There are almost 8 billion people in the world nowadays. It is obvious that all of the 8 billion people are different. They differ with the appearance, with the styles, with the social status as well as financial status. Some of them are more successful than others. Some of them are richer than others, and some of them are the richest people at all. In the article, we will be talking about the richest people in Argentina and how did they achieve the financial circumstances they have. Though, before saying any names, we will provide you with a few facts about the country itself.
Argentina is the 8th largest country in the world and quite for some time, it remained to be the most financially stable and sustainable country even during the Great Depression. Up until the late 60s, the GDP per capita was higher than Australia, Italy and even Japan. Despite this, it still remains to be the third richest country in South America.
There always have been specific fields that Argentine people were mostly occupied in. The most important from them, include the oil and energy industry, tobacco cultivation, and shipping, as there are a lot of port cities that always attracted people from rural areas and other cities. With those words, I would like to proceed to the people who are involved in those spheres and apparently out of the 8 billion, they came out richer than the others.
Carlos and Alejandro Bulgheroni
Carlos and Alejandro Bulgheroni are on the first list of the richest people in Argentina. The two were brothers, who were businessmen and run their own energy company, the biggest game-changer in the oil and gas industry. The brothers inherited the company from father, who was the first one to start the most prosperous energy company in the South. So, the family of Bulgheroni is in the list of the richest Argentinean families. Alejandro took after father at the age of 22, when he finished the university of Bueno Aires, soon joined by his younger fellow billionaire brother Carlos. Carlos was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 28, and it was supposed to live only for the following 5 months, but he exceeded the expectations and died at the age of 71 in 2016, being the Argentinean richest man by that time.
The brothers have definitely started from something but transferred the inherited from father company into the global player in energy. Throughout the years, the driver of the company’s oil business was Carlos, who had the unique skill to lobby and make friends in the country’s ever-changing political landscape. He was a great ally to president Raul Alfonso as well as became a huge supporter of Carlos Menem in the late 90s. Carlos Bulgheroni was one of the few business leaders who were present on Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s inaugural speech in 2007. Apparently, he had charisma, that assisted his personal life, which then affected the business in the best way possible.
Argentinean richest person was also the first Western leader, who negotiated with the Taliban, and although the pipelines never came to reality as the Taliban took Kabul in 1996 and assassinated the president, the most memorable and famous photo of Taliban is exactly with Carlos holding very friendly negotiations with the leaders.
In 2010, Bulgheroni sold 50% of Bridas to Chinese state-run influential oil company CNOOC Group fro $3.1B. On its behalf, Bridas owns 40% of Pan American Energy (PAE), the company that operates the country’s largest oil field and is the second in terms of production. The family also owns Axion, making the company an important player in the retail fuel sector as well.
In the list of Argentinean billionaires, is Eduardo Eurnekian, who is not of an Argentinian nationality, but Armenia. Eduardo was born in the immigrants family in the early 30s. His family had moved to Argentina, and started their own textile business in there, which was very common among the nation by that time. The business came up to be extremely successful as they became important suppliers of international sporting apparel company PUMA, which was indeed a very interesting experience. Soon the business collapsed as everything else did after the regulatory policy was introduced to the country in 1981, by the Economy Minister, Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz. Though, the family was fortunate enough to survive the economic collapse and continue operating in the market.
By the end of the 20th century, Eurnekians were among the richest Argentinian families. By that time Eduardo took after his parents and inherited the business. The family took after Argentinian small business BANADE in 1988, and then Eduardo came to heads. He purchased local cable TV station, “Cablevision S.A”, which was very much failing at that time, though soon it became a very prosperous firm. The purchase appeared to be very lucrative, especially after the economic Convertibility Plan was introduced to the country by the new Economic Minister, Domingo Cavallo, in 1991, which actually brought stability to the country. Eduardo then sold 51% of the station to the biggest cable companies’ in Argentina Tele-Communications Inc. He continued with the selling of the rest of the shares to the other local companies.
Another largest project that is on Eurnekian’s account is the project of the international airport of Armenia. One of the biggest amenities in the country. While being one of the Argentinean wealthiest people lists, Eduardo remained one of the most influential and richest people in Armenia as well. He signed a 30-year contract with the Armenian government in 2001, concerning the full operation of ZVartnots Internationa Airport. The total cost of the project was around $50 million, thus it brought the amenity to match all of the international standards.
Eurnekian built one billion media empire, operating more than 70 airports in Argentina, America, and Armenia. He owns food processing factories in Argentina and several other businesses in Armenia. Eduardo got awarded as the most prosperous foreign businessman of the year in 1999, and among the other awards, the most recent is the Business for Peace award in Oslo, Norway, which was given to him in 2012.
