Ricardo Salinas Biography & Net Worth
Ricardo Salinas Biography & Net Worth
|Ricardo Benjamín Salinas Pliego
|19 October 1955
|Businessman, Investor, Entrepreneur
Ricardo Salinas Pliego is one of top businessmen in Mexico. He is the president and chief executive officer of both the Grupo Salinas and the Grupo Elektra, two establishments with interests vested in retail stores, telecommunications, and media, among those Banco Azteca, Iusacell, Unefon, TV Azteca, and Elektra. Through his Fundación Azteca, Mr. Ricardo is a motivating force in Mexican philanthropy. He is a corporate leader, fully focused on increasing the worth of businesses and their efficient and dynamic execution. As a top executive and chairman of the board of Grupo Salinas, Ricardo supports deregulation, competitive market structures, and free trade. It was in 1987 that he became the chief executive officer of Elektra at a time when the company had less than 60 stores and was facing bankruptcy which was also contributed by the devaluation of the peso. Salinas directed the company to its basic products: furniture, appliances, and electronics, and reinstated credit sales with cautious risk-management schemes and began offering various financial products and services, including currency transfers through an agreement with Western Union. Through organic expansion and acquisitions of other retail businesses, in a few years, he transformed Grupo Elektra into the biggest specialty retailer in Mexico. He managed to raise the company as one of the country’s largest financial services firms by obtaining a banking license in 2002. In 2003, Grupo Elektra was issued authorization to operate a pension-management kind of business, branded as Afore Azteca. Later on, the company purchased an insurance business, now branded as Seguros Azteca, planned to bring insurance products and services to the mass market. Grupo Elektra bought Advance America in 2012. It is a leading company in non-banking loans in America and opened the stock market subsidiary Punto Casa de Bolsa, which operates with maximum standards of safety and efficiency.
Mr. Ricardo Salinas is also the chairman of TV Azteca, which was created in 1993, when a group of investors, led by him, acquired two national TV licenses from the government of Mexican. Under his management, Azteca ended Mexico’s long-existing television monopoly through the effective nationwide positioning of Azteca 7 and Azteca 13 networks. Azteca also has control of the cultural channel Proyecto 40 as well as Azteca Internacional. In 2001, Azteca launched Azteca America, a fast expanding network in the United States. Today, the company has affiliates in over 70 cities where 91 percent of South Americans live. In 2003, Grupo Salinas purchased Iusacell, the first cellphone company in Mexico. In 2007, Grupo Iusacell amalgamated with Unefon, another cellphone company established by Ricardo Salinas in 1999. In 2014, AT&T acquired Grupo Iusacell for an undisclosed amount. Currently, with Totalplay, Iusacell offers the most advanced Internet, television and communication services through fiber optic direct to home.
Early Life: Childhood & Education
Ricardo Benjamín Salinas Pliego was born on 19 October 1955, in Monterrey, Mexico. He attended the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, afterwhich he earned his MBA at Tulane University.
Professional Life: Business Career, Major Investments
After completing his studies, Salinas moved on to join Elektra in 1981 as an import manager. Between 1981 and 1986, he tried his hands on other businesses such as satellite dish marketing, a restaurant in Monterrey, and the sale of systems multi communication.
Ricardo inherited his great-grandfather’s business, Grupo Elektra, which was founded as a furniture manufacturer in 1905. Initially called Salinas & Rocha, the enterprise later expanded to include radio, television, consumer appliances, consumer finance, and retail. Ricardo took over as chief executive officer after working at the company for six years when his own father retired. Elektra’s innovation was selling furniture appliances, and electronics on credit to the lower and middle income consumers in Mexico. These practices have brought criticism to the company and its executives for loaning to people who had no resources to make the payments. Many of the company’s customers included house cleaners, taxi drivers, market vendors, and other extremely low-paying jobs.
In the early 1990s, then Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari made a plan to privatize many government-owned assets. In 1993 Ricardo Salinas won a government auction to purchase what had previously been a government-owned media conglomerate named Imevision. Ricardo paid a huge sum of $645 million for the company and re-named it TV Azteca. TV Azteca has now become the most wide-reaching television channel in the world. It was also the parent network for Azteca America, a vastly popular Spanish-language channel in the US, which currently broadcasts to almost 90 percent of the Spanish-speaking populace in the US. In 2017 Azteca America was sold to HC2 Network Inc.
In 2001 the businessman consolidated his various businesses into a new umbrella company called Grupo Salinas. The following year, Grupo Salinas was authorized to form a bank. It was the first of such license granted in Mexico in a decade. The resulting establishment was Banco Azteca, which, as of today, specializes in small business loans, payroll software, mortgages, credit cards, and other microloans.
In 2003 Ricardo Salinas purchased Mexico’s first cellular phone company, Iusacell, ultimately merging it into a telecommunications company which he called Unefon. His empire now extends into South and Central America. He purchased Advance America in 2012. Considered the leading payday lender in the United States, he purchased this company for $780 million.
Ricardo’s Grupo Salinas also owns the Italika motorcycle company as well as the Mazatlan F.C. football club.
Achievements: Awards & Honors
Ricardo Salinas’ role as an innovator, visionary and business leader has been recognized and acknowledged by some of the biggest business organizations on the planet. He has addressed the member of the Strategic News Service, The Economist Round-table on Mexico, The Young Presidents Organization, and the World Economic Forum, among others. He is listed as one of the richest people in the world, and constantly ranks as one of the top three richest people in Mexico.
Ricardo Salinas Net Worth: Salary, Income Sources, Assets
The Mexican businessman is one of the people’s favorite. His net worth of $13.3 billion makes him one of the wealthiest people in Mexico. At various times, he has emerged as the second-richest man in the country, behind Carlos Slim Helu. He has made his whopping fortune by being the founder and chair of Grupo Salinas, a top-rated banking, media, retail, and telecommunications multinational business with establishments in several countries of the world.