How The Cargill/MacMillan Family Became The Fourth-Richest American Family, With A Combined Net Worth Of $47 Billion

We live in an era of truly incredible wealth and vast inequality between the richest billionaires and every day middle class people. The world’s 50 richest families have a net worth of $ 1.2 trillion. The Cargill Macmillan family is the fourth richest family in the US with a net worth of $ 47 billion, up from $ 42.3 billion two years ago. never heard of them? The family owns Cargill, Inc. Is owned by, which is the largest privately held company in the United States. The company dates back to 1865, when William W. Cargill started a commodities company with a one-grain storage warehouse in Iowa.

Today, his successor retains control over a company that has interests in food and agriculture. When we think of dynasties, we can think of generations of royalty who rule some far off land. According to the dictionary, the word dynasty has a slightly broader meaning. It is “a succession of people from the same family who play a major role in business, politics, or any other field.” Under that definition, the Kargil family is the largest example of a US dynasty. There are 14 members of the Cargill Macmillan family who are billionaires. This one family has more billionaires than some countries.

William W. Cargill was born in 1844 in Port Jefferson, New York. In the years following the Civil War, Kargil was in his 20s. He established his own grain storage company in Iowa. Two years later he brought his brothers Sam and Sylvester into the business and expanded the lumber. Ten years after the founding of the company he raised his second brother, James F. Launched Kargil in business. In 1909 William died of pneumonia and left the company to his wife. In a tragic turn of events, his widow died unexpectedly when he did so and the company was split between his four children. His son-in-law, John McMillan, became president of the senior company.

Martha “Mufi” Macmillan (photo by Gemal Countess / Getty Images)

Macmillan’s appointment as president was appropriate for the future net worth of the company and the family. He had a good head for business and saved the company from the brink of going down. He made a solid financial plan, which enabled the company to grow continuously. From 1909 to 1960, Cargill or McMillan was CEO of the company, including John McMillan, Jr. Erwin Kelm, the first non-family member to run the company, expanded the company into freight, shipping and commodities. Whitney McMillan took over the family business in 1976 and under her leadership, the company’s revenue grew to approximately $ 30 billion in one year. Today is equivalent to about $ 137 billion when adjusted for inflation.

By the 1990s, the company was going through growing pains. The family wanted to keep the company private, while others wanted it to go public. The entire situation was resolved by a reorganization of the board of directors to include six family members, six unrelated business people and five managers within the company. Today, Cargill remains a family-owned business with the Cargill and MacMillan families holding 90% of the business. Every year, the Cargill Macmillan family leaves 80% of the company’s net income inside the company for reinvestment and pays about 18% of the net profit in the form of dividends.

From 1999 to 2007, Warren Staley, an American investor, and businessman was CEO of Cargill, Inc. His career at the company worked for nearly four decades. He was credited with starting the company, which the “Star Tribune” called “the agricultural industry’s version of the CIA”, a more open and modern company that expanded worldwide into commodity trading and investment.

The family is notorious. They rarely give interviews, avoid the spotlight, and do not engage in the social scene. Most of the family members live on large ranches in Minnesota, Montana and Wisconsin.

The Cargill-MacMillan family remain active board members, but they no longer operate Cargill day-to-day. The company has continued to grow and expand over the years and now has 166,000 employees in 70 countries. Cargill accounted for 25% of all US grain exports. The company also supplies 22% of the US domestic meat market. It is the largest poultry producer in Thailand. All eggs used in McDonald’s restaurants in the US come from Cargill. It is the only producer of albuter process salt in the US. It is a salt used in the fast food and prepared foods industry. Kargil has annual revenue of $ 115 billion. It is the largest privately held corporation in the US. If Kargil was a public company, it would rank 15thTh On the Fortune 500.

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