5 Jamaican Billionaires and Their Net Worth
Jamaica may be a developing country but there’s plenty of wealth on this little rock. While there’s a sizable middle class, there is no shortage of people who are raking in the cash. Here are five Jamaicans who’ve broken the billion-dollar mark.
- Estimated net worth USD $60 million (JMD $7.5B)
- Where his money comes from: sports prize money, appearance fees and endorsements
In a record breaking career that lasted more than a decade, Bolt became the highest earning track athlete in history. At the height of his career, he was reported to be earning $33 million a year from appearances, prize money and endorsements.
He has parlayed his winning charisma into off-the-track lucrative contracts with Gatorade, Hublot, Virgin Media and various other companies. His biggest source of income comes from long time sponsor German footwear brand Puma, with which he reportedly earns up to $10 million annually in a deal that will last until 2025. Bolt also gets residual earnings from his character in the Temple Run gaming franchise.
Michael Lee Chin
- Estimated net worth USD $1.18 billion (JMD $220B)
- Where his money comes from: banking and investments
In his early years, Michael Lee-Chin was a road engineer for the Jamaican government, before he founded Portland Holdings, a privately held investment company. He made his fortune by investing in financial companies including National Commercial Bank (NCB) in which he owns a majority stake. He acquired the Canadian wealth management fund AIC Limited in 1987 and grew the company’s assets from $1 million to $10 billion in 2002. He has quietly built up his real estate portfolio over the years, amassing more than 200 acres in Jamaica and homes in Canada and Florida.
Gordon Butch Stewart
- Estimated net worth USD $1 billion (JMD $120B)
- Where his money comes from: tourism and other businesses
Butch Stewart is the founder of the Sandals Resorts hotel chain, and an early pioneer in the all-inclusive concept. He started by selling air conditioners before opening his first hotel in Montego Bay in the early 80s. Today, Sandals Resorts International operates five brands and 24 properties in seven countries. His portfolio includes the Jamaica Observer newspaper, ATL Automotive and about 20 other companies that fall under the Appliance Traders Group.
John Joey Issa
- Estimated net worth USD $15 million (JMD $1.8B)
- Where his money comes from: tourism and gas
Born into a wealthy family, Joey Issa started the Cool Oasis petrol stations in 1994, and later acquired several other petrol stations under the Cool brand. His portfolio has since grown to become a multibillion-dollar entity consisting of more than 50 companies including automotive and household products. As an integral part of the SuperClubs all-inclusive resort chain founded by his father, John Issa, Joey has introduced several philanthropic programmes to help the less fortunate.
- Estimated net worth USD $22 million (JMD $2.7B)
- Where his money comes from: banking, finance and investments
Matalon has been involved in the Jamaican business community for about three decades, serving as chairman of the ICD Group, an investment holding company, the British Caribbean Insurance Co., and the Development Bank of Jamaica. As president of the Private Sector Organization (PSOJ), Matalon was influential in the creation of government policy that impacted the business climate in Jamaica. He has served on the board of several companies and as an adviser to the government on economic issues.