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# 415 Luis Sarmiento $5.88B

Random fact: Oversaw construction of Colombia's biggest shopping mall in 2010.


Sarmiento is the chairman and founder of Grupo Aval, Colombia's largest banking group. The Bogota-based company had nearly $89 billion in assets by the end of 2021. He also owns two insurance providers operating under the Alfa brand, as well as newspaper El Tiempo and real estate developer Construcciones Planificadas.

As of :
Last change +$24.3M ( +0.4%)
YTD change +$300M ( +5.4%)
Biggest asset Cash
Country / Region Colombia
Age 90
Industry Finance
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Luis Sarmiento's net worth of $5.88B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

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

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Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Sarmiento's fortune is derived from his stake in Grupo Aval, Colombia's largest banking group, according to the company website. The billionaire controls 97.6% of the company's voting shares and 42.7% of its preferred shares, according to the company's 2021 annual report. He also owns smaller outside stakes in the five banks controlled by Aval: Banco AV Villas, Banco de Occidente, Banco de Bogota, Banco Popular and Corficolombiana.

His two insurance companies, which operate under the Alfa moniker, are valued using the average price-to-book and price-to-earnings multiples of three Latin American peer companies: Brazil's Porto Seguro, Chile's Prevision Vida and Peru's Rimac.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of dividends, reinvestments, stakes in closely held companies, and market performance.


Family: Married, 5 children

The second-youngest of nine children, Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo studied engineering at Bogota's National University. He started his own construction firm in 1956 and amassed a small fortune building roads and housing projects. He expanded into finance in 1971 when he acquired the ailing lender Banco de Occidente and founded insurance company Seguros Alfa.

He continued to build his financial empire over the decades that followed, both by starting his own firms (pension fund Porvenir, lender Corporación de Ahorro y Vivienda Las Villas) and by acquiring others (Banco de Bogota, Banco Popular). In 1998, he united most of his financial interests under a new holding company, Grupo Aval, which held an IPO the following year.

Through Corficolombiana, Aval's investment bank, Sarmiento owns an array of interests in infrastructure, agribusiness, energy and tourism. He also maintains a real estate business, Construcciones Planificadas. The company oversaw the 2010 construction of Colombia's biggest mall, Bogota's Centro Mayor, and is building a 6.5 million square-foot office complex near the city's airport -- the Ciudad Empresarial Sarmiento Angulo.

Sarmiento remains Aval's chairman after naming his only son, Luis Carlos Sarmiento Gutierrez, CEO in 2000.

  • 1933 Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo is born in Bogota.
  • 1948 Receives engineering degree from Colombia's National University.
  • 1959 Starts Organizacion Luis Carlos Sarmiento construction company.
  • 1972 Buys Banco de Occidente.
  • 1981 Buys stake in Banco de Bogota, sparking battle with owner.
  • 1988 Completes hostile takeover of Banco de Bogota.
  • 1998 Creates Grupo Aval holding company to unite most of his banks.
  • 1999 Holds initial public offering of Grupo Aval in Bogota.
  • 2000 Names son Luis Carlos Sarmiento Gutierrez as Aval's CEO.
  • 2012 Takes over the Colombian daily newspaper El Tiempo.