Gregorio Perez Companc
Another individual among Argentina’s wealthiest people is Gregorio Perez Companc. If we are talking about luck and fortune, this person definitely would be a topic of discussion. Gregorio was born in 1934 in Bueno Aires and soon be left by his parents, while being a newborn baby and has spent quite an important part of his life in the orphanage house.
At the age of 12, he was adopted by Margarita Companc de Perez Acuna, a local socialite. Straight after, he was taken to college preparatory school, but he left the school without graduating. At the age of 24, he married Maria Del Carmen. Apparently here we have the luck tendency once again. Soon after the marriage, he was named director of the Banco Rio de La Plata. the largest private sector banks in Argentina by that time, which was then purchased by his family. Gregorio was the one to build his own fortune, a family-based conglomerate in oil and gas was first established by Giorgio’s adoptive father in 1946, a year before adoption.
Pérez Companc purchased a controlling stake in Banco Río de la Plata from his siblings in 1993 and would sell his shares to Spanish banking giant Banco Santander in 1997. Between 1990 and 1994, the company expanded its domestic activities in the oil business and in a number of other industries through participation in the country’s privatization program initiated by President Carlos Menem. By 1996, Pérez Companc S.A. had consolidated sales of US$1.41 billion. The family strengthened the position of Argentina’s wealthiest families in 1998 by forming a new public holding company, PC Holdings S.A., and later that year acquired a 68% share in local food giant Molinos Río de la Plata.
As on all of the families and people, the Argentine economic crisis has a lot to do with the destruction of many’s lives and businesses. Revenue for Companc declined 3% by that time and sold a valuable part of their fortune to other operators in the industry. Though, luckily enough Perez continued the business growth and financial services portfolio grew a healthy 20% in 2001, making a valid step into the 21st century and still going strong ever since.
Talking about the list of the richest people in Argentina one of the most interesting persons is Paolo Rocca, due to the background he has. He was born in Milan, in 1952 and is an Argentina-Italian businessman. Currently, he occupies the position of CEO and Techint Group, which holds Tenaris, Ternium and other companies that operate in the engendering, construction and energy sectors. He also is a Charman of Tenaris and Chairman of Ternium.
The history of Paolo becoming one of the influential persons in the energy sector has been nothing similar to inheriting a fortune from the family or having a famous uncle. He studied at the University of Milan, after which he graduated from the Harward Busines School, which can be already very promising in terms of further life development and career success. As promised, he did not have to wait for very long and was assigned to the position of the assistant to the Executive Director of the World Bank. It sounds like a big fish indeed. Later, in 1985 Paolo Rocca began his career at Techint Group as an assistant to the Chairman of the Board of Directors. In 1990 he assumed as Executive Vice-president of Siderca.
Since 2002, he has been the CEO of Tenaris and Techint. He is also a Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tamsa and of the Board of Directors of Ternium and Director of the Techint Financial Corporation. Rocca led Techint in a series of acquisitions in Latin America and the world, which led to the development of operations in more than 20 countries. One of Argentina’s richest man has quite a few awards and recognitions on his account. In 2008 he was recognized with the “2008 Platinum Konex Prize: Industry businessmen”. In 2011 he was chosen “Steelmaker of the Year” by the Association of Iron and Steel Technology (AIST).
Ernesta Herrera de Noble
In the list of rich people, we can include Ernesta Herrera de Noble, the richest woman in Argentina. Feminists will be quite happy with Ernesta being on the list, as she is the only woman in the millionaire list for the people from Argentina. She generally made quite an important step towards the feminine movement in Argentina. Ernesta, born in 1925, who dies in 2017 at the age of 92 was a prominent Argentine publisher and executive. She was also the largest shareholder of the Groupo Clarin media asset and director of the flagship Clarin newspaper. She was the first woman to become director of the mainstream newspaper in South America.
While talking about her background, we can not skip the fact that she was lucky enough to meet the right person at the right time. Initially, Ernesta was a Flamenco dancer, and during one of the performances, she met the founding publisher of Clarin, Roberto Noble in the 1950s. They were not in a public relationship at the beginning, though they maintained the relationship among each other, until the 1960s, when Roberto got divorced with his first wife Guadalupa Zapata. Ernesta and Roberto still were not officially married until 1967, after when Roberto died shortly in 1969.
While inheriting Roberto’s fortune as his widow, she still remained to be among the richest people in Argentina. Clarin was the most widely circulated newspaper in Argentina, and Ernesta inherited a controlling stake in the newspaper. Despite being on-demand, the newspaper still suffered from financial difficulties. In order to cease the problem, Ernesta addressed to one of the late Robert’s most prominent allies, economist and wholesaler Rogelio Julio Frigerio, who lent the newspaper $10.000 million. The paper continued to endorse Frigerio’s platform, which centered on government support for infrastructure investment and import substitution industrialization. On Frigerio’s advice, Mrs. Noble brought in Héctor Magnetto, who took charge of the newspaper’s finances and pretty well survived the financial crisis.
