Having a father as a billionaire can be quite a perk. Imagine the endless shopping sprees, extensive travel opportunities and elaborate parties. Lakshmi Mittal, the head of Mittal Steel, shelled out $60 million for his daughter Vanisha's wedding last year.
Plus, there's the chance to inherit a fortune and become a billionaire yourself. Sixty-eight women qualified for our 2005 billionaires list, up from 37 two years ago. But only eight of them created their fortunes from scratch, including Martha Stewart, eBay's Meg Whitman and Oprah Winfrey. The rest, including the world's three richest women — Helen and Alice Walton, the wife and daughter of Wal-Mart Stores' founder, and Liliane Bettencourt, daughter of L'Oréal founder — inherited all or most of their wealth from their fathers or husbands.
For some daughters of billionaires, enjoying the high life and waiting for that inheritance isn't enough. Proving that ambition and business savvy often run in the family, some daughters work hard to make a name for themselves in business. Sometimes, it is a bid to compete for the top spot in the family company. Other times they indulge their own entrepreneurial passions.
Forbes has selected nine billionaire daughters to watch, all of whom are under age 50. They include Delphine Arnault, the youngest and only female board member of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, her father Bernard Arnault's luxury goods empire; Dylan Lauren, the daughter of fashion billionaire Ralph Lauren, who co-founded and helps run four candy stores in three states; and Pansy Ho, daughter of casino tycoon Stanley Ho, who recently unveiled a partnership with Las-Vegas based MGM Mirage to build a Macau casino.
Only one of the nine women, Abigail Johnson, now qualifies for the billionaires list on her own. But all of them appear to be on the rise and someday may run vast empires. Of course, there are no guarantees in life, particularly when working in the family business. In 1998, Forbes cited Elisabeth Murdoch as an ambitious rising star in her father Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. empire. She quit the company two years later and now has her own U.K.-based production company. (Just last week, her brother Lachlan Murdoch, his father's more recent heir apparent, followed suit, quitting News Corp.) Still, it seems fairly certain that these women are making their wealthy fathers proud.