Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#418 Jacques Saade $4.83B

Random fact: Graduate of the London School of Economics.


Saade is the founder of closely held CMA CGM, the world's third-largest container shipping company. The Marseille, France-based business transported 16 million containers across more than 200 shipping lines and had revenue of $16 billion in 2016. It had 489 vessels in operation as of May 2017.

As of Jan. 22, 2018:
Last change +$74.7M (+1.6%)
YTD change +$261M (+5.7%)
Industry Services
Biggest asset CMA CGM
Citizenship France
Age 80
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Jacques Saade's net worth of $4.83B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Saade controls closely held CMA CGM, the world's third-largest container shipping company, according to a June 2017 prospectus. Saade is credited with 70 percent of Marseille-based CMA CGM, reflecting sale agreements reached with Turkey's Yildirim Group and France's Fonds Strategique d'Investissement for 30 percent of the company. 

CMA CGM transported 16 million containers across more than 200 shipping lines and had revenue of $16 billion in 2016, according to its website. It had 489 vessels in operation as of May 2017, according to its website.

Saade and his family control their stake through Beirut, Lebanon-based holding company Merit Corporation, of which they are the ultimate owners, according to CMA CGM's 2016 annual report. As founder, Saade is credited with his family's entire stake.

CMA CGM is valued using the price-to-book value of three publicly traded peer companies: Hapag-Lloyd, Cosco Shipping Holdings and Evergreen Marine. Book value is taken from the company's third-quarter results and is as of Sept. 30, 2017.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of dividends, market performance, insider transactions, taxes and charitable contributions.

Saade's younger brother Johnny has launched a series of legal actions disputing Jacques' ownership of CMA CGM since he was bought out in 2000. None have so far succeeded and aren't included as liabilities in his net worth calculation.

Saade declined to comment on his net worth.


Birthdate: 1937
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: 1957, London School of Economics & Political Science, Graduated, Economics

Jacques Saade was born in Lebanon in 1937, according to a company profile. In 1978, after studying at the London School of Economics, he moved his family to Marseilles, France as the civil war in his home country intensified, according to a 2017 prospectus filing for CMA CGM.

He founded Compagnie Maritime d'Affretement, which initially focused on operating ferries between Marseille and Beirut, according to a 2008 profile in the Financial Times. A series of acquisitions culminated in the purchase of Compagnie Generale Maritime from the French government in 1996 and the formation of CMA CGM in 1999.

Saade bought his brother's 50 percent stake in CMA for $40 million in 2000. Johnny, his sibling, has since initiated various civil and commercial legal proceedings before Lebanese and French courts to make that settlement null and void. 

The billionaire is married and lives in Marseille.

  • 1937 Jacques Saade is born in Lebanon.
  • 1957 Graduates from the London School of Economics.
  • 1978 Moves to Marseille, France and sets up a ferry line.
  • 1999 Merger of CMA and CGM to create the CMA CGM group.
  • 2000 Buys brother's 50 percent share of the company.
  • 2010 Signs shareholder agreement with Turkish industrial group Yildirim.
  • 2011 New 33-story headquarters open in Marseille.
  • 2017 Son takes over role of chairman.