Top 10 Richest People in Europe
Europe has produced a large number of businessmen, investors, heirs and real estate owners who rank among the top 10 richest people in Europe today. Some of the most famous brands sold the world over have emerged from the continent. It is the result of the hard work and efforts of some while the good fortune of the others that a large number of the world’s billionaires belong to Europe. Read on to discover about the top 10 wealthiest people of Europe.
Europe’s richest man, Amancio Ortega, owns the world famous Zara chain of clothing stores across the world. This Spanish businessman is also the founder and chairman of the Inditex group of fashion. His success has earned him a net worth of 62.6 billion US dollars. Ortega has been ranked as the world’s fourth wealthiest man by Forbes in 2015. Despite being among the richest billionaires of the world, Amancio Ortega is a down-to-earth person. He eats lunch in the company’s cafeteria everyday along with his employees and staff. Moreover, he has never been seen wearing luxurious clothing. Instead, he mostly wears the same blue blazer with a white shirt and grey pants to work. In addition, maintaining a low profile, Ortega has only let three journalists interview him to this day.
Liliane Bettencourt has the honor and distinction of being among the top 10 richest people in Europe, the positions being mostly occupied by men around the globe. This French heiress and socialite is known as the “Queen of L’Oreal”. With a net worth of 40.1 billion US dollars, Bettencourt stands as the 10th wealthiest person in the world and the 2nd richest business tycoon of Europe. After Christy Walton, Bettencourt is the world’s second richest woman. Born in France, she is the only child of Eugene Paul Louis Schueller who founded the world famous cosmetics brand, L’Oreal. Today, Liliane Bettencourt is one of the main shareholders of the company which she joined as an apprentice at the age of only fifteen.
Bettencourt also works as a philanthropist and contributes towards the social cause promoted by her foundation. She is the founder of the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation which was established in 1987 in France. The foundation supports various causes and works on different projects related to the areas of medicine, culture and humanities.
Owner of a wealth amounting to 24.5 billion dollars, Stefan Persson ranks as the third of the top 10 richest people in Europe. He belongs to Sweden and is at the top of the list of the country’s twelve billionaires. In addition, he has earned the seventeenth place among the richest people of the world according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The reason behind his success is the famous brand H&M which is a high-end clothing and accessories store for men, women and kids. The brand was first founded by Stefan Persson’s father, Erling Persson in 1947. Today, H&M stores are found all across the globe in a large number of countries. In addition, Stefan Persson also owns a large stake in Hexagon AB which is Sweden based technology company. Moreover, the business magnate also owns a private real estate company – Ramsbury Invest Persson. Through this company, he owns important properties in large cities across Europe, including Paris, Stockholm and London.
Persson is also a philanthropist and supports social causes. He has founded a non-profit organization known as the Mentor Foundation. The goal of the organization is the fight against abuse among young individuals. Persson also co-funded a foundation for Djurgardens IF.
Arnault is the name associated with some of the most powerful and wildly famous brands including, Christian Dior, Bvlgari, Dom Perignon, Sephora and Luis Vuitton. This French business tycoon owns a net worth of 37.7 billion US dollars and stands as the fourth richest European. According to Forbes, Arnault has earned the 13th place among the wealthiest individuals around the world.
Bernard Arnault has also made significant investments in different companies. Through his Europatweb holding, the businessman has invested in different web-based companies including Netflix, Zebank and Boo.com. These investments were made between 1998 and 2001. On the other hand, in 2008, he made an investment in the yacht business and spent 253 million Euros on the purchase of Princess Yachts.
The wealthy tycoon is also known for his famous art collections. He has collected several masterpieces created by famous artists including Picasso, Andy Warhol, Yves Klein and Henry Moore. In addition, he also supports the development and growth of arts through the “Young Fashion Designer Prize”. It is a competition in which students of Fine Arts from different schools can participate.
Late Michele Ferrero stood at the fifth place on the list of the top 10 richest people in Europe with a net worth of 26.7 billion US dollars as of 2014. The name of this Italian businessman is associated with one of the world’s most popular chocolates. The luxurious Ferrero Rocher, the mouthwatering Nutella chocolate and hazelnut spread and the heart-favorite of kids, Kinder Eggs and Kinder Chocolate are created by his company – Ferrero SpA. This Italian manufacturer is the world’s largest producer of chocolate. It was founded by Pietro Ferrero – father of Michele Ferrero – who invented the famous Nutella spread by mixing vegetable oil with gianduja paste. The popularity of the chocolate spread is immense to this day since its taste and quality are unparalleled by any other of the similar products created by other companies later on.
