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#355 Pierre Bellon $5.02B

Random fact: Established Sodexo with 100,000 francs borrowed from his father.


Bellon is the founder and largest shareholder of Sodexo, a catering services provider with revenue of 20.2 billion euros ($22.5 billion) in the year to Aug. 31, 2016. The Paris-based company operates in 80 countries, serves 75 million customers daily and is the world's 19th biggest employer, according to its website.

As of July 26, 2017:
Last change -$21.6M (-0.4%)
YTD change +$124M (+2.5%)
Industry Retail
Biggest asset SW FP Equity
Citizenship France
Age 87
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Pierre Bellon's net worth of $5.02B 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

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Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Bellon's wealth is derived from his 25.8 percent stake in Sodexo, a publicly traded caterer. The Paris-based company operates in 80 countries, serves 75 million customers daily is the world's 19th biggest employer, according to its website.

He holds the stock through Bellon SA, his family's Paris-based holding company that owns 39.6 percent of Sodexo's capital stock and 54.8 percent of its voting rights. He owns 68.5 percent of the holding company with his four children, according to Sodexo's 2016 annual report. He's credited with the shares to reflect his status as founder of Sodexo and controller of the holding company.

A liability has been applied, which represents 68.5 percent of the net debt reported by the holding company in its statutory financial results.

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

Representatives at Sodexo's press office didn't respond to emailed requests for comment.


Birthdate: 1/24/1930
Family: Married, 4 children
Education: Hec Paris, Graduated

Pierre Felix Etienne Bellon was born on Jan. 24, 1930, to Felix and Claire Bellon, who operated a maritime catering business out of the French port of Marseille. His mother died when he was 12, and he and his three siblings were raised by their father. Bellon attended a Jesuit college and later studied at HEC business school in Paris. He graduated in 1954, according to the university's website.

Four years later he joined a hotel and hospitality company as assistant manager and rose to become chief executive officer by the 1960s. He borrowed 100,000 francs ($20,000) from his father and founded Sodexho -- later changed to Sodexo -- in Marseille in 1966. It became France's second-largest hospitality provider within six years.

International expansion in the 1970s created new markets in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The company sold shares on the Paris Stock Exchange in 1983, and widened operations to the Americas, Japan, South Africa and Russia. Alliances with the U.K.'s Gardner Merchant and Sweden's Partena in 1995 made Sodexho the world's biggest contract caterer, with clients that included Wimbledon, Royal Ascot and the Sydney Opera House.

Three years later, Sodexho Marriott Services was founded, with Sodexho holding 48.4 percent of the outstanding shares in the new company. Sodexho took a majority stake in the division in 2001, and renamed it Sodexho Inc. Bellon stepped down as CEO in 2005 after almost four decades running the company and remained chairman.

He married his wife, Danielle, in Marseille in 1960. The couple's four children all sit on Sodexo's board of directors. The family signed a 50-year agreement on May 22, 2008, that prevents the sale of any Bellon SA shares to anyone apart from Pierre Bellon's direct heirs.

  • 1930 Pierre Felix Etienne Bellon is born in the French port of Marseille.
  • 1954 Graduates from HEC, a business school in Paris.
  • 1958 Joins a hotel catering company and rises to become chief executive.
  • 1966 Establishes Sodexho in Marseille with 100,000 francs from his father.
  • 1983 Sodexho sells shares in an initial public offering on the Paris Stock Exchange.
  • 1999 The Sodexho Foundation is established to help alleviate child hunger.
  • 2005 Steps down as Sodexho chief executive officer. Remains chairman.
  • 2008 Name changes to Sodexo.