The Wealthiest Man in South America
Jorge Paulo Lemann is one the 50 wealthiest people in the world and the richest in South America. The Brazilian business magnate's net worth is an estimated $25 billion putting him at 26th on the list of 50 richest people on earth.
Lemann followed an unusual route to wealth. He initially worked as a journalist and professional tennis player, (playing at Wimbledon), before buying a small brokerage in Brazil for $800,000 in 1971. Lemann and his partners then modeled the firm after Goldman Sachs, eventually building it into a powerhouse and selling to Credit Suisse in 1998 for $657 million.
In 2004, Lemann cofounded the investment firm 3G Capital, where he’s built a reputation for orchestrating huge mergers and acquisitions, often alongside friend and fellow billionaire Warren Buffett. At the end of 2014, Lemann created a fast-food giant, with the help of Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, by merging Burger King with Canadian brand Tim Hortons in a series of deals worth over $11 billion.
In March of 2015, 3G and Berkshire Hathaway teamed up again to invest $10 billion into the megamerger of Kraft and Heinz, which created the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world with combined revenues of $28 billion.
And in November, 3G's Anheuser-Busch InBev orchestrated a mammoth $108 billion deal to acquire SABMiller, becoming the most dominant beer producer in the world. The megamerger puts brand-name beers like Budweiser, Stella Artois, and Leffe all under one roof, and it puts Lemann one step closer to his lifelong dream of controlling the beer market.
Lemann serves on the boards of Lojas Americanas S.A., the Gillette Company, and the Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd. He is chairman of the Latin American Advisory Committee of the New York Stock Exchange and a member of the International Advisory Boards for Credit Suisse Group and DaimlerChrysler. He also is a backer of 3G Capital, which in 2010 purchased the fast-food chain Burger King.
Jorge Paulo Lemann was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1961. Lemann, who also has a home in Zurich, Switzerland, remains notoriously private when it come to his personal life, choosing to let his business performance do the talking.