, 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.

  • Early life 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 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. 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 died in 1953.

  • Business career 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, where he

  • also concurrently taught algebra and linear programming. 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 bought Jarritos del Sur. In 1966, already worth US$40 million,

  • he founded Inmobiliaria Carso. Three months later, he married Soumaya Domit Gemayel, and

  • they remained married until her death in 1999. Companies found within the construction, real

  • estate, and mining industries were the focus of Slim's 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 all or a large percentage of numerous Mexican businesses,

  • including Reynolds Aluminio, General Popo, Bimex hotels, and the Sanborns food retailer.

  • He also acquired a 40% and 50% interest in the Mexican arms of British American Tobacco

  • and The Hershey Company, respectively. He moved into financial services as well, buying

  • Seguros dexico 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. In 1988 Slim added the Nacrobre group of companies –

  • which trade in copper and aluminium products – along with a chemicals business, Química

  • Fluor, and others. In 1990, the Grupo Carso was floated as a

  • public company initially in Mexico and then worldwide.

  • Later in 1990, Slim acted in concert with France Télécom and Southwestern Bell Corporation

  • in order to buy the landline telephony company Telmex from the Mexican government. By 2006,

  • 90 percent of the telephone lines in Mexico were operated by Telmex, and his mobile telephony

  • company, Telcel, which was created out of the Radiomóvil Dipsa company, operated almost

  • 80 percent of all the country's cellphones. In 1991, he acquired Hoteles Calinda, and

  • in 1993, he increased his stakes in General Tire and Grupo Aluminio to the point where

  • he had a majority interest. In 1996, Grupo Carso was split into three

  • companies: Carso Global Telecom, Grupo Carso, and Invercorporación. In the following year,

  • Slim bought the Mexican arm of Sears Roebuck. 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. as a construction and engineering company within Grupo Carso. In 1999 Slim 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

  • Américavil, was incorporated in 2000. It took stakes in various cellular telephone

  • companies outside of 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 Latinamerica, with 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. In 2005, Slim invested in the Volaris airline

  • and formed Impulsora del Desarrollo y el Empleo en America Latina SAB de CV, a Mexico-based

  • company primarily engaged in not-for-profit infrastructure development.

  • In 2007 after having amassed a 50.1% stake in the Cigatam tobacco company, Slim reduced

  • his holdings by selling a large portion to Philip Morris for $1.1bn, while in the same

  • year also selling his entire interest in a tile company, Porcelanite, for $800m. He licensed

  • the Saks name and opened Saks Fifth Avenue in Santa Fe, Mexico. In 2008 he took 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, although the

  • IT tech part of CompUSA continued under the name Telvista with U.S. locations in Dallas,

  • Texas and Danville, Virginia. Telvista has five centers in Mexico. After 28 years, Slim

  • became the Honorary Lifetime Chairman of the business. He is also Chairman of Teléfonos

  • de Mexico, Américavil, and Grupo Financiero Inbursa.

  • Slim built Plaza Carso in Mexico City, where most of his ventures share a common headquarters

  • address. In March 2012, Slim along with American television

  • host Larry King established Ora TV, an on-demand digital television network that produces and

  • distributes television shows including Larry King Now, Politicking with Larry King, Recessionista,

  • and Jesse Ventura Uncensored. The network was used as an outlet to produce a new show

  • for Larry King after leaving CNN. On April 23, 2014 Slim took control of Telekom

  • Austria established in seven central and Eastern European countries outside Austria, under

  • a 10 year agreement, being his first successful acquisition in Europe. In a syndicate holding

  • structure the Austrian state holding company OIAG's 28 percent are combined with Slim's

  • 27 percent ownership. America Movil will spend as much as $2 billion to buy out minority

  • shareholders in a mandatory public offer and invest up to 1 billion euros into the company,

  • which it sees as "platform for expansion into central and eastern Europe". Labor representatives

  • boykotted attending the OIAG supervisory board meeting for 12 h criticizing lack of explicit

  • job guarantees. Personal life

  • 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.

  • Slim underwent heart surgery in 1999. Personal fortune

  • Wealth On March 29, 2007, Slim surpassed Warren Buffett

  • as the world's second richest person with an estimated net worth of $53.1 billion compared

  • to Buffet's $52.4 billion. 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 5, 2008, Forbes ranked Slim as the

  • world's second-richest person, behind Warren Buffett and ahead of Bill Gates.

