Are you curious about who the richest Jamaicans are? Do you want to know more about their accomplishments and how they achieved their wealth? We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 wealthiest Jamaicans and have put together all the details for you in this blog post. So keep reading to find out who made the cut!
Introduction to The Richest Jamaicans
Just a sneak peak of some of the richest people in Jamaica are Joseph M. Matalon, Michael Lee-Chin, Chris Blackwell, Joseph John Issa, Patrick Hylton, and Jimmy Cliff.
The average salary in Jamaica is an unfortunately low $600 a month.
It’s an amount that barely gets anyone by, and many folks struggle to even make ends meet.
It’s a sad reality that the exorbitant wealth of the country’s elites is driving up the median wage, when most people are barely able to make it through the end of each month.
Discover which Jamaicans have achieved wealth beyond what some small countries possess! Our list of the 15 wealthiest individuals in Jamaica will give you a glimpse into the lives of the top 1 percent. Intrigued? Read on to find out more!
1. Joseph M. Matalon – $3.6 billion
Joseph M. Matalon, Jamaica’s wealthiest individual, has a staggering net worth of $3.6 billion – a figure that has been amassed through his compensation as Chairman of ICD Group Holdings. Truly an inspirational success story!
As Chairman of RJR Gleaner Communications Group, he has seen his coffers swell due to his involvement with this Jamaican-based investment firm.
Matalon is a seasoned corporate executive boasting more than three decades of experience. Before his current post, he held the prestigious position of President of the Development Bank of Jamaica. Additionally, he established the FirstAngels Jamaica network to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs.
2. Michael Lee-Chin – $2.5 billion
Beginning his career as a government road engineer in Jamaica, Michael Lee-Chin has risen to become the influential chairman and founder of Portland Holdings, a privately held investment firm in the country. He is also the executive chairman of AIC Ltd. and National Commercial Bank.
Mr. Lee-Chin, the Port Antonio native, can boast of his impressive portfolio of investments, ranging from Trinidad and Tobago’s Total Finance to Jamaica’s National Commercial Bank. He’s also a proud owner of private residences in Florida and Canada, as well as a sprawling 250 acres of Ocho Rios oceanfront. His success has earned him a spot amongst the wealthiest on Forbes Magazine’s Billionaire List.
3. Blossom O’Meally-Nelson – $ 1 billion
As Jamaica’s first female Postmaster General, O’Meally-Nelson made history. Not only did she serve as the University of Technology’s Council Chair, but she also held the esteemed position of Provost at UTECH.
Despite her undeniable successes in the public arena, O’Meally-Nelson is pushing boundaries in the entrepreneurial realm with her family’s Aeromar Group. Year 2022 saw her rise to become Jamaica’s wealthiest woman and one of the island’s most affluent citizens.
4. Wayne Chen- $ 1 billion
Wayne Christopher Chen, brother of Michael Lee-Chin, is making waves in the Jamaican retail industry with his success as CEO of Super Plus Food Stores. Although he may not be the wealthiest of his relatives, his hard work and business savvy have yielded a hefty fortune.
He is proud to be at the helm of West Indies Trust Co. Limited and NCB Insurance Co. Limited, and equally pleased to be part of the teams at Christiana Town Centre Limited, AIC (Barbados) Limited, and NCB (Cayman) Limited.
5. Paula Kerr-Jarrett- $ 1 billion
Two months ago, they embarked on an ambitious endeavor to construct 1,200 homes, a 48-acre tech park that could accommodate a variety of IT occupations to help expand their workforce to an impressive 30,000, and a University of the West Indies that could potentially welcome up to 10,000 scholars.
The project is anticipated to receive a whopping $500 million injection of investment! Furthermore, Her great-grandmother, Marion Louise Reece Bovell, made history in 1944 when she became the first Jamaican woman to vie for a seat in the general elections as an independent.
6. Chris Blackwell- $180 million
Chris Blackwell, hailing from Westminster, London, England, was blessed with a life of luxury from the start; his family quickly moved to Jamaica after his birth. Of course, it was through his own hard-working nature that he obtained such success as a businessman and record producer, accumulating an impressive $300 million fortune. His innate entrepreneurial spirit led to the founding of Island Records, the golden ticket to his financial security.
The immense reach of Reggae music around the world could not have been achieved without the help of its record label. An undeniable testament to its success, in 2001 the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame welcomed Blackwell into its prestigious ranks. Along with his musical success, Blackwell is also an avid contributor to various charitable organizations.
7. Usain Bolt – $90 million
Usain has amassed an impressive amount of wealth, having earned eight Olympic gold medals, as well as 19 Guinness World Records in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay. His estimated net worth stands at a staggering $90 million, all thanks to his incredible success as a professional athlete.
