The 2019 panorama of the wealthiest personalities and / or families in Switzerland includes 144 billionaires. A progression that occurs despite the death ofAbdulaziz Al-Sulaiman, founder in 1968 of the Rolaco group (majority owner of the InterContinental hotel in Geneva, among others) and the departure from the country of the family of the famous jeweler Robert Mouawad.
Our radar has highlighted no less than five new billionaires established in Switzerland. David Alkiviades came to settle in Gstaad. Of Greek origin, he owes the origin of his fortune to Coca-Cola bottling plants in some twenty countries. This heir has invested in the distribution of music and films over the internet, a video streaming site and even legal cannabis. In the same category (2 to 3 billion francs), a Swede makes his appearance: Lars Förberg. This activist shareholder generally acts through his holding company Cevian Capital, which manages around € 13 billion in assets. This does not prevent him from living modestly in a semi-detached villa near Zurich and driving an old Volvo station wagon.
Barely less rich, the Siccardi family made his fortune through both real estate and medical implants. In reality, it is the Patriarch Francesco who is at the origin of this success. This pharmacist created in 1958 a company specializing in sterile liquids for hospitals. When his son Alberto sold it in 1997, he was able to make the money he had collected grow. Become Swiss, the latter created the company Medacta which employs nearly 1000 people in Ticino.
It is also thanks to the medical sector that the Bavarian entrepreneur Dieter Schön has succeeded. This resident of St. Moritz (GR) has a thriving group of 26 specialist clinics.
Finally, let us quote the Spanish steel magnate, Jose Maria Aristrain de la Cruz, based in Gstaad. He is a former owner of Arcelor, the steel company born from the merger between the Spanish company Aceralia (inherited from his father), Arbed in Luxembourg and Usinor in France.
The Wertheimers climb in the ranking
From now on, Balance sheet indicates the position occupied by a particular family. For the 2019 edition, we see that the Swiss family Hoffmann Cooling remains at the top of our ranking, a place that it recovered in 2018. The value of the share package held by the latter has increased further. His fortune is estimated between 27 and 28 billion francs. Just behind, Gérard Wertheimer gains two places. Its progress is mainly explained by the significant revaluation of its heritage (the Chanel group which he controls with his brother). The Joseph Safra’s family remains at 3e rank, despite a revalued fortune between 23 and 24 billion francs (+4 billion). Behind him, Brazil-Switzerland Jorge Lemann lost two ranks. Its investments have generally performed not too badly, but its stake in Kraft Heinz penalized it. Its management method has taken its toll there (read the article on pages 48 and 49).
The sons Kamprad stay at 5e rank, a presence which can be explained by their Swiss nationality only. Their fortune is estimated at 17-18 billion after analysis of the beneficiaries of the three foundations created in his time by the founder of the Ikea group. Also at 5e rank, the Russian Guennadi Timtchenko (previously 7e) saw the value of its holdings (via Volga Group) grow by 3 billion francs. He is ahead of another Russian, Andrey Melnichenko (7e rank), arrived in our ranking last year (at 12e rank). The value of its group, EuroChem (a major producer of mineral fertilizers), has been reassessed (+2 billion). This 7e rank is also occupied by the family Brenninkmeijer (previously 6e). Its fortune was reduced to 14-15 billion because, among other things, that the C&A group is struggling to develop in online sales. Always at 7e rang, la Castel family now ahead of Bertarelli. The value of the Castel group, active in wine and beer on several continents, has been enhanced. A delicate exercise given that the latter is not listed on the stock exchange. Finally, also tied for 7e rank, the family of Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken.
A successful IPO
In addition to the impressive number of billionaires, the 2019 edition sees the appearance of seven “new” fortunes, more or less recent: Guillaume Pousaz (700 to 800 million); Beat Curti (500 to 600 million); Markus Rieker (500 to 600 million); Daniel von Stockar (400 to 500 million); René Gilli (300 to 400 million); the Majoie Le Lous family (200 to 300 million); and finally, Dominique Lévy (200 to 300 million). The Genevan Guillaume Pousaz, 38, is not very talkative about the turnover of his startup, checkout.com, founded in London in 2012. What is public, however, is the amount he raised last spring: 230 million of dollars. Hat! Another discovery: Markus Rieker, a Swiss of German origin, who has developed a shoe empire, Rimo Holding, which employs more than 15,000 people in its factories in Vietnam. Beat Curti, Daniel from Stockar and René Gilli All three were enriched by the successful IPO of SoftwareOne at the end of October 2019. This company has become a global leader in software and cloud consulting for businesses. Then come two women: Dominique levy, daughter of the late André Isaac, founder of the Compagnie Financière Tradition in Lausanne. And France Majoie Le Lous, heir to Laboratoires Fournier, long established in the canton of Vaud.
This 2019 ranking of the 300 richest in Switzerland was produced thanks to contributions from:
WITH: Fabienne Bogadi, Francesco Bonsaver, Jean-Philippe Buchs, Luigino Canal, Daniel Eskenazi, Rebecca Garcia, Vincent Gillioz, Serge Guertchakoff, Olivier Grivat, Michel Jeannot, Philippe Lugassy, Patricia Meunier, Gian Pozzy, Chantal de Senger, Marat Shargorodsky and Mary Vakaridis
BALANCE SHEET: Corinne Amacher, Erich Gerbl, Bastian Heiniger, Marc Kowalsky, Iris Kuhn-Spogat, Stefan Lüscher, Thomas Müller, Erik Nolmans, Walter Pellinghausen, Bernhard Raos, Corinna Röttker, Dirk Ruschmann, Dirk Schütz, Florence Vuichard et Christian Wapp.
Our ranking includes both the Swiss, regardless of the location of their main residence, and foreigners established for tax purposes in Switzerland, provided they have at least CHF 200 million in net worth. This year, our ranking also indicates the rank (out of 300) in which the personalities and / or families are classified.