Euro rich list: The 48 richest people in Europe

PUBLISHED: 09:30 26 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:30 26 February 2017

PA Archive/PA Images

PA Archive/PA Images

PA Archive/PA Images

Just who are the wealthiest people in Europe? We found out how much they’re worth

1 Amancio Ortega, Spain

$67 billion

Retail (Zara)

The world’s wealthiest retailer. Began manufacturing textiles in 1963 before co-founding Zara with his ex-wife in 1975. He has invested in real estate across the world, including Madrid, Barcelona, London, Chicago, Miami and New York

2 Liliane Bettencourt, France

$36.1 billion

Cosmetics (L’Oreal)

The richest woman in Europe, her father founded the L’Oreal cosmetics empire. She suffers from dementia and in 2015, a French court found eight people guilty of swindling her out of millions of euros. Separately, a campaign treasurer for former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was cleared of charges that he exploited her for donations

3 Bernard Arnault, France

$34 billion

Luxury goods

His LVMH empire comprises brands such as Dom Perignon, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, Sephora and Tag Heuer; also a noted art patron and collector

4 Beate Heister & Karl Albrecht Jr, Germany

$25.9 billion


The children of Karl Albrecht Sr who – with his brother – took over a family grocery store in Essen, from which was built the Aldi supermarket chain. Karl Sr died in 2014

5 Maria Franca Fissolo, Italy

$22.1 billion

Confectionary (Nutella)

The widow of Michele Ferrero, who built up one of the world’s biggest sweets manufacturers, behind brands like Nutella and Ferrero Rocher. The firm had first been established by his father, who, faced with rationing of cocoa after the Second World War, turned to plentiful supplies of hazelnuts to create a spread – Nutella

6 Stefan Persson, Sweden

$20.8 billion

Retail (H&M)

The fashion company was founded by his father, Erling, with the first store set up in 1947. There are now more than 3,000 around the world

7 Theo Albrecht, Germany

$20.3 billion

Supermarkets (Aldi)

A cousin of the siblings in fourth place on the list. Albrecht’s father, Theo Sr, co-founded Aldi with brother, Karl. Theo Sr, who died in 2010, was kidnapped in 1971 and held for ransom. Those responsible were eventually caught, but only half the ransom was recovered. Theo Sr later claimed it as a tax deductible business expense

8 Leonardo Del Vecchio, Italy

$18.7 billion


Raised in an orphanage because his mother could not afford to support him, he started as a metalworker making spectacle parts before establishing a company which became the largest producer and retailer of glasses in the world

9 Susanne Klatten, Germany

$18.5 billion

BMW, pharmaceuticals

Her wealth is principally derived from the interests in BMW and chemical firm Altana she inherited from her parents. As a teenager, she was the target of a kidnap plot

10 Georg Schaeffler, Germany

$18.1 billion

Ball bearings

With his mother, he owns one of the world’s largest producers of ball bearings and machine components. His younger brother Christian died from an electric shock in 1975, after a hair dryer fell into his bathtub

11 Dieter Schwarz, Germany

$16.4 billion

Retail (Lidl)

Took over control of the retail empire after his father’s death in 1977

12 Stefan Quandt, Germany

$15.6 billion


The brother of Susanne Klatten, at number nine in the list

13 Michael Otto, Germany

$15.4 billion

Retail, real estate

Born in Nazi-occupied Poland during the Second World War, Otto ran mail order firm the Otto Group, considered the world’s second largest internet retailer after Amazon. He is a noted environmentalist

14 Serge Dassault, France

$14.7 billion


Inherited the Dassault Group, the aircraft manufacturer, from father Marcel. The company has expanded into media, owning Le Figaro, and software. Serge, a senator since 2004, was fined two million euros earlier this month for failing to fully disclose his wealth

15 The Hindujas, UK

$14.5 billion

Automotive, financial services, power

The four brothers’ interests range across a number of industries, from banking, to motor and media

16 Leonid Mikhelson, Russia

$14.4 billion

Gas, chemicals

A keen art collector, he has sponsored museum exhibits in Russia and the US

17 David & Simon Reuben, UK

$14.4 billion

Investments, real estate

The brothers were born in India but grew up in the UK, where their property portfolio includes dozens of exclusive addresses

18 Stefano Pessina, Italy

$13.4 billion

Pharmacists (Walgreens Boots Alliance)

Head of the world’s largest drugstore chain, having taken over his family’s pharmaceutical wholesaler in Naples in 1977

20 Dietrich Mateschitz, Austria

$13.2 billion

Energy drinks (Red Bull)

Transformed a sweet Thai drink, Krating Daeng, into one of the world’s best known brands, Red Bull, which has since moved into sports ownership

21 Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, Denmark

$13.1 billion

Toys (Lego)

Former CEO and president of the toy firm, which was established by his grandfather. As a child, he inspired and tested many new kits

22 Pallonji Mistry, Ireland

$12.5 billion


Deeply involved in the vast Tata empire. He forfeited Indian citizenship to become an Irish citizen and is a major sponsor of Irish cricket

23 Hans Rausing, Sweden

$12.5 billion


Son of the founder of the Tetra packaging giant; he moved to the UK in the 1980s to avoid punitive Swedish taxes. His daughter-in-law, Eva, died of a drug overdose in 2012 and his son, also Hans, was given a suspended sentence after admitting preventing the lawful and decent burial of her body

24 Alisher Usmanov, Russia

$12.5 billion

Steel, telecom, investments

A keen sports fan, he has shares in Arsenal and also gave the Russian Football Union money to pay salary arrears owed to national coach Fabio Capello