The lion’s share of Usain Bolt’s wealth is derived from the prizes won in his competitive pursuits. During the apex of his competitive career, he was one of the highest-paid athletes in the world. Additionally, when he makes an appearance at certain events, Usain receives a hefty sum in appearance fees. He has also inked endorsement deals with numerous prestigious companies.
8. Rita Marley – $50 million
Rita is esteemed for her role as the widow of the renowned reggae musician Bob Marley. She supported him vocally as his backup singer. After Bob’s death in 1981, she immortalized his musical journey while also carving out her own place in music history as a stand-alone artist.
Rita is the driving force behind the Bob Marley Foundation and the many businesses connected to it. She is said to be worth a staggering $50 million as of 2022, a result of the generous gift of Bob Marley’s estate she received despite his untimely death without a will.
9. Levi Roots – $45 million
On the beautiful day of June 24, 1958, the world was graced with the presence of Levi, born in Clarendon, Jamaica. This renowned star has made a name for himself as a reggae musician, TV personality, businessman, writer, and celebrity chef. But it was in 1992 that Levi truly reached celebrity status, when he performed a special rendition of “Happy Birthday Mr. President” for Nelson Mandela.
Levi’s wealth is estimated to be phenomenal at $40 million, largely thanks to his thriving reggae music career. He’s enhanced his financial standing by appearing on popular shows such as Dragon’s Den. He’s also boosted his coffers with the income generated by his various businesses.
10. Damian Marley – $20 million
Damian Robert Nesta Marley, the prodigal son of the legendary reggae singer Bob Marley, is a celebrated Jamaican DJ, singer and rapper. He was born into a world of music on July 21, 1978 in Kingston, Jamaica. His immense talent has earned him an estimated net worth of $20 million by 2022.
The majority of his fortune was earned through his musical artistry. With several of his song’s dominating the music charts and the award-winning ‘Halfway Tree’ album, it’s no wonder why he’s one of the most successful artists of our time. His impeccable talent earned him the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album, solidifying his place in music history.
11. Sean Paul – Net Worth: $25 Million
Celebrated for introducing Dancehall music to the world, Sean Paul is a true legend of Jamaica. His unique sound has earned him countless Grammy nominations and countless chart-topping hits over the years. Now a mature 48 years of age, his musical legacy and influence is worth a whopping $25 million.
12. Joseph John Issa – Net Worth: $16 Million
At 30, Joseph John Issa made a bold move and opened up his own petrol station, the Cool Oasis. This was his launching pad, and with unwavering ambition and determination, the business grew into the much-lauded Cool Group – Jamaica’s most respected and successful petrol station operator.
Cool Group is now a major player in the market, having diversified their portfolio to encompass automotive and household products. With a whopping 50 companies under their belt, Webbspy estimates their net worth to be an impressive $16 million.
13. Shaggy – Net Worth: $14 Million
Since shooting to notoriety with his 1995 album “Boombastic”, Shaggy has dropped a plethora of studio albums, scored three Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits (“Boombastic” (1995), “It Wasn’t Me” (2000), and “Angel” (2000)), won a Grammy for “44/876”, a joint effort with Sting, and reached a Jamaican milestone.
14. Jimmy Cliff – Net Worth: $10 Million
Toast to the one and only Jimmy Cliff, the renowned singer and actor that rocks the music scene in Jamaica! At the young age of 14, this talent took the world by storm with his iconic song, “Hurricane Hattie”. His success was sealed in 1964 when he signed with the illustrious Island Records. He leads our list of the 10 wealthiest individuals from Jamaica.
Propelled by success, his career skyrocketed. From then on, he was unstoppable, collaborating with iconic artists like Sting and The Rolling Stones, releasing countless chart-topping hits and even making appearances in films. Most recently, he was honored with the Order of Merit, the Jamaican government’s highest award, becoming the only living recipient.
As per Celebrity Net Worth, he possesses a fortune estimated at 10 million dollars.
15. Ziggy Marley – $10 million
On October 17, 1968, the world was graced with the presence of David Nesta Marley, better known as the renowned Ziggy Marley. Born and raised in the vibrant city of Kingston, Jamaica, Ziggy is renowned for his status as the son of the legendary reggae artist Bob Marley. His illustrious career as a musician, guitarist, voice actor, and singer-songwriter has made him a household name across the world.
Having generated an impressive fortune of $10 million due to his successful career, his primary source of wealth has been from the earnings of his musical albums and singles. Hits like “True to Myself,” “Tomorrow People,” and “People Get Ready” are just a few examples of his groundbreaking music.
Joseph M. Matalon stands tall as Jamaica’s wealthiest man, with a jaw-dropping net worth of $3.6 billion. Having propelled his riches with his salary as Chairman of ICD Group Holdings – a Jamaican investment holding company – Matalon has sweetened his bank account with income earned through his role as Chairman.. His success serves as an example of how hard work and dedication can lead to great success for Jamaicans.