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#105 Luis Sarmiento $12.3B

Random fact: Bought first bank in 1971 after amassing a fortune in construction.

Overview

Sarmiento is the chairman and founder of Grupo Aval, Colombia's largest banking group. The Bogota-based company had about $84 billion in assets at the end of 2017. He also owns two insurance providers operating under the Alfa brand, as well as newspaper El Tiempo and real estate developer Construcciones Planificadas.

As of June 19, 2018:
Last change -$76.1M (-0.6%)
YTD change -$223M (-1.8%)
Industry Finance
Biggest asset AVAL CB Equity
Citizenship Colombia
Age 85
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Luis Sarmiento's net worth of $12.3B can buy ...

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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Sarmiento's fortune is derived from his stake in Grupo Aval, Colombia's largest banking group, according to the company website. The billionaire controls 97 percent of the company's voting shares and 43 percent of its preferred shares, according to a 20-F filed in December 2017. He also owns smaller outside stakes in the four traded banks controlled by Aval: Banco AV Villas, Banco de Occidente, Banco de Bogota and Banco Popular.

His two insurance companies, which operate under the Alfa moniker, had combined equity of $490 million in 2017, according to the financial results published on their website. The businesses are valued using the average price-to-book and price-to-earnings multiples of three Latin American peer companies: Brazil's Porto Seguro, Chile's Prevision Vida and Peru's Rimac.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of dividends, reinvestments, stakes in closely held companies, and market performance. He also has about $550 million in properties mostly in Bogota, according to a statement from his office.

Biography

Birthdate: 1/27/1933
Family: Married, 5 children
Education: Bachelor's Degree, National University of Colombia

The second-youngest of nine children, Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo studied engineering at Bogota's National University. He started his own construction firm in 1956 and amassed a small fortune building roads and housing projects. He expanded into finance in 1971 when he acquired the ailing lender Banco de Occidente and founded insurance company Seguros Alfa.

He continued to build his financial empire over the decades that followed, both by starting his own firms (pension fund Porvenir, lender Corporación de Ahorro y Vivienda Las Villas) and by acquiring others (Banco de Bogota, Banco Popular). In 1998, he united most of his financial interests under a new holding company, Grupo Aval, which held an IPO the following year.

Through Corficolombiana, Aval's investment bank, Sarmiento owns an array of interests in infrastructure, agribusiness, energy and tourism. He also maintains a real estate business, Construcciones Planificadas. The company oversaw the 2010 construction of Colombia's biggest mall, Bogota's Centro Mayor, and is building a 6.5 million square-foot office complex near the city's airport -- the Ciudad Empresarial Sarmiento Angulo.

Sarmiento remains Aval's chairman after naming his only son, Luis Carlos Sarmiento Gutierrez, CEO in 2000.

Milestones
  • 1933 Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo is born in Bogota.
  • 1948 Receives engineering degree from Colombia's National University.
  • 1959 Starts Organizacion Luis Carlos Sarmiento construction company.
  • 1972 Buys Banco de Occidente.
  • 1981 Buys stake in Banco de Bogota, sparking battle with owner.
  • 1988 Completes hostile takeover of Banco de Bogota.
  • 1998 Creates Grupo Aval holding company to unite most of his banks.
  • 1999 Holds initial public offering of Grupo Aval in Bogota.
  • 2000 Names son Luis Carlos Sarmiento Gutierrez as Aval's CEO.
  • 2012 Takes over the Colombian daily newspaper El Tiempo.