Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

# 222 Arthur Irving $7.35B

Random fact: Twice president of conservation group Ducks Unlimited Canada.

Overview

Irving is the owner of Irving Oil, the operator of Canada's largest refinery. The company's Saint John, New Brunswick-based refinery has production rates of up to 320,000 barrels a day. Irving Oil also owns more than 900 gas stations in eastern Canada and the northeast U.S. It operates Ireland's only oil refinery in County Cork.

As of :
Last change -$539k ( -0.0%)
YTD change +$2.19B ( +42.6%)
Industry Energy
Biggest asset Saint John Refinery
Citizenship Canada
Age 89
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Arthur Irving's net worth of $7.35B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

0%
of the GDP of the United States
0%
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
0%
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
0%
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
0%
of U.S. existing home sales
0
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Irving's net worth is derived from Irving Oil, an oil refiner, distributor and retailer. He's the sole owner of the company, which was part of a commodity conglomerate founded by father, K.C. Irving.

Irving Oil's Saint John refinery has calculated revenue of $11.4 billion based production rates of up to 320,000 barrels a day, according to its website, and the average 2018 revenue of three North American peers. That's compared to the price-to-sales multiple of five refiners: Hollyfrontier, Marathon, Valero, PBF and Phillips 66.

Irving's Ireland refinery was purchased in September 2016. Its value is based on its 2017 financials, which reported net income of $14.3 million, and the price-to-earnings multiple of five European refiners: Grupa Lotos, Motor Oil Hellas, Neste Oyj, Hellenic Petroleum and Saras.

Irving owns more than 900 gas and convenience stores, according to the company's website. About half of them are located in eastern Canada; the other half in New England and New York, according to disclosures by Alimentation Couche-Tard, which operates the locations. The businesses gross revenues are estimated using average store sales of Alimentation Couche-Tard. The valuation is based on the average enterprise value-to-sales and price-to-earnings multiples of three publicly traded peer companies.

Arthur also split a C$3 billion trust left by his father with two brothers, according to a 2012 Bermuda Supreme Court decision on a case involving the trust. It's adjusted for market performance since 2012. 

The billionaire pledged $80 million to Dartmouth College in 2016 to establish the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society.

Irving representatives didn't respond to emails and phone calls for comment.

Biography

Birthdate: 1/1/1930
Family: Married, 4 children
Education: Acadia University

Arthur L. Irving was born into the most powerful business family in New Brunswick, Canada. His father, Kenneth Colin Irving, founded the Irving company, a collection of oil, timber, consumer products and ship-building assets worth more than $10 billion at his death in 1992. The business was split into three and is owned by his descendants.

K.C. Irving started the family business with a Ford dealership in Saint John, New Brunswick, in 1925, before shifting into gasoline stations, a business that remains an arm of Irving Oil, the company now owned by Arthur. Arthur and his brothers, James and Jack, grew up in the port city of Saint John, attended boarding schools in eastern Canada and, later, Acadia University, where all three dropped out to work in the family business, according to John DeMont, a Nova Scotia-based writer who worked for Arthur Irving and wrote a biography of the family, "Citizen Irving: K.C. Irving and His Legacy."

As a young man Arthur was given responsibility for running Irving Oil, the family's refining, distribution and marketing business that operated in New Brunswick and neighboring Maritime provinces. Irving ran the business with a hands-on rigor that included surprise inspections of stations for cleanliness and making sure napkins in the stations' retail shops were larger than those of his competitors, said DeMont, in a November 2013 interview with Bloomberg News in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Irving has been known to work from 5:30 a.m. into the night, according to DeMont's book. He expanded Irving Oil into the U.S., and now about half of its retail locations are in New England and New York. It also owns Canada's largest refinery in Saint John, where the massive storage tanks spell out the Irving name.

While the Irvings' imprint on the city is strong, the family lets out little information about its activities, to the point of being obsessed with secrecy, according to DeMont. During K.C.'s life, the Irvings once hired a writer to produce an official biography of the family, then refused to cooperate when the writer requested a list of the family companies, DeMont wrote in his book.

The three branches of the Irving family split the company into three in 2008 and Arthur became the sole owner of Irving Oil.

He divorced from his first wife, Joan, in 1980. They had four children: Kenneth, Arthur, Jennifer and Emily. He later married Sandra Ring, a middle class woman who worked in a traffic ticket department. They had a daughter, Sarah, who graduated from Dartmouth College in 2010, according to the school.

Arthur continues to live in Saint John, and has a residence in Boston. He's chancellor emeritus of Acadia University, a New Brunswick college he dropped out of as a student.

Milestones
  • 1925 K.C. Irving starts family business with Ford dealership.
  • 1953 Arthur Irving joins the family business. Works in the Irving Oil division.
  • 1972 Arthur becomes president of Irving Oil.
  • 1980 Divorces from first wife, Joan. They have four children together.
  • 1992 Canada industrialist Kenneth Colin Irving dies.
  • 1996 Becomes chancellor of Acadia University in New Brunswick, Canada.
  • 2008 Irving family splits company into three parts.
  • 2013 Inks new deal with Alimentation Couche-Tard to manage Irving gas stations.