  • On March 11, 2009, Forbes ranked Slim as the world's third-richest person, behind Gates

  • and Buffett and ahead of Larry Ellison. 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.

  • On May 16, 2013, Bloomberg L.P. ranked Slim the second richest person in the world, after

  • Bill Gates. As of July 15, 2014, Forbes announced that

  • Slim had reclaimed the position a the wealthiest person in the world, with a fortune of $79.6

  • billion. Personal assets

  • Slim owns the Duke Seamans mansion, a 1901 Beaux arts house on 5th Avenue in New York

  • City, which he bought for $44 million in 2010. The mansion is 20,000 sqft large and has 12

  • bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, and a doctor’s office in the basement.

  • Philanthropy Slim founded three non-profit foundations

  • concentrating on Mexico City: one for the arts, education and health care, one for sports

  • and one for downtown restoration. Fundación Carlos Slim Helú

  • Established in 1986 Fundación Carlos Slim Helú sponsors the Museo Soumaya in Mexico

  • City, named after Slim's late wife, Soumaya Domit, opened 2011. It holds 66,000 pieces,

  • including religious relics, contains the world's second-largest collection of Rodin sculptures,

  • including The Kiss, the largest Dalí collection in Latin America, works by Leonardo da Vinci,

  • Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and coins from the viceroys of Spain. The inauguration

  • in 2011 was attended by the President of Mexico, Nobel Prize laureates, writers and other celebrities.

  • After stating that he had donated $4 billion of dividends to Fundación Carlos Slim Helú,

  • $2 billion in 2006 and another $2 billion in 2010, Slim was ranked fifth in Forbes'

  • World's Biggest Givers in May 2011. Education and health care projects have included $100

  • million to perform 50,000 cataract surgeries in Peru through the Clinton Initiative, a

  • $20 million fund to strengthen small and medium-size businesses in Colombia, and a digital education

  • program for youth in Mexico, $150 million for programs in nutrition and disease prevention

  • in Central America with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the government of Spain,

  • $50 million to work with the World Wildlife Fund on restoration of six areas for species

  • in Mexico, including the monarch butterfly and $100 million on education programs for

  • young people through Colombian singer Shakira’s Alas Foundation.

  • Fundación Telmex In 1995 Slim established Fundación Telmex,

  • a broad-ranging philanthropic foundation, which as he announced in 2007 had been provided

  • with an asset base of $4 billion to establish 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. The foundation has organized Copa Telmex, an amateur sports tournament,

  • recognized in 2007 and 2008 by Guinness World Records as having the most participants of

  • any such tournament in the world. Together with Fundación Carlos Slim Helú, Telmex

  • announced in 2008 that it was to invest more than $250 million in Mexican sports programs,

  • from grass-roots level to Olympic standard. Telmex sponsored the Sauber F1 team for the

  • 2011 season. Fundación del Centro Histórico de la Ciudad

  • dexico A.C. In 2000, Slim and ex-broadcaster Jacobo Zabludowsky

  • organized the Fundación del Centro Histórico de la Ciudad dexico A.C.,to revitalize

  • and rescue 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, and market.

  • Achievements Slim has been vice-president of the Mexican

  • Stock Exchange and president of the Mexican Association of Brokerage Houses. 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 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.

  • In 2008 it was reported that Slim had shown an interest in buying the Honda Formula One

  • team. Awards

  • 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.

  • Criticism 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 Celso Garrido, economist at the

  • Universidad Nacional Autónoma dexico, Slim's domination of Mexico's conglomerates

  • prevents the growth of smaller companies, resulting in a shortage of paying jobs, forcing

  • many Mexicans to seek better lives in the US.

  • 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. He 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 said, "The stock

  • market goes up ... and down", and noted that his fortune could quickly drop.

  • Slim has been publicly skeptical of The Giving Pledge by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett giving

  • away at least half of their fortunes, but as of 2011 devoted $4 billion, or roughly

  • 5%, to his Carlos Slim foundation. Slim was criticized by Dutch Minister of Economic

  • Affairs, Henk Kamp