Under the leadership of Ernesta Herrera, Clarin extended its reach into Argentine media, purchasing two second-ranked outlets, Radio Mitre and Channel 13 as well as several other stations and magazines. The further partnerships were extended into the holding company in 1997 Cimeco S.A, which then got majority stakes in many newspapers. While under the control of Ernesta and Hector, the holding was considered as the most important media conglomerate in Argentina.
Luis Alejandro Pagani
Luis Alejandro Pagani is the Argentine Businessman and the president of the Arcor Group. Luis Alejandro Pagani as an ordinary student attended school and graduated as a National Public Accountant at the National University of Cordoba. Then, he specialized in marketing at New York University. Without having any specific background or the prominent family he still became one of the richest men in Argentina.
Currently, he is Chairman of Group Arcor, ever since 1993. He joined Arcor Group as Commercial Director, which is of his specialization in 1986 and assumed his presidency in 1993. With the support of the company and his dedication, the company reached regional expansion and internationalization, together with the management growth. He also chaired the Argentine Business Association (AEA) (AEA) from 2002 to 2009, since then integrating the Vice Presidency of the Board of Directors. One of the founders of the AEA was Luis Alejandro Pagani, together with the other group of the initiative businessmen. The purpose of the organization, which was founded on May 28, in 2002, was “promoting the economic and social development of Argentina from a private business perspective, with special emphasis on strengthening the institutions necessary for this purpose.
Luis is the owner of many exceptional awards and is recognized in many spheres. He was the first-ever Latin American businessman to enter the Candy Hall Of Fame in 2000, the highest distinction granted by the National Confectionery Sales Association of the United States of America. He has also been named as a “CEO of the year” by Latin Finance magazine. He got Security Award as the “Entrepreneur of Argentina”, he held the title for the following 11 years.
Going back to the topic of the richest Argentine families, businessman Marcos Galperin is from one of them. Marcos was born in 1971, in a quite wealthy family, which gave him the opportunity to travel to the US and fulfill his studies there. America was very handy for the future businessman because it was exactly there where he met his future partners and had the initiation of starting his own company. Marcos studies finances at the University of Pennsylvania. There he became a good friend with Jose Estenssoro, the son of YPF, which is the largest Argentine oil and energy company. A good friend is not it? When he finished college and returned to Argentina, he started working for his friend’s company.
By the end of the 90s, in 1997, he came back to the US and enrolled in Standford School of Business, which he graduated from in 1999 with an M.B.A degree. It was at the university when he started his own company MercadoLibre.com. Marcos was quite a good student and received a really good assistant from his professor, who helped him with the first steps. Marcos needed funds and sponsors in order to start his company. Luckily enough, his professor acknowledged him with one of the invited speakers of the conference and the funder of the Hicks Muse private equity fund, John Muse.
Marcos, who apparently was a very creative young man, offered John his private jet as a means of transportation. John agreed and before the plane landed he agreed to fund Marcos’ company. The company was launched and has been operating very well and successfully ever after that. In September 2001 eBay acquired 19.5% of MercadoLibre in exchange for eBay’s recently acquired Brazilian subsidiary of Ibazar.com.br. In this transaction, MercadoLibre also became eBay’s exclusive partner for the Latin American region. And with this Marcos is the youngest billionaire on our list.
Jorge Horacio Brito
Apparently in Argentina, one can not become a billionaire without being born in any prominent family. Jorge Brito was born in an upper-class family in 1952, in Buenos Aires. While his family was wealthy, it still di not have anything to do with Brito’s business and his current occupation. He is the owner and the founder of the largest bank in Argentina Macro Bank.
Jorge Horacio Brito, who is on the top listing of the richest people in Argentina founded Anglia, a brokerage firm in 1976 and then purchased competing brokerage Financeria Macro, forming present Macro Bank. He was named Chairman of the Board of Directors in June 1988, while the bank grew steadily with the acquisition of numerous provincial banks privatized during the 1990s, the economic crisis time, including the Bank of Salta and f neighboring Tucuman Province.
Starting with the baby steps, Macro Bank became one of the major banks of Argentina, with several branches around the country. Brito is the chairman of Macro Bank’s board directors, it’s Chief Executive Officer and a member of its executive committee and senior credit committee. That seems like he lower having everything under his comity. Brito became chairman of the Argentine Banking Association (ADEBA) on April 8, 2003, until 2016. And in 2017 he was replaced by Jorge Pablo Brito, Brito’s son and director of Macro Bank.
ADEBA was founded in 1972 and is part of the G-6 Group, which unites the main Argentine business entities such as the Argentine Industrial Union, the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, the Argentine Construction Chamber, the Argentine Chamber of Commerce, and the Argentine Rural Society. The Group organizes debates related to the domestic economy and development.
