Discover the Richest People in Barbados and Their Net Worth

Barbados Beach

Did you know that Barbados, a small but one of the best Caribbean islands, boasts stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and an impressive roster of richest people and entrepreneurs?

Barbados is not only an incredible destination for your next vacation with all its incredible beaches, exotic culinary experience, and exciting water sports. This Caribbean island is also filled with top infrastructure, a stable political scenario, and unique luxury developments for those who can afford it. These characteristics make Barbados the perfect place for wealthy people to settle down and enjoy.

Today, Barbados is an attractive island for several famous and rich people, thanks to being the “Switzerland of the Caribbean.” In other words, a dream tax haven for the billionaires who want to become residents of this paradise. There are many people who decide to purchase a property in Barbados to visit during the summer. However, a few individuals decide to live full-time in Barbados.

In this article, we will unveil the wealthiest individuals in Barbados, including the world-famous Rihanna and the richest people in Barbados. Additionally, we will explore the sources of their fortunes and discuss the investment and entrepreneurship opportunities that make Barbados a thriving hub for wealth creation.

📖 Short Summary

Rihanna is the first billionaire from Barbados, with her net worth arising from music and Fenty Beauty cosmetics.

Several billionaires have contributed to Barbados’ development through investments in various industries.

The top Caribbean Islands offer a range of economic opportunities for wealth creation despite certain limitations.

Richest Person in Barbados: Rihanna’s Empire

Rihanna - the richest person in Barbados
Rihanna, the richest person in Barbados, with her net worth of 1.4 billion

Rihanna, the globally renowned singer and businesswoman, has made history as the first billionaire from Barbados, with an estimated net worth of $1.4 billion in 2023. Her wealth primarily originates from her successful music career and her highly profitable cosmetics brand, Fenty Beauty.

Let’s delve deeper into the various ventures that have contributed to Rihanna’s impressive fortune.

Music Career

Rihanna’s meteoric rise to fame began in 2005 with the release of her debut album, “Music of the Sun.” Since then, she has released eight studio albums, two compilation albums, and one remix album, earning numerous awards and accolades along the way. Rihanna has not only contributed to the music industry through her chart-topping hits, but also through her role in popularizing the Caribbean sound in mainstream music.

Beyond her own discography, Rihanna has collaborated with various artists and engaged in philanthropic projects, such as her Clara Lionel Foundation. Her impact on the music industry extends beyond her vocal talent – she’s also recognized for her trendsetting fashion sense and ability to remain relevant in a rapidly changing landscape.

Fenty Beauty

In 2017, Rihanna ventured into the cosmetics industry with the launch of Fenty Beauty, a makeup brand that quickly gained popularity for its inclusivity and diverse range of products. Fenty Beauty caters to a broad spectrum of skin tones, offering foundations, blushes, and highlighters, among other makeup essentials.

Forbes estimates that Fenty Beauty’s conservative net worth in 2021 was $2.8 billion, highlighting the brand’s tremendous success in a relatively short period. Fenty Beauty has undoubtedly played a significant role in propelling Rihanna’s net worth to billionaire status.

Other Ventures

Apart from her music and cosmetics endeavors, Rihanna has launched multiple ventures that further contribute to her wealth. Fenty, her fashion and lifestyle brand, captured the attention of fashion enthusiasts worldwide. Additionally, she introduced Fenty Skin, a skincare line that complements her cosmetics offerings.

Rihanna also founded Savage X Fenty, an inclusive lingerie line catering to all body types. The brand’s empowering message and diverse representation contributed to its success and added another lucrative stream of income to Rihanna’s already impressive portfolio.

The Billionaire Club: Barbados’ Wealthiest Residents

Eugene Melnyk
Eugene Melnyk, a Canadian businessman and the current and sole owner of the Ottawa Senators, with his estimated net worth of over 1 billion (US Embassy Canada, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Rihanna may be the richest in Barbados, but the island is also home to several other billionaires who have made their mark in various industries. Some of the wealthiest residents of Barbados include Eugene Melnyk, Michael Barry Tabor, Sir Charles “COW” Williams, JP McManus, Dermot Desmond, and Kyffin Donald Simpson.

Let’s take a closer look at these individuals and their impressive wealth.

Eugene Melnyk

Even though Melnyk is not a native of Barbados, he has been a resident of the island since 1991. Melnyk grew his wealth as the CEO and chairman of Biovail Corp., a pharmaceutical company he founded in Canada. The company was one of the most successful in Canada, having $1 billion in annual revenue. In 2007 he retired as chairman of the company.

