Top 10 Richest People in Europe in 2021 and their net-worth
Bernard Arnault remains Europe’s richest person. Germany leads Europe once again with the largest number of billionaires on Forbes’ 2021 list of the world’s richest.
Forbes just released its 2021 list of the World’s Billionaires, which contains 628 European billionaires, up from 511 the previous year. As a group, they are $1 trillion richer than a year ago, suggesting that for the hyperwealthy, the pandemic year has been lucrative.
French luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault keeps his spot as the No. 3 richest in the world, though his $150 billion fortune is nearly double the $76 billion it was a year ago, as a result of a run-up in the value of LVMH shares. Spanish fast-fashion tycoon Amancio Ortega is Europe’s second richest, worth $77 billion.
While that is $20 billion more than a year ago, he dropped in rank to No. 11 richest in the world this year, down from No. 6 last year, as others—mostly U.S. billionaires—outpaced his gains.
European billionaires, including Axel Springer CEO Mathias Doepfner (after receiving a gift of nearly $1.2 billion worth of the media giant’s stock from billionaire owner Friede Springer) and Checkout.com founder Guillaume Pousaz of Switzerland, whose stake in the privately held e-commerce payment company is worth an estimated $9 billion.
Others who had previously dropped off returned to the list, including EasyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou of Greece and the three German brothers who founded tech startup incubator Rocket Internet—Oliver, Marc, and Alexander Samwer.
Since the publication of the 2020 list, seven European billionaires have died. including Olivier Dassault of France, Heinz Hermann Thiele of Germany, Benjamin de Rothschild of Switzerland, Manuel Jove of Spain, Dmitry Bosov of Russia, David Barclay of the U.K., and Arne Wilhelmsen of Norway. Petr Kellner, the richest Czech billionaire, died in a helicopter crash on March 27—after Forbes had printed the list, so his $17.5 billion fortune is included in these numbers. It’s likely that his wife and children will inherit his fortune.
It’s not just the new billionaires that added to the surge in fortunes. Excluding newcomers and the billionaires who’d dropped off and make a return to the list this year, European billionaires are a collective $797 billion richer than last year. Of note: For the 2020 list, Forbes measured net worth using stock prices and currency exchange rates on March 18, 2020—which turned out to be a relatively low point for many of the globe’s stock indexes and for the value of the euro vs. the dollar. To calculate this year’s list, Forbes used stock prices and exchange rates from March 5, 2021.
Germany is still the European country with the most billionaires, at 136—worth a combined $625 billion, with 26 new billionaires and 9 returning to the list who had dropped off in the past. Unlike France, in Germany, it’s not luxury goods but low-cost retail that’s been a driver for increased wealth.
Aldi heirs Beate Heister and Karl Albrecht Jr. are Germany’s richest, with a net worth of $39.2 billion as the low-cost supermarket continues to win customers in new territories like the U.K. Dieter Schwarz, owner of discount supermarkets Kaufland and Lidl, is the biggest gainer in dollar terms in Germany. His fortune has risen $17.1 billion since last year to $36.9 billion as the values of supermarkets rose amid the pandemic.
France is a billionaire hot spot, thanks largely to the strength of its luxury and fashion sectors. The country has 42 billionaires worth a combined $512.2 billion. LVMH’s Bernard Arnault had the biggest dollar gain in the country. Over at Chanel, brothers Alain Wertheimer and Gerard Wertheimer, the grandsons of founder Pierre Wertheimer, have also seen their wealth double from $17 billion to $35 billion each over the year alongside rising values in Europe’s biggest luxury brands.
Europe’s top ten richest billionaires are worth a collective $552 billion and added $216 billion to their total estimated net worths between 2020 and 2021.
Europe’s Top Ten Richest People 2021
1. Bernard Arnault. France. $150 billion
2. Amancio Ortega Spain. $77 billion
3. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers France. $73.6 billion
4. François Pinault France. $42.3 billion
5. Beate Heister & Karl Albrecht Jr. Germany. $39.2 billion
6. Dieter Schwarz Germany. $36.9 billion
7. Giovanni Ferrero Italy. $35.1 billion
8. Alain Wertheimer France. $34.5 billion
9. Gerard Wertheimer France. $34.5 billion
10. Alexey Mordashov & family Russia. $29.1 billion