There is lots of gloom and doom talk about Brazil these days. The nation that seemed prepared to join the ranks of the top elite economies just a few years ago has suddenly spiraled downward to virtually no GDP growth. The 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games failed to generate any real improvements. In fact, Rio de Janeiro has found itself suffering from unrestrained violence and a lack of police presence since the Games, forcing the government to call in the Army to help restore order.
For these reasons, and more, it has become fashionable to “Brazil Bash.” Yet, do not give up hope. Brazil has much in its favor and remains a top 10 global economy. And, some Brazilians are making power moves that are indicative of where the nation as a whole may well soon be. For example, billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann has positioned himself to become one of the top ten richest men in the world.
His company, 3G Capital, owns or controls Heinz, Kraft, AMinBev (including Budweiser), Burger King, and other popular brands. Lemann keeps good company, having teamed with Warren Buffett on the Heinz deal.
Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1939, Lemann grew up enjoying the carioca (nickname for the city`s residents) life of sun and fun. He attended Harvard University in the USA but initially found the institution a bit stuffy, preferring the laidback culture of his beloved Rio. Nevertheless, Lemann buckled down and managed to graduate. This type of tenacity also made Lemann a five-time Brazilian tennis champion and carried him to Wimbledon, the most prestigious tournament in the world.
Unfortunately, a 1999 kidnap attempt on his children forced him to relocate permanently to Switzerland. There, he runs his businesses while maintaining constant contact with his partners in Brazil and the USA.
Lemann`s net worth sits currently at $31.6 billion, according to Forbes.