Pietro Ferrero’s company was turned into a globally popular chocolate empire by Michele Ferrero. He took over the business in 1957 from his uncle who was running the company after the demise of its founder. Michele spread the popularity of his products to overseas markets from where he received a great response. During the coming decades, the Ferrero business grew in the entire Europe as well as in other continents including Australia, South America and Asia. Other products, including Ferrero Rocher hazelnut chocolates, were also introduced which gained immediate success.
After the death of Michelle Ferrero in February 2015, Ferrero SpA was inherited by his wife – Maria Franca Fissolo – as well as his son Giovanni Ferrero. Today, the pair is the richest in Italy and one of the wealthiest in the entire Europe owing to a net worth of a whooping 23.4 billion US dollars.
Leonardo Del Vecchio
Italy’s Leonardo Del Vecchio owns a net worth of $22.6 billion through the world famous brand – Luxottica. Founded in 1961, the company has been producing fashion sunglasses as well as prescription eyewear under the names of prominent brands like Ray Ban, Sunglass Hur, Oakley and LensCrafters.
This self-made tycoon was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. In fact, after his father’s death at age seven, he was sent to an orphanage by his mother who did not have the means to bring him up. At fourteen years of age, he began apprenticeship at a factory where parts for eyeglasses were manufactured. Eleven years later, Vecchiofounded Luxottica at the young age of twenty-five. Today, the company manufactures and supplies glasses to virtually all the luxury giants of the world including Chanel, Burberry, DKNY, Prada, Versace, Ralph Lauren, Armani, Tiffany and several others.
Contributions to Leonardo Del Vecchio’s wealth are also made through a couple of other sources. He is the owner of stakes in Italy’s biggest insurance company, Assicurazioni Generali. In addition, he also has stakes in Italy’s UniCredit Bank and a French real estate company known as Fonciere des Regions.
Germany’s Dieter Shwarz is at the 7th place in the list of the wealthiest people of Europe. He owns a net worth of 22.2 billion US dollars. The successful, 75 years old entrepreneur owns the Schwarz-Gruppe. The company operates in twenty different countries with more than ten thousand branches. In addition to running this thriving business, Dieter Shwarz is also the CEO of Lidl supermarket chain and Kaufland hypermarket chain. Lidl is Europe’s second largest discount store. Dieter Shwarz has been heading it since four decades after it fell into his hands through inheritance from his father. He has lead the company to a booming success, thereby achieving the status of one of the biggest tycoons of Europe.
Theo Albrecht Jr.
With a net worth of 16.4 billion US dollars, the 69 years old German heir – Theo Albrecht Jr. stands among the richest men of the continent. He inherited the ownership of Aldi as well as Trader Joe’s from his father in 2010. Aldi is a supermarket chain based in Germany while Trader Joe’s is based in the US. Through these chains, Germany’s grocery market was revolutionized by the efforts of Theo Albrecht and his sibling Karl. Before his death in 2010, Forbes ranked Albrecht Sr. as the world’s 31st wealthiest individual with a net worth of 16.7 billion dollars. The fortune was inherited by his two sons. However, Berthold Albrecht passed away in 2012 and left his share to his wife and five children. The surviving son, Theo Albrecht Jr. is recognized today as the owner of his father’s legacy.
The Russian business magnate, Alisher Burkhanovich Usmanov is among the top 10 richest people in Europe owing to a net worth of 14.3 billion US dollars. Forbes placed him at the 61st position among the world’s most powerful men in 2014. Usmanov owes his repute, wealth and power to metal and mining operations as well as investments. He is the principal shareholder of Metallinvest – a significant industrial conglomerate in Russia. In addition, he also has holdings and stakes in MegaFon which is the second largest cell phone operator in the country. Moreover, he also owns shares in Kommersant which is the largest business daily in Russia. He sold his Facebook shares in 2013. However, his shares in China’s largest e-commerce company – Alibaba – as well as those in Arsenal Football Club and the Chinese phone manufacturing company, Xiaomi are still well-maintained. Apart from these investments, Usmanov is also a significant member of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. In January 2015, Forbes ranked the business tycoon as the richest man in Russia and the fifty-eighth richest in the entire world.
Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor
The sixth Duke of Westminster, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor is the wealthiest landlord in the United Kingdom. He owns valuable land in the country as well as in other parts of the continent. His most valuable properties include a piece of land spread over an area of a hundred and ninety acres in Belgravia. The area’s proximity to the Buckingham Palace makes it one of the most expensive neighborhoods in London. In addition, the Grosvenor family also owns thousands of acres of valuable land in other regions of England. A total of 96,000 acres of land in Scotland and 32,000 acres of property in Spain are also among the expensive possessions of the family. The private real estate company, Grosvenor Group owns land across five continents of the world. The total net worth owned by Grosvenor is 12.9 billion US dollars as recorded by Forbes in 2015.