How Carlos Slim Became the Richest Man in Latin America

Carlos Slim is a Lebanese-Mexican billionaire who founded Grupo Carso that controls the telecommunications industry of Mexico through América Movil, formerly Telmex. He was born in Mexico City on January 28, 1940. From 2010 to 2013, he was the richest man in the world but as of July 18, 2020, ranked him as the 12th world’s richest with a net worth of $51.4 billion, an amount that is bigger than the gross national product of several countries.

Carlos Slim
Carlos Slim (Credit: wiki commons)

Carlos Slim was the son of Catholic immigrants from Lebanon. As a child, his father thought him basic business knowledge such as accounting. At age 17, he was receiving some 200 Mexican pesos working in his father’s company. He also received P5,000 from his mother as an initial fund for investing in the stock market. When he had enough capital, he founded Inbursa, his own stock brokerage firm. He was so successful that he began buying stakes in different companies. Later, he organized Grupo Carso as his holding company. He went on to dominate almost all industries in Mexico from finance to mining, real estate and construction.

In 1990, Carlos teamed up with European investors to successfully bid for Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex) for $1.76 billion, his biggest investment in his life and would become the main source of his enormous wealth. With this acquisition, he was able to accumulate more capital which he invested in the United States and other Latin American countries. In 2011, he set up America Movil, making Telmex a subsidiary.

Since 2004, Carlos relinquished most of the day to day management duties to his children and relatives. He had also retired from membership of the board of his companies. His phenomenal rise, according to critics, was due to his political connections, a charge that he denied. They also accused him of taking advantage of regulatory loopholes to engage in monopolistic strategies.

Carlos has five children with his wife Soumaya.


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