The rich list: Meet the Canadian members of Forbes’ ‘three-comma club’

The rich list: Meet the Canadian members of Forbes’ ‘three-comma club’
Canada’s richest put up a strong showing in Forbes annual list of the world’s richest people, taking up 46 places.

David Thomson, chairman of the Thomson Reuters Corp. media and publishing empire founded by his grandfather Roy Thomson, remains the world’s richest Canadian and 32nd wealthiest in the world, with a net worth of US$25 billion, according to Forbes magazine’s 2018 list of the world’s richest people, published Tuesday.

However, it was a slightly poor showing from Thomson compared to the 2017 list when he had reportedly amassed US$27.2 billion. Still, his net worth is almost double the US$13 billion he netted in 2009.

The number two spot for Canada and 154 overall was occupied by Taiwan-born Joseph Tsai, worth US$9.7 billion.

The Canadian-passport carrying co-founder of Alibaba Group, and its second-largest individual shareholder after its mercurial chairman Jack Ma, first cracked the Forbes list in 2014, with a net worth of US$3.7 billion.

“Tsai accepted an initial salary of only US$50 a month from Jack Ma when the pair first met in 1999,” Forbes said in its annual list, but the gamble appears to have paid off as the company stock has climbed around 100 per cent in the past five years alone.

Galen Weston, chairman emeritus of George Weston Ltd. and Loblaws Companies Ltd., the Canadian food and retail giants, is the third richest person in the country, ranked 160 globally His net worth stands at US$9.5 billion, the same as 2017.

Other notable Canadians include the New Brunswick-based James Irving, who runs the J.D. Irving conglomerate comprising more than two dozen companies in frozen foods, retail, shipbuilding, transportation and more, giving him a net worth of US$8.3 billion.

Rounding up the five richest Canadians is Jim Pattison, who bought a GM dealership in 1961, and has since acquired more than 200 companies to create The Jim Pattison Group that’s netted him US6.9 billion.

A couple of Canadian tech entrepreneurs also cracked the list. David Cheriton, the ‘professor billionaire’, has seen his US$10,000 investment in Google when the search company was getting started, turned him into one of the wealthiest people in the world. Since then he has gone on to build and spin-off several companies including Arista Networks and Granite Systems, giving him a networth of US$6 billion.

At 39, Uber chairman Garrett Camp, who co-founded the ride-hailing startup with Travis Kalanick in 2009, is the youngest Canadian on the list with a net worth of US$4.8 billion.

Seven new Canadians attained billionaire status this year. The new comer in the highest spot is Bob Gaglardi, placed at number 1,157 with US$2.1 billion.

Gaglardi founded Northland Properties in 1963. His first project was a single Sandman Inn in B.C., but since then the company has expanded into restaurants, construction and even sports. He purchased the Dallas stars in 2011 with his son, Tom Gaglardi.


Globally, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos headed the ‘three-comma club’, breaching the US$100-billion barrier — the  first time anyone has crossed that milestone in the Forbes list.

“Centi-billionaire Jeff Bezos secures the list’s top spot for the first time, becoming the only person to appear in the Forbes ranks with a 12-figure fortune,” the magazine said. “Bezos’s fortune leapt more than US$39 billion, the list’s biggest one-year gain ever. He moves ahead of Bill Gates, who is now number 2. It is the biggest gap between no. 1 and 2 since 2001.”

The publication said this year it found a record 2,208 billionaires, with a combined worth of US$9.1 trillion, including 259 newcomers.

The world is awash in excess steel capacity and the global market is being flooded with surplus production

There are profitable Canadian companies, but the sheer scale of companies that can make it work is more noticeable (in Texas)

Foreign inflows are distorting Canada s already constrained housing market and aren t the kind of investment the country needs, RBC chief David McKay said

Canada s richest put up a strong showing in Forbes annual list of the world s richest people, taking up 46 places
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