Surging Latin American Economies Unmasking Hidden Billionaires

Carlos Rodriguez-Pastor says he never wanted the world to know how rich he is.

“I don’t see what the big deal is,” says the Peruvian mogul, who amassed much of his $3 billion fortune by selling financial services in South America’s burgeoning economy through his IFH Peru Ltd. “It just happened, and my life hasn’t changed that much.”

Rodriguez-Pastor, 52, and the seven fellow billionaires that Bloomberg Markets reports on in its September cover package have kept low profiles as they created empires.

Brazilian real-estate developer Rubens Menin Teixeira de Souza found his ticket to wealth in homes for his country’s rising middle class. Alain Taravella of France survived a slump and is building malls and offices along with houses and apartments.

These tycoons haven’t appeared in any major international wealth rankings. Most of their fortunes crested the 10-figure mark in the past two years as the value of stakes in publicly held companies soared.

Siegfried Meister, the reclusive founder of Germany’s Rational AG (RAA), is enjoying the proceeds from the kitchen equipment that goes into hotels and restaurants. Rational shares rose 51 percent in the 12 months ended on Aug. 1 amid surging profits. Elisabeth Badinter profited from a 42 percent jump in the stock of Paris-based advertising giant Publicis Groupe SA (PUB) over two years as the firm expanded in Asia and Latin America.

Anas Sefrioui has been a billionaire since he took Casablanca, Morocco-based real-estate developer Douja Promotion Groupe Addoha SA (ADH) public in 2006. He has never been identified as a billionaire, until now: His 61.74 percent stake was valued at $2.3 billion in early August.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Miller at mmiller144@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Laura Colby at lcolby@bloomberg.net

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