(Carlos Slim Helu;) Mexico City, 1940) Mexican Tycoon. Founder of Grupo Carso, was key in the spectacular growth of his business empire landing in the telecommunications market, brought about by privatization in 1990 of Teléfonos de Mexico, S.A. (Telmex), which was under their control. Usual since then in the lists of the great fortunes of Forbes magazine, the same publication exalted it as the richest man of the world in the years 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Third of the six children of the marriage formed by Julián Slim Haddad and Linda Helú, originating in Lebanon, Carlos Slim graduated in civil engineering by the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1961 and founded his first company, Inversora Bursátil, in 1965, shortly before marriage with Soumaya Domit Gemayel (died in 1999), with whom he had six children: Carlos Marco Antonio, Patrick, Soumaya, Vanessa and Johanna. In the following years, he created and chaired several companies devoted to real estate and construction, at the time that acquired others and began to diversify its scope (industry, trade, mining, food...), to form, in 1980, the Grupo Galas, today Grupo Carso; the name comes from the first letters of the names of the spouses, Carlos and Soumaya.
In 1982, coinciding with the debt crisis, the nationalization of banks and the practical suspension of the country's finances, Grupo Carso opted for investment and made successive acquisitions: Cigatam (Philip Morris Mexico), Bimex, Centennial Hulera, graphic arts United paper mills, Loreto and Peña Pobre, the company Minera Frisco and companies Nacobre, General Tire and Euzkadi. Bought, in addition, shareholder Mexico insurance package, forming the current Grupo Financiero Inbursa.
In 1990, under the Presidency of Carlos Salinas de Gortari, who carried out a policy of privatization, Carlos Slim won the bid to acquire Teléfonos de Mexico, S.A. (Telmex), together with France Telecom and France Telecom SBC of the United States. He thus began a new stage in their business development, in a strategic sector worldwide. Company leader in communications between 1991 and 2006 Telmex invested in infrastructure in Latin America worth $ 30 billion. In 2007, Telmex split part of its business and formed a new company, Telmex Internacional, which began trading on the exchanges of New York, Madrid and Mexico in June 2008.
Grupo Carso also owns America Telecom, the holding company of America Movil, with participation in various Latin American telephone companies. In 2008 was the fifth World operator, with more than 170 million cellular subscribers in Latin America. America Movil was a pioneer in the prepaid system in cellular telephony, solution that revolutionized the world market in the sale of mobile.
With the passage of the years, Grupo Carso acquisitions have been frequent: chain hotels Calinda, currently OSTAR Grupo Hotelero (1991), Cendumex and the majority of General Tire and aluminum Group (1993), Sears Roebuck (1997) and pastry French El Globo (1999). In September 2008, Carlos Slim surprised with the acquisition of 6.4% of the shares of the New York Times, a stake that included nearly 9.1 million class A shares. The Times did not pass by a good financial time and Slim, in what he himself called "bet financial no strategic value", extended this percentage to 7% in January 2009, becoming the second largest shareholder in the Middle, behind the Sulzberger family.
For more than two decades Carlos Slim has combined his business work with philanthropy and the creation of several non-profit organizations. In 1986 created the Fundación Carso A.C., currently Fundación Carlos Slim BC, to contribute to the development and training of human capital in Mexican society. In 2007 the Agency had three Carso institutes (of health, sport and education), and in 2008 launched, with the Grameen Trust, Grameen-Carso micro-lending program with an initial $ 45 million of capital.
At the end of 1995 established the Telmex Foundation, dedicated to programs of education, health, nutrition, justice, culture, human development, environment, sport and help in natural disasters. The Foundation won the sports national award in 2008. In 2005 was born promoter of development and employment in Latin America (IDEAL), and in September 2009 Slim announced the establishment of Inbursa Foundation, which would operate with the collaboration of La Caixa, to contribute to the funding for the development of the country and accelerate the growth in banking for families. Have also been regular contributions to social projects promoted by other groups; Thus, for example, in 2008 donated 110 million dollars to support Latin American children programmes promoted by the ALAS Foundation, created by the singer Shakira.
Culture and heritage have also been priorities for Carlos Slim, who in 1994 formed the Soumaya Museum, with a background of more than 64,000 works, and, moreover, dedicated to research, conservation and dissemination of Mexican and European artistic heritage; in 2000 he created the Foundation of the Center historic of the city of Mexico, with the aim of rescuing and revitalize the area.
Another field of action that has warranted its attention has been the ecology. In 2009, she opened the Center sports city garden bicentennial, ambitious project of ecological rescue built on the surface of what was the dump Bordo de Xochiaca, in Nezahualcóyotl, and announced an initial $ 100 million investment, in collaboration with the worldwide Fund for nature (WWF, its acronym in English), to support the conservation of biodiversity and promote sustainable development in the country.
Carlos Slim has been the subject of important recognitions: is in possession of the Medal of Honor to the business merit of the National Chamber of trade of the city of Mexico, of the award of Commander of the order Leopold II of Belgium and the Lebanese order of the Cedar national in grade of Grand Officer, among other distinctions. It has been several times entrepreneur of the year and in 2004 he was named entrepreneur of the Decade. In June 2009 he received the ESADE Award and the Medal of the President of George Washington University, highest award of this prestigious institution, in recognition of his business and philanthropic leadership. Among other charges, he has held Vice President of the Mexican stock exchange and President of the Mexican Association of houses of Exchange and of the Committee Latin American of the Council of administration of the bag of values of New York. In recent years it has been delegating functions in his three sons.