Just like many other Argentine businessmen, Brito has numerous awards on his account. He has invested in real state, in agriculture and livestock as well as wind power. The most important award that he received was the Fortuna Lifetime Achievements Awards in 2016, because of his influence and commitments to the Argentinean business community.
At first, the name and the surname do not seem to be very Argentinean, but we can assure you that he has a valid reason to be on the list of the richest people in Argentina. Hugo Sigman was born in 1944 and is the founder, the CEO, and together with his wife biochemist Silva Gold, the only shareholder of Insud Group, w business group with presence in the field of pharmaceutical, agroforestry, cinema, nature, and design. Perhaps, this makes him together with Ernesta Herrera the most outstanding in the list.
Sigma does not come from any wealthy families in Argentina, but his family definitely was capable of paying tuition for his studies and fully support him financially. He graduated with a degree in Social Psychology as a Medical doctor. He started and continued his career in psychiatry, first as chief of residents and then as a founder and director of the Psychiatric Emergency Unit at the same hospital. Later in 1976, he moved to Spain, where he worked at the Psychiatry Service of Hospital Clínico de Barcelona. At that time, he started his entrepreneurial career and got involved in the pharmaceutical industry. In 1978, with his wife, Silvia Gold, he founded Chemo Group, a chemical-pharmaceutical company, and the first company of Insud Group.
In the 1980s, Hugo Sigman and his family moved back to Argentina, where he developed his existing businesses and developed new work areas. Now, approximately 250 researchers work at the partnerships supported by the Group, doing basic and applied research. 100 of them are dedicated to the development of products for treating cancer. The company also is the leader in the animal vaccine production, which is the only authorizes company by the government of China to build a plant in that country.
In 1998, he started agricultural and forestry activities in different locations of Argentina, focused on genetic improvement and sustainable production, with companies Garruchos, devoted to farming and cattle-raising. Sigman is also a shareholder of Bioceres, an Argentine biotechnology company focused on agricultural production. This company developed a gene that enables the production of wheat, corn, and soybean resistant to draughts and soil salinity, and has licensed its products to the USA, France, and India.
Eduardo Francisco Costantini
Last but definitely not least, in the list of the richest people in Argentina is Eduardo Francisco Constantini, who is an Argentine real estate developer and businessman as well as the founder and chairman of the Museum of Latin America Art of Bueno Aires. Eduardo was born in 1946 in Buenos Aires. He graduated from the University of East Anglian in England with the masters of arts in quantitative economics.
Eduardo kicked off with Penta S.A being the first controller and then it’s Financial Director. In the 80s he decided to become a stock-broker and then a president of Consultation Bursatil SA, it is also the time when he gained most of his fortune, before establishing his own museum and businesses. In 1991, it was the first year he founded his business which was a financial management agency, a company exclusively devotes to managing investment funds mainly in Latin America. That same year he founded Consultation SA, a company that was devoted to the development of large-scale real estate projects.
Exactly through the last mentioned company, he has developed Nordelta, the largest and most innovative real estate venture in the whole of Argentina. The building is located in Tigre, on 1700 hectares and has a population of over 35000 residents, meeting all community needs. On the territory, there are two medical centers, five schools, a shopping mall with more than 100 stores and several movie theaters, a sports club, several restaurants, two gas stations, and a five-star hotel. Basically he builds a whole small town that has amenities of big cities in certain countries. In 2010 Consultation SA developed Puertos in Escobar, Buenos Aires province, conceived as an ecological urbanization project of 1,400 hectares with its own biological corridor with native species of plants and animals.
The new huge project is coming up, which is Consultation SA Costantini when being accomplished, it will be the most modern and sustainable building in Buenos Aires and the second tallest of the city. Costantini had carried out real estate projects outside Argentina. He built Las Garza’s complex in Rocha, Uruguay, where he also invested 10 million dollars in the construction of the circular bridge –designed by Rafael Viñoly. The bridge connects the department od, Rocha and Maldonado. Because of his accomplishments, he has a number of awards on his account. Those awards include Oder of Rio Branco, for his contribution to the propagation of Brazilian culture, “A” prize fo the artistic value of his collection, and he was also entitled with the Business Role Model, for his values, track record, and commitment to innovation.
As you may see the top 10 list of the wealthiest people in Argentina, is an interesting piece. The tendency that is obviously recognized, is that most of the millionaires from Argentina have inherited the fortune from the families, and the families mostly operate in the oil and gas industry, which is a valid argument considering the country’s geological position as well as resources. What can definitely be told, is that most of the candidates are involved in the business sector and only one of them is the woman. Though, some of the interesting occupations have been determined in the country and it can be said that most of the fields that contribute to the country’s development are more or less in good hands, or at least in the wealthy hands.