Swiss super rich gained ‘modest’ CHF6 billion

Glasenberg's personal wealth has a sinking feeling as Glencore share prices slide Keystone

The 300 richest people living in Switzerland saw their combined wealth rise CHF6 billion ($5.86 billion) to a record CHF595 billion in the last 12 months, according to Bilanz magazine. But asset growth was modest compared to other years and there were several losers during a “difficult” 2015.

This content was published on November 27, 2015 - 11:00 and agencies

“The framework conditions for the richest to accumulate more wealth were not good this year,” wrote Bilanz, noting that 2014 saw gains of CHF25 billion. Volatile stock markets and rapidly sinking commodity prices were mostly blamed for the relative paucity of returns.

This was most notably demonstrated by Ivan Glasenberg, boss of commodities giant GlencoreXstrata, losing more than half of his wealth in the last 12 months. Glasenberg saw CHF3.25 billion shrink from his wealth pile, leaving him with a ‘mere’ CHF2-2.5 billion.

With most of his wealth tied up in his struggling company, Glasenberg has seen his wealth fall from a height of CHF8.2 billion in 2011, according to Bilanz data.

The Hoffmann and Oeri familes, heirs to the pharmaceutical Roche company, lost around CHF1 billion to slip to third place in the Bilanz rankings (CHF25-26 billion).

Swiss-Brazilian beverages magnate Jorge Lemann, owner of the AB InBev conglomerate, gained CHF3 billion to leapfrog into second spot with CHF28-29 billion. IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad retained top spot with CHF44-45 billion in wealth (+CHF2 billion).

In total, 54 of the 300 super wealthy in Switzerland gained wealth while 34 lost ground in the Bilanz list, which contained 132 billionaires.

United States magazine Forbes earlier this year estimated that there are currently a record number of 1,826 billionaires in the world, holding a combined $7.05 trillion (CHF7.21 trillion) of wealth – up from $6.4 trillion in 2014.

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