Since then, Melnyk has acquired a medical device company in 2018, Neurolign Technologies. Plus he is also the owner of The Clean Beauty Collective Inc., a company that manufactures organic and eco-conscious brands. However, Melnyk is best known as the chairman of the Ottawa Senators.

Melnyk is a successful Canadian businessman and the owner of the National Hockey League (NHL) team, the Ottawa Senators. He is also the founder and Chairman of Biovail Corp., a pharmaceutical company he established in Canada. Eugene Melnyk estimated worth around $1 billion is a testament to his entrepreneurial acumen and strategic investments.

As a resident of Barbados, Melnyk has also invested his fortune in improving the island with the Providence School, dedicated to academic excellence. Melnyk passed away in 2022.

Michael Barry Tabor

Michael Barry Tabor, a British businessman and bookmaker, is one of the wealthiest individuals in the United Kingdom, with an estimated net worth in 2019 of $700 million. Tabor made his fortune through various investments, including the highly successful Victor Chandler International, a sports betting and gaming company.

Further, he is also the owner of top racehorses that have won several derbies throughout the years. Because of his career, Tabor divided his time between Monte Carlo and Barbados. He has a wife, Doreen, to whom he has been married since 1975, and a son, Ashley Tabor.

Tabor is also the largest of Victor Chandler International, a gambling and casinos company based in the United Kingdom. In Barbados, he is one of the co owners of the luxury hotel resort The Sandy Lane, along with Derrick Smith, JP McManus, Dermot Desmond, and John Magnier. This investment further solidifies Tabor’s position as one of the wealthiest residents of the island.

Sir Charles “COW” Williams

Sir Charles “COW” Williams, passed away in 2021, was a highly successful entrepreneur and businessman, and widely recognized in Barbados for his numerous accomplishments. He is the founder of C. O. Williams Construction, a well-known name in Barbados when it comes to construction and quarrying operations. The company’s professional services and exemplary achievements have won them recognition in the country.

Thanks to all his contributions to the fields of construction, dairy farming, horticulture, agriculture, and sports in Barbados. Sir Williams was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II back in 2000. One of the personal interests of Sir Williams is horse racing. This has led him to produce generations of winning horses.

In addition to his construction business, Sir Charles has been involved in the procurement of real estate, having developed properties such as Apes Hill Club and Port St Charles. Through his various ventures, he has significantly contributed to the island’s growth and prosperity.

John Patrick McManus

John Patrick McManus was born in 1951 in Limerick, Ireland. His career started in the construction firm of his family, but then he became an on-course bookmaker. However, McManus wouldn’t stay in this industry for long, and years later, he would turn into a racehorse owner.

John Patrick McManus, a billionaire businessman and racehorse owner, is a frequent visitor to Barbados. In 2013, he completed a €150 million residence on the island, showcasing his investment in the Caribbean paradise. McManus’ net worth, around $1 billion is attributed to his entrepreneurial ventures and racehorse ownership.

As a racehorse owner, McManus is one of the most prominent in the field. Today, he possesses large properties where he trains more than 100 horses. McManus spent €150 million on his house in Barbados, which was finally completed back in 2013. 

His investments in Barbados not only contribute to the island’s economy, but also demonstrate the allure of the Caribbean for richest millionaires seeking a luxurious and welcoming destination.

Dermot Desmond

Dermot Desmond is an Irish businessman who has built his wealth in the financial industry, and today he is the ninth richest in Ireland. Desmond’s career began in 1968 when he started working with CitiBank, located in Dublin. After, he worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Kabul and the Investment Bank of Ireland.

Finally, in 1981, Desmond founded his own company, NCB Group. In a couple of years, the brokerage was the largest in Ireland. Then in 1994, he sold it for $39 million. Since then, Desmond started his equity firm, International Investment & Underwriting. At the moment, he also has stakes in different industries through organizations, including Dtalex, Mountain Province Diamonds, Celtic PLC, and Barchester Healthcare.

Dermot Desmond has an estimated net worth of €2.04 billion. He is the Chairman and founder of International Investment & Underwriting Limited (“IIU”), a private investment company operating from the International Financial Services Centre in Dublin.

Desmond started his professional life in the financial sector before establishing his own private equity firm. His investments span various industries, and he is also a majority shareholder of the Celtic Football Club. Desmond is yet another example of a wealthy individual who has chosen Barbados as a preferred destination for investment and leisure.

