Don’t you love reading about how people made their fortunes? Whether it’s hard work and a great idea or expanding a family company, the stories of billionaires and millionaires are inspiring.
For those from Alberta, the lay of the land offers ample opportunity for investment and riches. With more than 80% of oil coming from the province and over 30% of the country’s natural resource GDP, the energy deposits in Alberta make it a prime spot for development and expansion.
Many of the richest people from Alberta that made my list are associated with oil or other energy resources.
Richest People From Alberta
Estimated net worth: $4.36 billion
Katz initially made his fortune by securing the rights to a U.S. franchise, The Medicine Shoppe. After that, he expanded his business holdings and his own company, the Katz Group of Companies. Now, it is one of the largest privately held companies in Canada.
He still has his hands in other industries, though. In addition to real estate development, he’s the owner of the Edmonton Oilers hockey team and an investor in Silver Pictures, a production company.
2. Fred and Ron Mannix
Estimated net worth: $3.3 billion
The Mannix family has been a staple around Canada since the 1800s. Fred and Ron’s grandfather, Frederick Stephen Mannix, started working in railway construction.
He expanded to road and heavy construction after that. The family company was involved in projects like the Trans-Canada Highway and the construction of the Toronto and Montreal subway systems.
When their father wanted to step down, he divided the company into two parts, with Ron taking over Coril Holdings and Fred overseeing Mancal Company.
Mancal specializes in oil and gas exploration, the coal industry, and real estate. Coril Holdings provides real estate development, railway maintenance, and personal health and wellness services.
3. Garrett Camp
Estimated net worth: $2.5 billion
Chances are, even if you don’t know who Garrett Camp is, you’ve probably used one of his creations. Camp is the cofounder of Uber, the popular ride-sharing service.
But before all that, he helped develop StumbleUpon, one of the first web discovery platforms. eBay bought the company in 2007 for $75 million.
Camp then helped self-fund Uber in 2009, launching just a few cars on the road in San Fransico to start. With increased demand, the company expanded to other cities and is now one of the largest ride-sharing services in the world.
Even with all that success, Camp continues to work with start-up companies. He started Expa, which helps start-up companies develop by getting capital, a workspace, and advice.
He’s also working to develop a cryptocurrency called Eco.
4. Estate of Ronald Southern
Estimated net worth: $2.3 billion
Although Ronald Southern died in 2016, his estate still tops the richest lists because of the company he helped grow. Southern and his father each invested money into Alberta Trailer Hire Co. back in the 1940s. From that investment, ATCO would form.
ATCO is a holding company specializing in engineering, logistics, and energy. Subsidiaries include oil, natural gas distribution, and construction companies.
Since the 1960s, the company’s been public and trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Southern passed on control of the company to his daughter, Nancy, in the early 2000s.
5. N. Murray Edwards
Estimated net worth: $2.18 billion
Edwards made his fortune by investing in energy companies. One of his most significant holdings, Canadian Natural Resources plans to spend millions of dollars turning bitumen-bearing sand into crude oil.
In addition, Edwards has a significant stake in Canada’s second-largest oil company Ensign Energy.
He owns the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, which includes six ski resorts located throughout Canada.
If that’s not enough, Edwards is also the owner of the Calgary Flames hockey team.
6. The Riddell Family
Estimated net worth: $1.62 billion
Clay Riddell started Paramount Resources in the 1970s. It is a petroleum company specializing in the exploration, development, production, and processing of natural gas and other components of crude oil.
The company has various other subsidiaries all within the energy realm. In addition, Clay Riddell was also co-owner of the Calgary Flames.
Paramount Resources is still within the family’s control, even though Clay passed away in 2018. Today, his son Jim is president and CEO of the company.
7. David Werklund
Estimated net worth: 1.43 billion
Werklund started off from humble beginnings. He grew up on a farm and started his career as a Production Manager for Shell Canada. Working there, he saw the need for environmental and waste management issues within the oil and gas industry.
He started Concord Well and grew it into Canada’s third-largest well-servicing company. His next company, Canadian Crude Separators, pioneered a new Gravity Compression System that settles solid waste from the emulsions at the plant.
This new setup exceeded industry regulations and paved the way for new standards.
8. The Shaw Family
Estimated net worth: $1.2 billion
James Robert Shaw, better known as JR, started Shaw Communication in 1966. The company provides telecommunication services (internet, telephone, television, and mobile services) to residents of Alberta and British Columbia, as well as satellite customers nationwide.
JR’s son Bradley is the current CEO of Shaw Communications. However, the company is expected to merge with Rogers by the end of the year.
9. Ghermezian Family
Estimated net worth: $650 million
The four Ghermezian brothers grew their father’s business from one of the largest importers of oriental rugs into a real estate and construction company.
Much of the family’s company Triple Five Group, revolves around shopping malls, but not just any shopping malls. These retail centers not only attract everyday shoppers but younger crowds that show up for all the entertainment aspects surrounding it.
The brothers took on a big project they called the American Dream, located in the Meadowland Sports Complex in New Jersey. After years of delays and trouble with financing, parts of the mall are now open, including retail stores, Nickelodeon Universe theme park, Big Snow American ski slope, and DreamWorks Water Park.
Estimated net worth: $600 million.
Markin started his career as a chemical engineer and worked in senior management for Merland Exploration and Helton Engineering.
In 1989, he teamed up with N. Murray Edwards, another billionaire on our list, to start Canadian Natural Resources Limited. The company is the largest producer of natural gas and heavy crude oil in Canada.
Markin is also one of the co-owners of the Calgary Flames. Currently, he is the Chief Accountability Officer of the nonprofit charitable foundation Pure North S’Energy Foundation.
11. W. Brett Wilson
Estimated net worth: $300 million
Wilson started an investment banking firm in the early 1990s and then went on to form FirstEnergy Capital Corporation with N. Murray Edwards. That company provides investment banking services to those in the energy sector. He retired as chairman of FirstEnergy in 2008.
In addition, Wilson owns the Nashville Predators hockey team and the Derby County FC, an English football club.
12. Chip Wilson
Estimated net worth: $4.9 billion
Chip Wilson is worth a lot of money, so why is he only an honourable mention? Technically, Wilson isn’t from Alberta, but he went to school there, so I figured he deserved at least some recognition.
He started the athleisurewear company Lululemon Athletica. Throughout his time as an executive and as a member of the board, Wilson often disagreed with the direction the company was going. This in part led him to step away from the board and sell a portion of his shares in the company.
Currently, there are 64 billionaires in Canada. The country comes in the top ten, holding on to the eighth spot.
As noted on my list of richest people in Alberta, many in the top spot come from generational wealth, meaning they either inherited money from a family member or were able to continue working for their family’s successful business and possibly expand it.
The number one and two spots of most billionaires probably aren’t any surprise – it is the United States and China.
Currently, Forbes names Elon Musk as the richest person in the world with a net worth of $211.4 billion. Musk is the founder of SpaceX and was an investor and product architect of Tesla.
His wealth is staggering when you consider the next person on the list, the founder of luxury brand LVMH, Bernard Arnault’s net worth is $150.5 billion.
Many of the richest people on this list made their fortunes because of the rich natural resources located within Alberta. Either way, the province is home to some pretty intelligent and forward-thinking people that built businesses from the ground up or improved family companies.
If you can’t get enough reading about these wealthy individuals, check out my article on the richest people in Toronto.