This week, Forbes published its new list of the 400 richest Americans.
Among the youngest members on the list is 32-year-old Julio Santo Domingo III. According to Forbes, he is the heir to a stake in beer giant Anheuser-Busch INBev, a position his family acquired through decades of dealmaking. His net worth is currently estimated at $2.5 billion.
Domingo resides in New York City but is part of a family with an intriguing, colorful backstory. Here are five quick facts about them:
1. His family is basically royalty in Colombia, and around the world.
The Santo Domingo family is one of the oldest and most powerful in Colombia. At the family’s peak, their holdings accounted for approximately 4 percent of Colombia’s economy, according to the Financial Times.
“From [their] house springs the husband of the Duke of Wellington’s daughter, the wife of the Prince of Monaco, and three presidencies of Colombia,” Alonso Sánchez, the writer and historian told the paper.
The groundwork for the fortune was laid when Julio III’s great-grandfather bought a bankrupt beer company using proceeds made as the Wrigley Gum distributor in Colombia. In the ensuing decades, Julio III’s grandfather, Don Julio Mario, worked to create a beer monopoly in the country through the stalwart label Bavaria. Once he’d made Bavaria the best-selling beer brand in Colombia, Don Julio bought stakes in banks, property, food a major newspaper, and eventually the country’s main airline, Avianca (sold in 2004).
2. The family’s wealth skyrocketed after some brilliant dealmaking.
In 2005, Don Julio sold Bavaria to international beer conglomerate SABMiller for $3.5 billion. He died in 2011, “two days after Steve Jobs and $100m richer than the founder of Apple,” the FT says.
Then, in 2016, Don Julio’s son and Julio III’s half brother Alejandro — only in his 30s — helped facilitate the sale of SABMiller to AB InBev, putting the value of the Santo Domingos’ beer interests at $14 billion.
“Those who know the family say they have a knack for holding out for the best outcome, with the hope of also keeping their influence in a business they have been involved in for decades,” theWall Street Journal reported. “A banker whose firm has worked with the Santo Domingo family said their refusal of the [then] current bid ‘is a negotiating strategy. They are calling the shots.'”
3. Julio III is part of an electronic music label collective known as Sheik n Beik
He has a degree in architecture from Boston University, but seems to work professionally mainly as a DJ at music festivals. He goes simply by “Julio” when he DJs live events, like the Electric Zoo and Electronic Beach Festival in Belgium. You can find some of his music here.
4. His wedding was profiled in Vogue, Town and Country, and the New York Post.
Julio III married Emmy-winning “60 minutes” producer Nieves Zuberbühler in Red Hook, Brooklyn, in 2016. The wedding and party had a Halloween theme, and according to Vogue featured guests decked out “in all manner of costumes and masks—ranging from a mystical-looking unicorn…to Cher, circa the 1986 Academy Awards.”
The Post described it as “a vast enchanted-garden-meets-‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ wonderland” that included “an Oompa Loompa glam-rock band and bare-breasted nymphs.”
5. His family is now part of the Monaco dynasty.
His sister is Tatiana Casiraghi, who recently married Andrea Casiraghi, the eldest son of the Princess of Hanover and fourth in the line of succession to the kingdom of Monaco (and the grandson of Grace Kelly).