Walter Haefner, owner of the AMAG car dealership and the largest shareholder of United States tech company CA, is celebrating his 100th birthday on Monday.
Haefner’s fortune has been estimated at SFr3.3 billion ($3.26 billion) by the US business magazine Forbes, placing him 287 on its list of the world’s richest people. He is also the oldest person worth more than $1 billion.
The Zurich-born entrepreneur made his money in CA, formerly Computer Associates, an IT software maker. In Switzerland, his AMAG company is the country’s largest importer of Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda and Audi.
In 1948 he pulled off a coup when he signed a deal with Volkswagen, and imported the first Beetle into Switzerland. By the end of the year, the number had risen to 1,380.
Haefner has handed over the daily running of the firm but still visit’s the offices in Zurich regularly, a spokesman said.
The businessman also owns a highly successful stud farm in Ireland, collects art and engages in charitable activities, particularly through a foundation that bears his name. He has lived for 60 years on Lake Zurich.
swissinfo.ch and agencies
swissinfo and agencies