Kyffin Donald Simpson

Kyffin Donald Simpson is the current chairman of the Simpson Group of Companies in which he is the director of several firms including the First Caribbean International Bank. Simpson is also a board member of the American Society and Council of the Americas. This organization is dedicated to political, cultural, and economical awareness.

Simpson has also been the founder of other companies like Simpson Motors which has been an example for brands such as Mercedes, Chrysler, and Porshe. Further, after the creation of Simpson Oil Limited, this company quickly turned into the largest oil corporation in the Caribbean.

While his wealth may not be as widely publicized as others on this list, he is certainly a prominent figure on the island.

Investment and Entrepreneurship in Barbados

With such a diverse roster of billionaires and entrepreneurs, it is evident that Barbados presents numerous investment and entrepreneurship opportunities. From real estate development to business ventures in various sectors, the island offers a myriad of possibilities for wealth creation and economic growth.

The country’s strategic location in the Caribbean, its strong infrastructure, and its attractive tax incentives make it an ideal destination for investors and entrepreneurs. Barbados is also home to a vibrant business community.

Real Estate Development

Barbados is home to several real estate development companies, including Eastern Land Developments Ltd, Homesites Barbados Ltd, and Signature. The government encourages foreign direct investment in the real estate sector, providing incentives such as tax breaks and other benefits to stimulate growth.

With a wide range of residential and commercial properties, as well as land for development, real estate investment in Barbados is a promising avenue for wealth creation.

Business Ventures

A variety of industries in Barbados present business venture opportunities, including tourism, manufacturing, technology, and finance.

With a secure political and economic climate, well-developed infrastructure, and a highly skilled workforce, Barbados is an attractive destination for entrepreneurs and investors seeking new opportunities.

Barbados on the Global Stage: First Billionaire and National Hero


Rihanna’s status as the first billionaire and national hero of Barbados has undoubtedly put the island on the global stage. Her success, along with the presence of other billionaires, demonstrates the potential for wealth creation and the diverse opportunities available in this Caribbean paradise.

National Hero

A national hero in Barbados is someone who has made a noteworthy contribution to the nation and is acknowledged for their accomplishments. To attain the status of a national hero, an individual must be either born in Barbados or be a citizen of Barbados at the time of their death.

Sir Charles “COW” Williams, John Patrick McManus, Dermot Desmond, Kyffin Donald Simpson, and Eugene Melnyk are the current national heroes of Barbados, each contributing to the island’s growth and prosperity.

Challenges and Opportunities for Wealth Creation in Barbados

The economic landscape in Barbados presents both challenges and opportunities for wealth creation. With a relatively small population and limited resources, the island faces certain constraints.

However, it also boasts a strong financial sector and a well-developed infrastructure that creates an environment conducive to investment and entrepreneurship.

Economic Landscape

Barbados’ economy is the most prominent in the Eastern Caribbean, significantly reliant on tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing. The pandemic caused an economic downturn in 2020-2021, but it is currently recovering robustly, primarily due to the resurgence of tourism and associated activities.

These factors contribute to the challenges and opportunities for wealth creation in Barbados.

Future Prospects

The anticipated economic growth in Barbados for 2023 is expected to be in the range of 4 to 5 percent, largely attributed to the expansion of tourism and private sector investments.

This growth presents a promising outlook for the island, with the potential for further economic development and wealth creation opportunities for both local and foreign investors.


In conclusion, Barbados is an island ripe with opportunities for wealth creation and investment. From the remarkable success of Rihanna to the presence of other billionaires and entrepreneurs, the island showcases its diverse potential. With a robust economic landscape, promising future prospects, and a myriad of investment opportunities, Barbados is undeniably a Caribbean gem waiting to be explored.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many billionaires are from Barbados?

According to Forbes’ list, there are currently no billionaires from Barbados, except for Rihanna. This is unsurprising, given that the small Caribbean nation has just over 280,000 people.

Does Barbados have any billionaires?

Yes, Barbados does have billionaires. Most notably, musician-turned-cosmetics mogul Rihanna, who became the first billionaire from the Caribbean island nation of Barbados in August 2020. She is the only known billionaire from Barbados at present.

Where do rich people live in Barbados?

Rich people in Barbados typically reside in exclusive areas like the Sandy Lane estate south of Hole Town. Here, some of the world’s wealthiest celebrities and businessmen own luxury properties with high prices to match.

These properties are often surrounded by lush gardens, private beaches, and other amenities that make them desirable to the wealthy. The area is also known for its high security, with guards and surveillance.