When Switzerland is mentioned what are the first things that come into mind? Expensive watches, chocolate, banks and punctuality are probably the first things everyone thinks of whenever someone mentions Swiss.
This very wealthy country is situated in heart of Europe and it has a population of 8 million people. This country has a lot more to boast with besides the chocolate, banks and expensive watches. They have a stable, prosperous and high-tech economy with a lot of multi-national corporations like Nestle and ABB that have their headquarters located in Switzerland.
Switzerland is considered to be a landlord’s market and in the main cities, the demand is many times higher than supply which is probably one of the reasons there are so many wealthy people in Switzerland. Believe it or not, this country has four official languages – German, French, Italian and Romansh. If you think that moving to Switzerland and obtaining their citizenship is easy you couldn’t be more wrong. Well, the moving part is easy but getting citizenship means that you have to spend at least 12 years there. The fun part is that even babies born there don’t get the automatic right to citizenship.
Now, without beating around the bush anymore let’s get to the topic at hand. Switzerland is all nice and interesting but what is more interesting are the celebrities that live there and that Forbes magazine voted as top 10 of the highest-paid ones in 2021.
This guy has a net worth of $4.7 Billion and he is the CEO and the only shareholder of the Artemis Group that controls the Swiss-based Franke Group. If you didn’t know Franke Group is the biggest maker of kitchen sinks and other industrial-grade kitchen equipment. Michael took over the group in 1989 and successfully expanded it into four new regions. This group also has a stake in a company called Feintool which is responsible for making top-notch precision tools. But that is not all, you should also add Swiss real estate and teak plantations in Costa Rica and Nicaragua to his cash pool.
Dona has a net worth of $4.7 Billion and she is a co-owner of the family’s biotech business called Serono. She and her brother sold Serono in 2007 for over $13 Billion which is remarkable. Dona started as Serono’s executive director of public and professional affairs while her brother Ernesto also has a stake in that company and they split ownership of most family assets. Dona spends most of her time now helping marine life preservation and she has a side job as a special adviser in the United Nations.
Thomas has a net worth of $4.8 Billion and the bulk of his fortune comes from a building materials giant called Lafarge Holcim, which was formed thanks to a mega-merger. It was a very successful family business that at one time got split up into two pieces and then re-merged again into one company lead by him and his brother. Thomas is still an honorary owner of Holcim but he left the board in 2018. He retired as chairman in 2003 after running the company for 20 years straight. He also owns a lot of wineries across California, Argentina and Switzerland.
The net worth of Mr. Ivan is $5.5 Billion. Mr. Ivan holds the largest individual stake at Glencore which is the world’s biggest commodity trader. This South African by birth, with Swiss and Australian citizenship, became the CEO of Glencore in 2002 and in December of 2020 he announced his retirement this year. After he got his MBA from USC he started working as a marketer in a coal department of Marc Rich & Co in his native South Africa. Little did he know that in 1994 Marc Rich & Co will become Glencore and they finally went public in 2011.
Wyss is net worth $6 Billion and most of his fortune comes from the sale of his medical device manufacturing company called Synthes. It was sold in 2012 to Johnson&Johnson for a whopping amount of money. After the sales, he began buying stakes in other companies and now owns ones in publicly traded biotech companies like NovoCure and Molecular Partners. He is also a great philanthropist with charitable foundations that have huge assets at their disposal.
Magdalena has a net worth of $7.1 Billion and most of her fortune is from a stake in family lead polymer and chemical manufacturer giant EMS-Chemie. She took the reins of that company in 2004 when her father Christoph took up politics and a seat at the Swiss federal council. He sold his shares to his kids who continued the business. Magdalena also held a management position in Johnson&Johnson and Swiss beverage maker Rivella. In 2015 she followed her father and stepped into politics. She was elected to the Swiss parliament as a national councillor.
Rahel’s net worth is $7.1 Billion and her wealth comes from the same place as her sisters. She received her stake when her father went into politics but unlike her sister Magdalena who is the company’s longtime CEO, Rahel isn’t that actively involved in EMS-Chemie operations. Instead, she runs her father’s investment company and sits on the board of Schweizer Musikinsel Rheinau Foundation.
Ernesto’s net worth is $8.6 Billion and it comes from an inheritance called Serono. He and his sister Dona manage to make a great expansion in the company, make a groundbreaking drug that boosted revenues, and the price of the company just before the sale to Merck who bought it for over $13 billion in 2007. He co-chairs the Bertarelli Foundation that takes care of marine life conservation and life sciences research. They have a family group called Waypoint Group that invests in anything from commercial real estate in London to frug companies.
If there is a great story in this list then this is it. Guillaume is the youngest billionaire in Swiss and he owes his net worth of $9 Billion to the dram called Checkout.com. In 2012 he tried to solve the problem of online payment processing for all shops and shoppers all over the world and created what is now a company that in January 2021 raised $450 million from private investors, which increased the value of the company to a whopping $15 billion. Guillaume is also a majority owner of the London-based company.
Gianluigi and Rafaela Aponte
The net worth of this wonderful couple is estimated at $10.8 Billion. They owe their wealth to the shipping industry in which Gianluigi, a captain by training, entered in 1970. This power couple started a company called MSC, now the second-largest shipping line in the world, with only two ships at the time. Over the years they managed to grow significantly and branch out to family cruises and port operations. In 2014 Gianluigi retired as CEO and became the chairman of the company.