25 Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, the Netherlands

$12.3 billion


Has a controlling stake in brewer Heineken, which she inherited from her father, Freddy. Up until his death, she had no formal business education. Her husband, who she met in St Moritz, had a speaking role in Lawrence of Arabia

26 Vladimir Potanin, Russia

$12.1 billion


The owner of two luxury yachts, both more than 200ft in length. He also personally financed the construction of the Rosa Hutor ski resort, for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi

27 Heinz Hermann Thiele, Germany

$11.7 billion


Knorr-Bremse (“bremse” means brake) may not trip off the tongue, but the firm is the world’s leading manufacturer of braking systems for rail and commercial vehicles. Thiele took control of it in the 1980s and is still heavily involved

28 Francois Pinault, France

$11.5 billion

The Pinault family’s portfolio of companies includes Gucci, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Yves Saint Laurent; Francois also has a personal art collection of more than 2,000 works. His daughter-in-law is actress Salma Hayek

29 Gennady Timchenko, Russia

$11.4 billion

Oil and gas

Close ties to Vladimir Putin have seen Timchenko hit by US sanctions. He is chairman of the Russian ice hockey league and president of the SKA Saint Petersburg team – who have the nickname “The Sausages”

30 Alain Wertheimer, France

$11 billion

Fashion (Chanel)

Chairman of Chanel, which he owns with brother Gerard. Alain became chairman in 1974 and was behind the hiring of Karl Lagerfeld in 1983

31 Gerard Wertheimer, France

$11 billion

Fashion (Chanel)

Brother of Alain (above); Gerard oversees Chanel’s watch division. The brothers also own vineyards in France and California and breed racehorses

32 Alexey Mordashov, Russia

$10.9 billion

Steel, investments

The son of steel mill workers, he started his career at the same plant. He became finance director shortly before the plant was privatised and used it as the first step in building a conglomerate. A council member at the Bolshoi Theatre, his interests include poetry and winter sports

33 Petr Kellner, Czech Republic

$10.6 billion

Banking, insurance

Made his big break in the 1990s when selling office supplies, borrowing against that business to start an investment fund, to buy controlling stake in the biggest Czech insurer

34 Viktor Vekselberg, Russia

$10.5 billion

Metals, energy

Made his first million selling scrap copper from worn-out cables. His art collection includes nine Faberge eggs

35 Massimiliana Landini Aleotti, Italy

$10.1 billion


The widow of Alberto Aleotti, who had built up one of the world’s biggest drug companies

36 Klaus-Michael Kuehne, Germany

$10 billion


Splits his time between Schindellegi, Switzerland, an Alpine ski chalet and Mallorca. But he is still in touch with his Hamburg roots, helping to fund the local football team and a university. An only child with no children, his charitable foundation will manage his wealth upon his death

37 Hasso Plattner, Germany

$9.5 billion


One of the men behind software firm SAP (Systems, Applications, Products). Plattner sails and plays golf and is the majority owner of the San Jose Sharks ice hockey team

38 Vladimir Lisin, Russia

$9.3 billion

Steel, transport

Worked as a mechanic in a coalmine then a steelworker. He had a stroke of luck in 1991, when his boss was appointed minister of metallurgy and Lisin went with him to Moscow. A major gun enthusiast, he built one of Europe’s largest shooting-range complexes in Lisya Nora, near Moscow

39 Udo & Harald Tschira, Germany

$9.3 billion


The sons of Klaus Tschira, one of the five co-founders of software firm SAP, who died in 2015

40 Vagit Alekperov, Russia

$8.9 billion


A former Caspian Sea oil rig worker, Alekperov is now head of Lukoil, Russia’s largest independent oil firm

41 German Khan, Russia

$8.7 billion

Oil, banking, telecom

Khan shares the Alfa group – Russia’s largest financial and investment group – with Fridman (number 19) and others

42 Ernesto Bertarelli, Switzerland

$8.6 billion

Biotech, investments

Inherited biotech giant Serono, maker of a billion-dollar multiple sclerosis drug, from his father. A sailing enthusiast, his Team Alinghi is one of the world’s elite yachting groups

44 John Fredriksen, Cyprus

$8.5 billion


Fredriksen was Norway’s richest man until he took Cypriot citizenship. He made a fortune during the Iran-Iraq wars of the 1980s, when his tankers picked up Iranian crude at great risk and vast profits. Described by his biographer as “the Ayatollah’s lifeline”, his tankers were hit by Iraqi missiles three times

45 Gianluigi & Rafaela Aponte, Switzerland

$8.4 billion


Former ferry ship captain Gianluigi Aponte and his wife Rafaela launched their own shipping company in 1970. MSC is now the world’s second largest container firm

46 Andrey Melnichenko, Russia

$8.2 billion

Coal, fertilizers

With Serbian wife, Aleksandra, he owns two revolutionary-looking vessels, both designed by Philippe Starck: Motor Yacht A, that resembles a submarine, and Sailing Yacht A, which has been described as “a cruiser for Darth Vader’s navy”

47 Reinhold Wuerth, Germany

$8.1 billion


Joined his father’s screw business in 1949 as the company’s second employee. It is now a leading supplier of fastening materials. Owns five jets and an airport

48 Johann Graf, Austria

$8 billion


Raised by his grandparents in a one-room flat, he was expected to take over the family butchers, but began importing American pinball machines and started building a massive gambling business

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