Bilan magazine’s ranking of the 300 wealthiest people in Switzerland in 2023 keeps Gérard Wertheimer at the top for the second year running. Co-owner of Geneva-based Haute Couture house Chanel, Wertheimer retains his position at the top with a fortune estimated at between 41 and 42 billion Swiss francs.
The 2023 ranking of the 300 richest people in Switzerland was unveiled by Bilan magazine on Friday, November 24. The ranking is dominated by the Wertheimer family, whose wealth is estimated at between 41 and 42 billion Swiss francs (42-43 billion euros), a significant increase of 9 billion Swiss francs (9.3 billion euros) on the 38-39 billion Swiss francs of 2022.
Benefiting from the prosperity of the luxury goods industry, Gérard Wertheimer, co-owner of the Maison de Haute Couture Chanel alongside his brother Alain, maintains his position at the top of the ranking, with the podium unchanged this year. Chanel’s strong results, with net income up 14.2% to $4.6 billion in 2022, contributed to this increase.
At the end of 2022, however, the Wertheimer brothers reaped dividends amounting to “only” $1.67 billion, compared with $4.98 billion in 2021, the magazine says. A significant portion of these funds was directed towards an investment program in excess of $2 billion, aimed at supporting the evolution of the fashion house.
In addition to Chanel, the Wertheimer brothers’ assets include an art collection, important wine châteaux and even a stable of racehorses. Through their investment company, Mousse Partners, they have also acquired a stake in the investment bank Rothschild & Co, as part of its planned delisting from the stock market.
Last year, the Wertheimer family had already surpassed the Hoffmann-Oeri-Duschmalé families, major players in the pharmaceutical giant Roche, as well as Klaus-Michael Kühne, principal shareholder in the Kühne+Nagel transport and logistics group.
By 2023, the Hoffmann-Oeri-Duschmalé family’s assets had fallen by 4 billion to 26-27 billion Swiss francs (27-28 billion euros), reflecting Roche’s declining market capitalization.
For his part, Klaus-Michael Kühne, the honorary chairman and majority shareholder of Kühne+Nagel, also a shareholder in German shipowner Hapag-Lloyd and airline Lufthansa, firmly holds onto third place. With a fortune estimated at between 24 and 26 billion Swiss francs, he benefits from the prosperity of the company’s transport and logistics business.
Active in banking, real estate and agribusiness, the Safra family remains in fourth place with a stable fortune of between 22 and 23 billion Swiss francs, while the Apponte family, owners of shipping giant Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), continues to rank among the top ten Swiss fortunes.
Rapperswil-domiciled Brazilian-Hellenic businessman Jorge Lemann dropped two places to 15-16 billion Swiss francs following the repercussions of the balance sheet falsification scandal at distribution company Americanas, which he owns via his company 3G Capital. His holdings include stakes in Kraft Heinz, Burger King and world beer leader AB inBev.
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Featured photo : ©France Galop