Forbes has once again released the billionaires list. The list for the year 2017 has many surprises, with many people dropping, while others have risen in the ranks.
Below is the list of the 12 wealthiest women in the world as at March 2017 according to Forbes:
1. Liliane Bettencourt (#14 on Forbes)
The world’s richest woman, Bettencourt owns 33% of makeup giant L’Oréal with her children. Her father, Eugene Schueller, founded the cosmetics empire in 1907.
Her father, Eugene Schueller, founded the cosmetics empire in 1907. The elderly widow, who suffers from dementia, was replaced on L’Oréal’s board by a grandson in 2012.
2. Alice Walton (#17 on Forbes)
Alice Walton is the only daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. She has focused on curating art, rather than working for Wal-Mart like her siblings, Rob and Jim.
In 2011 she opened the Crystal Bridges museum in the family’s hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas. Crystal Bridges features works from the likes of Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell and Mark Rothko.
Her personal art collection is valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
3. Jacqueline Mars (#26 on Forbes)
Jacqueline Mars owns a third of the world’s largest candymaker, Mars Inc., the company her grandfather started in his kitchen in 1911.
Mars owns five billion-dollar pet brands, including Iams and Whiskas, and in January 2017 agreed to pay $7.7 billion for VCA Inc., an operator of nearly 800 animal hospitals and 137 pet day care centers.
Jacqueline joined the family business in 1982, where she oversaw the development and marketing of new food products. She retired in 2001 but remained on the board until 2016.
4. Maria Franca Fissolo (#29 on Forbes)
Maria Franca Fissolo is the widow of Michele Ferrero, who built Ferrero Group into one of the world’s leading sweets companies, best known for its iconic Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread, Kinder chocolates and Tic-Tac mints.
Ferrero died in February 2015, but the family business lives on. Her son Giovanni, who took over as co-CEO in 1987, continues to lead the company and has reiterated plans to keep it in family hands.
5. Susanne Klatten (#38 on Forbes)
Susanne Klatten ranks as Germany’s richest woman thanks primarily to the interests she inherited in automaker BMW from her deceased parents, Herbert and Johanna Quandt. Susanne and her brother, Stefan Quandt, together own almost 50% of BMW.
6. Laurene Powell Jobs (#40 on Forbes)
Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs, is founder and chair of the Emerson Collective, an organization that uses entrepreneurship to advance social reform and to assist under-resourced students.
She also cofounded College Track, a nonprofit program that helps disadvantaged students prepare for and graduate from college.
7. Gina Rinehart (#69 on Forbes)
Gina Rinehart is Australia’s richest citizen but her wealth is built on iron ore and her fortune can either jump or plummet depending on the price of the commodity.
The daughter of a high-profile iron-ore explorer, Lang Hancock, Rinehart took her late father’s bankrupted estate and rebuilt it into something much larger.
8. Abigail Johnson (#75 on Forbes)
Her grandfather Edward Johnson II founded mutual fund giant Fidelity Investments in 1946. She worked summers at Fidelity through college and joined full-time as an analyst in 1988 after receiving a Harvard M.B.A.
She took over as CEO in 2014 and chairman in 2016 and owns an estimated 24% stake of the firm, which has $2.1 trillion in managed assets.
9. Iris Fontbona (#84 on Forbes)
Iris Fontbona is the widow of Andrónico Luksic, who built a fortune in mining and beverages before dying of cancer in 2005.
He left his businesses to Fontbona and their three sons: Jean-Paul, Andronico and Guillermo (who died of lung cancer in 2013 of at age 57).
Fontbona and her children control Antofagasta Plc, which trades on the London Stock Exchange and owns copper mines in Chile.
Fontbona and her children also own a majority stake in Quiñenco, a publicly-traded Chilean conglomerate active in banking, beer, manufacturing, energy, transportation and port services.
Their other assets include two chains of hotels in Croatia, Adriatic Luxury Resorts and Laguna Porec.
10. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken (#95 on Forbes)
De Carvalho-Heineken is one of the world’s richest women thanks to her 23% controlling stake in Heineken.
Now an executive director, she inherited the stake in 2002 from her late father, longtime CEO Freddy Heineken.
11. Blair Parry-Okeden (#105 on Forbes)
Blair Parry-Okeden is the granddaughter of James M. Cox, who founded what has become Cox Enterprises, an automotive and media conglomerate.
James, failed Democratic presidential candidate in 1920 and started the company. Parry-Okeden’s stepfather ran it for a time, and now her brother, Jim, a billionaire in his own right, manages the massive firm.
12. Massimiliana Landini Aleotti (#133 on Forbes)
Massimiliana Landini Aleotti and her three children inherited medical giant Menarini from her late husband, Alberto Aleotti, who passed away in May 2014 at age 91.
Alberto built Menarini into one of Italy’s leading drug companies, with 14 manufacturing sites around the world and more than 16,000 employees.