In the Forbes magazine list of the 400 richest Americans for 2013, there are five Tennesseans and two have political brothers named Bill.
The two with political brothers are Thomas Frist Jr., whose listing says “and family” beside his name and Jimmy Haslam, whose listing does not. Tommy Frist’s brother, of course, is Bill Frist, former U.S. Senate majority leader; Jimmy’s brother Bill is governor.
Here’s the Forbes commentary on each of the Tennesseans listed among the 400 in order of rank.
Thomas Frist Jr. & family, tied for 90th, with $5 billion, up from No. 92 in 2012.
Thomas Frist is still the largest shareholder in HCA Holding, the hospital conglomerate he and his father founded in 1968. He took the company public for the third time in 2011, after two management buyouts. Frist and family now own a 15.6% share in HCA and have received more than $1 billion of dividends since 2010, including $315 million issued in late 2012 prior to new tax rules. HCA purchased three hospitals in Tampa Bay, Fla. this year. The company also paid $7.1 million to the U.S. government to settle allegations that 23 of HCA’s hospitals used higher-priced inpatient procedures instead of less expensive outpatient spinal surgeries to get bigger Medicare payments. The Frist family is building a 500-bed hospital in China through a joint venture with that government; the hospital is slated to open in December.
Martha Ingram & family, tied for 143 with $3.4 billion, up from 151 in 2012.
Martha Ingram inherited distribution and marine firm Ingram Industries when her husband, Erskine, died in 1995. She ran the company until 2008, when her son John replaced her as chairman and her son Orrin became president and CEO. The company’s Ingram Content division distributes books, provides digital content to Apple’s iBookstore and iPad and offers print-on-demand services. The Ingram Marine division operates over 4,000 barges and more than 100 towboats on America’s inland waterways. Her net worth has risen $700 million since last year due to higher price-to-sales multiples for publicly traded competitors. Martha’s son David runs Ingram Entertainment, a DVD and videogame distributor; its value is excluded from Martha’s net worth. Ingram sits on the boards of various cultural institutions in Nashville, Tennessee. In June, a donation she made helped broker a deal that stopped banks from foreclosing on the Nashville Symphony Orchestra’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
Frederick Smith, No. 243 with $2.3 billion, up from No. 271 in 2012:
Frederick Smith’s FedEx is trying to adapt as demand drops for its marquee product, fast shipping. The company acquired a chunk of African carrier Supaswift in 2013. In 2012, FedEx announced $1.7 billion in cost reductions including cutting capacity to Asia and buyouts for 3,600 employees. Fiscal year 2013 revenues grew to $44.3 billion thanks to growth of cheaper FedEx Ground, but net income dropped 5 percent as customers chose slow options over FedEx’s priority international air. While at Yale, Smith wrote his senior thesis on his vision for an overnight delivery service and received a poor grade. A Marine in Vietnam, Smith also worked as a crop-dusting pilot. He founded FedEx in 1971. At one point, he went to Las Vegas to keep his fledgling business afloat; $27,000 in gambling winnings did the trick.
Brad Kelly (acclaimed ‘reclusive billionaire’ who lives in Franklin) No. 273 with $2 billion, down from 250 in 2012.
Brad Kelley is one of the country’s biggest landowners with some 1.5 million acres of ranchland in Texas, New Mexico, Florida. He paid nearly $80 million for travel guide publisher Lonely Planet in March. He is also an investor in a small travel startup called Outwild TV. He purchased historic Calumet Farm in Lexington, Ky. in May 2012. His horse Oxbow won the Preakness this year, delivering Calumet its first win in 45 years. Farmer’s son, he made his fortune from discounted cigarette brands USA Gold, Bull Durham. He sold the business, Commonwealth Brands, for $1 billion in 2001.
Jimmy Haslam, No. 369, $1.45 billion, down from 360 in 2012
Jimmy Haslam is the new owner of NFL’s Cleveland Browns. He purchased the team from Randy Learner for $1.05 billion in August 2012 and the NFL approved the sale in October. Haslam is also the CEO of Pilot Flying J, the truck stop chain headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn. In April the FBI and IRS, as part of a fraud investigation concerning fuel rebates to trucking company customers, raided Pilot’s headquarters; the company says it is cooperating with the investigation. Pilot Flying J is one of the nation’s largest private companies, with $31 billion in sales. Founded in 1958 by his father, Pilot merged with bankrupt Flying J in 2010. The company has 600 locations in 43 states and Canada. Jimmy’s brother Bill is governor of Tennessee.
Note: The overview Forbes story is HERE — link above is to the list. And Drue Smith Fuller had an interesting telephone encounter with Brad Kelley when he made an earlier Forbes listing, HERE.