July 26, 2021

Money: The fortunes of the richest 300 in Switzerland have grown


The ranking of the wealthiest people in Switzerland is still dominated by the sons of the founder of Ikea.

The entry threshold for the ranking has been increased from 100 million to 200 million.

Photo d’illustration, Keystone

The 300 richest in Switzerland saw their fortunes shrink by 4% to reach 702 billion francs in 2019, according to calculations by the magazine “Bilan”. The ranking remains dominated by the three sons of the founder of the Swedish furniture chain Ikea.

In the 20th annual survey to be released on Friday, the entry threshold for the ranking was increased from 100 million to 200 million. About thirty people or families came out. Among the new entrants, there are no nationals of Russia and other Eastern European countries, the magazine notes.

Latest comers

Among the latest arrivals are billionaire David Alkiviades (fortune of 2 to 3 billion francs), of Greek origin and heir to a family that built its fortune in the bottling of Coca-Cola. The latter notably launched the Swissx Bank of Cannabis in Gstaad or the Swede Lars Förberg (2 to 3 billion). The Siccardi family (1.5 to 2 billion) owns the Ticinese designer of orthopedic and neurosurgical devices Medacta, which went public this year.

The Bavarian entrepreneur Dieter Schön, active in clinics and the Spanish steel magnate José Maria Aristrain de la Cruz are also listed. Their respective fortune is also estimated between 1.5 and 2 billion francs. None are located in French-speaking Switzerland.

Gérard Wertheimer remains the richest Frenchman

Among those who have seen their wealth increase, Gérard Wertheimer is well placed (6 billion, for a fortune estimated between 24 and 25 billion francs). The richest French in Switzerland, resident in Geneva, owns the fashion house Chanel.

Patrick Drahi, boss of Altice-SFR and domiciled in Valais, recorded a gain of 5 billion (11-12 billion). It ranks third among fortunes from France, behind the Castel family, active in wine and beer in Africa (1 billion, 14 to 15 billion).

Peter Spuhler, main shareholder and chairman of Stadler Rail, raked in an additional $ 1 billion, reaching $ 3 billion to $ 4 billion. The one who took over the company in 1989 obviously benefited from the entry on the Swiss Stock Exchange this spring of the leader in the construction of rolling stock.

The Blocher family, after experiencing disappointments in 2018, also saw its fortune grow by 1 billion (11-12 billion), also benefiting from the good performance of the equity markets.

The descendants of Ikea’s founder remain the richest

The ten richest in Switzerland weigh 221 billion francs, an increase of 10%. The first place is still held by Peter, Jonas and Mathias Kamprad, sons of Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad. Their empire amounts to 54-55 billion francs.

The Hoffmann and Oeri families, who hold the majority of the votes of the Basel pharmaceutical giant Roche, are on the second step (27 to 28 billion). The value of Roche on the stock market reached 250 billion, according to “Balance Sheet”.

Gérard Wertheimer made his entry into the top trio of the 2019 ranking, on the last step. Jorge Paulo Lemann, 80, however fell from the podium. The billionaire from Rapperswil is a shareholder in brewer AB-InBev.

Commodity trader

A new one has arrived: Russian billionaire Gennadi Timtschenko, co-founder of commodity trader Gunvor (6th). Despite the American sanctions, he saw his fortune grow to 16-17 billion francs.

Note that Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, shareholder of the brewing giant, is the only woman in the top 10, in ninth position.

Several billionaires have experienced setbacks, such as the Bobst families (eponymous packaging machine manufacturer) and Kalbermatten (-400 million) or Bich, founder of the Bic pen group (-500 million).