Europe

Billionaires club: These people are Europe’s wealthiest, according to Forbes

The number of billionaires worldwide grew by 660 in 2020, according to the latest annual tally by Forbes magazine.

There are now a record 2,755 people globally who have more than $1 billion (€840 million) in wealth. Together, they are worth $13.1 trillion (€11 trillion), up from the $8 trillion (€6.7 trillion).

The US continues to have more billionaires than any other country with 724, followed by China (698), India (140), Germany (136) and Russia (117).

Amazon founder Jezz Bezos remains at the top of the list with a wealth estimated at $177 billion (€149 billion).

Here are Europe’s wealthiest individuals:

1. Bernaurd Arnault & family

Wealth: $150 billion (€126.2 billion)

Ranked: 3

Country: France

Arnault, 72, joined his father’s construction company in the 1970s and quickly reconverted it into a conglomerate specialised in luxury goods. The LVMH group has around 70 brands from Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior to Sephora, jeweller Tag Heuer and Bulgary and alcohol companies Moet & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot.

2. Amancio Ortega

Wealth: $77 billion (€64.8 billion)

Ranked: 11

Country: Spain

Ortega, 85, co-founded retail giant Inditex in 1975 with his late wife and now owns about 60 per cent of it The group operates eight brands including Zara, Massimo Dutti and Pull & Bear.

3. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers and her family

Wealth: $73.6 billion (€61.9 billion)

Ranked: 12

Country: France

Bettencourt Meyers, 67, is the richest woman in the world. Her family controls around 33 per cent of L’Oreal, the beauty empire founded by her grandfather.

4. Francois Pinault and his family

Wealth: $42.3 billion (€35.6 billion)

Ranked: 32

Country: France

Pinault, 84, is the founder and honorary chairman of Kering, which first operated as a wood and building materials company but expanded into luxury goods.

The group now owns some of the world’s most famous designer houses including Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Gucci. It also owns Christie’s auction house.

5. Beate Heister & Karl Albrecht Jr

Wealth: $39.2 billion (€33 billion)

Ranked: 35

Country: Germany

Heister and Albrecht are the children of Karl Albrecht Sr, who died in 2014, leaving them the Aldi retail empire he had built with his brother after World War II.

6. Dieter Schwarz

Wealth: $36.9 billion (€31.1 billion)

Ranked: 38

Country: Germany

Schwarz, 81, is at the helm of the Schwarz group, which he inherited from his father. The group operates two chains of supermarkets — Kaufland and Lidl — and posted revenue of over $140 billion (€117.8 billion) last year.

7. Giovanni Ferrero

Wealth: $35.1 billion (€29.5)

Ranked: 40

Country: Belgium

Ferrero, 56, is the executive chairman of his family’s namesake confectionery business, which is best known for its iconic Nutella spread and Kinder chocolates. The company posted nearly $15 billion in sales last year.

Credit: EuroNews



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