(Bloomberg News) Billionaire Steven Bresky, 58, has eluded the limelight that usually accompanies great wealth for five years.
In 2007, Bresky inherited his father's 74 percent stake in Seaboard Corp., a $5.7 billion commodities trading and cargo shipping company that generated almost a third of its revenue last year slaughtering 5 million hogs. Bresky's stock is worth $1.7 billion today.
"He must regretfully decline to be interviewed," said Bresky's assistant, Amanda Doyle, from the company's Merriam, Kansas, headquarters on March 14. "He just doesn't do a lot of stories."
An analysis of stakes held in publicly traded U.S. and Latin American companies uncovered Bresky and seven other billionaires who haven't appeared in any major international wealth rankings. Most of their 10-figure fortunes are derived from public holdings and dividend income.
Bresky, Seaboard's chairman, has remained under the radar by owning his shares, which are down 9 percent since he inherited them, through two Newton, Massachusetts-based holding companies, Seaboard Flour LLC and SFC Preferred LLC. Seaboard Corp., which also has sugar and power operations, bought half of the Butterball turkey brand for $178 million last year from Garner, North Carolina-based Maxwell Group.
American Graham Weston, 48, has also avoided being ranked with the world's richest, partly by running a technology company in San Antonio, Texas -- 1,700 miles from Silicon Valley. Weston owns about 15 percent of Rackspace Hosting Inc., a provider of Web-based information-technology systems. His stock is worth almost $1.1 billion.
The company held its initial public offering in August 2008. Rackspace shares have surged more than 12-fold since hitting a low of $4 per share in February 2009, making Weston, the company's largest shareholder, a billionaire.
Weston loathes talking about his wealth. After seeing glitzy dot-coms fail spectacularly a decade ago he, along with his Rackspace cohorts, decided to adopt what they call a no-stars policy.
"We said we wanted to be judged on our substance, not our flash," Weston said in a telephone interview on March 14.
Weston has put some of his money -- he's sold about $60 million of Rackspace stock since 2008 -- into helping entrepreneurs and local students. Weston and Rackspace employees have contributed $2 million in grants to spruce up local schools, fund mentoring programs and provide supplies.