A conversation with the second Richest man in the world, Carlos Slim
Air Date: May 17, 2013
Giselle Fernandez sits down was with Carlos Slim, the second richest man in the world. Not an easy get!
Why was he on your personal list of most-wanted interviews?
I’ve met Carlos many times in Mexico City and here in the states. I know his family, and when I heard he was coming to L.A. I thought he’d be a great get. Any time you can show a glimpse of the real person—the man behind the title—it’s a provocative opportunity. People always ask me what he’s like. I thought it would be great to let everyone see how humble and down to earth he is despite his super wealth.
What was your first impression of Slim?
Well like I said, I’ve met him many times, whether in Mexico with his family or when introducing him for the first time to then Senator Barack Obama on the campaign trail in 2008, but I must say my first impression of him has not changed. In fact, it only solidifies with each new meeting. I’m always amazed he doesn’t speak better English. I’m also truly amazed at how comfortable he seems to be in his skin; no fancy frills, pomp or big ego displays. He comes off as a really gracious man with no apparent need to pound his chest and prove how smart or rich he is. If you didn’t know his “richest in the world” status, give or take a zero with Bill Gates, you’d think he was a regular guy.
Slim spoke with you about his investing style, the global economy, and his predictions for the future of digital technology. What business advice, if any, did you take away from the discussion?
I took a lot away from our discussion. First, information technology is changing constantly and changing our world with it, so we better stay on top of it in every way as investors and users. I was really taken by the phenomenal investment opportunities he sees for US/Mexico trade and more expansive engagement throughout Latin America. But mostly, I was struck by his emphasis on work ethic and focus on core business to achieve success.