The super rich just get richer


The 300 wealthiest people in Switzerland have assets totalling a record SFr625 billion ($571 billion) – over a quarter of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).

This content was published on November 23, 2007 minutes

The list of the super rich in the leading Swiss business magazine Bilan was again led by Ikea furniture store owner, Ingvar Kamprad, with a fortune worth an estimated SFr36 billion.

According to the survey, up to 120 people or families resident in Switzerland for tax purposes have assets worth at least SFr1 billion.

The booming economy and rising stock market levels continue to push up the wealth of Switzerland's 300 richest individuals. The three richest residents now earn the same as the 100 wealthiest – SFr66 billion – when the ranking was first published in 1989.

The famously frugal Swedish furniture magnate tops the list for the sixth year running, adding another SFr10 billion to his fortune. Kamprad is also the fourth richest person on the planet.

The Hoffmann and Oeri families from Basel held onto second place, thanks to their majority holding in the Roche pharmaceutical company. The industrial dynasty has assets of SFr18-19 billion, losing SFr2 billion on its Roche shares compared with 2006.

The Brenninkmeijer family, owners of the clothing chain C&A moved up from fifth to third with SFr15-16 billion due to investments in renewable energies rather than sales of dresses and shirts.

The Brenninkmeijers knocked Russian businessman Viktor Vekselberg into fourth place. Russia's fifth wealthiest individual, with a personal fortune of SFr14-15 billion made in oil and aluminium, has been in the news for snapping up shares in Swiss businesses this year.

Wealthy women

Switzerland's richest woman is Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken with a fortune worth SFr7 billion thanks to her 115 breweries worldwide. The rest of the 300 super-rich listing contains just 24 other women, whose assets are still estimated at SFr34.2 billion.

The stars of the music world also feature in the survey including Canadian pop singer Shania Twain (SFr400-500 million), British pop star Phil Collins (SFr300-400 million) and US singer Tina Turner (SFr200-300 million).

They are joined by Greek singer Nana Mouskouri, with a fortune worth SFr100-200 million, who lives in Geneva.

Canton Zurich is the most popular place of residence – and for paying taxes – of the super-rich in Switzerland with 63 individuals and families, according to the survey. This is followed by cantons Geneva (44), Vaud (36) and cantons Bern, Schwyz and Zug (19).

Italian-speaking canton Ticino attracts some 14 billionaires, closely followed by cantons Graubünden and Lucerne (13), St Gallen (10), Basel Country and City (9), Aargau and Thurgau (7), Nidwalden (4) and Obwalden, Solothurn and Fribourg (3).

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Top of the Bilan table:

1. Ingvar Kamprad; Ikea founder (SFr35-36 billion).
2. Hoffman and Oeri families; Roche pharmaceuticals (SFr18-19 billion).
3. Brenninkmeijer family; C&A textiles (SFr15-16 billion).
4. Viktor Vekselberg; industrialist (SFr14-15 billion).
5. Latsis family; banking (SFr13-14 billion).
6. Bertarelli family; pharmaceuticals (SFr12-13 billion).
7. Klaus-Michael Kühne; logistics firm Kühne+Nagel (SFr8-9 billion).
8. Dmitry Rybolovlev; fertilizer (SFr8-9 billion).
9. Hansjörg Wyss; medical (SFr8-9 billion).
10. Fürst Hans-Adam II. von und zu Liechtenstein; banking, property, art (SFr7-8 billion).

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