Europe is the world’s second-smallest continent by surface area, but on the other hand, its economy is the largest on Earth. In 2009, Europe was measured by assets under management at over $32.7 trillion. Currently, the richest man in Europe is also the world’s second richest person. Prior to now, no European had ever landed the top spot on Forbes’ global wealth list, although the continent is home to the world’s richest woman, Liliane Bettencourt. The list below is made up of the 25 richest people in Europe according to Forbes. These are people who have made wealth from different work industries and different countries in the continent.
25. John Fredriksen
Net Worth: $10.4 billion
Source of Wealth: Shipping
John Fredriksen is an oil tanker and shipping magnate. He owns the world’s largest oil tanker fleet, and also has major interests in the offshore driller Seadrill, the fish farming company Marine Harvest, and the supply vessel company Deep Sea Supply. He owns two investment companies; Hemen Holdings and Meisha, and through them, he controls the companies Frontline and Golar LNG.
24. Vagit Alekperov
Net Worth: $12.3 billion
Source of Wealth: Lukoil
Vagit Yusifovich Alekperov is an Azerbaijani and Russian businessman. He is currently the President of LUKOIL, Russia’s leading oil company. Vagit is currently rated by Forbes magazine as one of the richest persons in Russia with a net worth of $12.3 billion and the 114th richest person in the world.
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23. Leonid Mikhelson
Net Worth: $13.6 billion
Source of Wealth: Gas, Chemicals
The CEO, chairman and major shareholder of the Russian gas company Novatek, Leonid Mikhelson, has his personal fortune estimated at $13.6 billion US Dollars. This is a fall in Net worth for this Russian businessman who was worth 15.6 Billion US Dollars as of April 2014.
22. Vladimir Lisin
Net Worth: $14.1 billion
Source of Wealth: Steel, Transport
This Russian steel tycoon is the chairman and majority shareholder of Novolipetskor NLMK, one of the four largest steel companies in Russia. He is a leading world authority on metallurgical processes, and has published over 100 articles on metallurgy and economics. He is said to be one of the richest men in Russia and 72nd richest in the world.
21. Viktor Vekselberg
Net Worth: $14.2 billion
Source of Wealth: Metals, Energy
Viktor Felixovich Vekselberg is the owner and president of Renova Group, a large Russian conglomerate. According to Forbes, in 2014 his fortune was estimated at $17.2 billion, making him the fourth richest person in Russia. In April 2015, his net worth reduced by a whooping $3 billion US Dollars. According to different estimates, Vekselberg is the second wealthiest Russian nevertheless.
20. Serge Dassault & Family
Net Worth: $14.4 billion
Source of Wealth: Aviation
Serge Dassault is the son of Marcel Dassault, from whom he inherited the Dassault Group, and Madeleine Dassault. Serge serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dassault Group and also a conservative politician. During the Second World War, he was jailed when his father was sent to Buchenwald for refusing to cooperate with the German aviation industry.
19. Alisher Usmanov
Net Worth: $14.6 billion
Source of Wealth: Steel, Telecom, Investments
Alisher Burkhanovich Usmanov, according to Forbes 2015 is Russia’s third richest man, with a fortune estimated at $14.6 billion, and is the world’s 58th richest person. In May 2014, The Sunday Times listed him as the second richest person in the UK with an estimated fortune of £10.65bn.
18. Francois Pinault & Family
Net Worth: $14.8 billion
Source of Wealth: Retail
François Pinault is a businessman and an art collector. He is the major shareholder and honorary chairman of the retail company Kering. He has three children including son Francois-Henri who manages the company founded by his father. According to Forbes List of billionaires, he is ranked 65th in the world with an estimated fortune of $14.8 billion US dollars.
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17. Gennady Timchenko
Net Worth: $15.3 billion
Source of Wealth: Oil & Gas
Gennady founded and owns the private investment group, Volga, which specializes in investments, energy, transport and infrastructural assets. Timchenko is ranked 62nd on the Forbes magazine billionaires list, with an estimated fortune of $15.3 billion, making him the second richest Russian.
16. Mikhail Fridman
Net Worth: $15.4 billion
Source of Wealth: Oil, Banking, Telecom
Mikhail Maratovich Fridman is a Russian businessman of Ukrainian Jewish descent. He is the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Alfa Group Consortium, which is now one of Russia’s largest privately owned investment groups. His wealth was assessed by Forbes to be US$15.4 billion, making him the richest person in Russia.
15. Pallonji Mistry
Net Worth: $15.6 billion
Source of Wealth: Construction
Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry is an Irish Indian construction tycoon and chairman of Shapoorji Pallonji Group. According to Forbes, his wealth is estimated to be $15.6 billion as of May 2015. Pallonji is the single largest shareholder in Tata Group. He is also the Chairman of the Shapoorji Pallonji Group and former Chairman of Associated Cement Companies.
14. Stefan Quandt
Net Worth: $15.8 billion
Source of Wealth: BMW
A German engineer and industrialist, Stefan Quandt is ranked as the 66th richest person in the world in Forbes list of billionaires, who put his personal wealth at $15.8 billion, making him the 14th richest person in Europe.
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13. Susanne Klatten
Net Worth: $17.4 billion
Source of Wealth: BMW, Pharmaceuticals
Susanne Klatten is the daughter of Herbert and Johanna Quandt. Her father left her a 12.5% stake in BMW, and she was appointed to the supervisory board of BMW with her brother Stefan Quandt in 1997. According to Forbes, her net worth is US$17.4 billion, and she is the richest woman in Germany and the 49th richest person in the world.
12. Michael Otto & Family
Net Worth: $18.4 billion
Source of Wealth: Retail, Real Estate
He is the head of German Otto Group, the world’s largest mail order company, with US$24 billion in sales in fiscal year 2003. Otto also maintains his position as the Web’s second-biggest retailer, behind Amazon.com. On 25 May 2005, Spiegel, Inc. emerged from bankruptcy, was renamed Eddie Bauer Holdings and is now owned primarily by Commerz bank. The Otto Group no longer has any stake in the company, and that has affected Michael’s net worth.
11. Theo Albrecht Jr & Family
Net Worth: $18.7 billion
Source of Wealth: Aldi, Trader Joe’s
Theodor “Theo” Albrecht, Jr. is a German billionaire businessman, the son of Theo Albrecht, founder of Aldi. His father Theo Albrecht died, leaving the ownership of the German supermarket chain Aldi Nord and US supermarket chain Trader Joe’s, to his two sons; Theo Jr. and Berthold Albrecht.
10. Dieter Schwarz
Net Worth: $19.9 billion
Source of Wealth: Retail
Dieter Schwarz is a German entrepreneur and owner of the Schwarz-Gruppe. He is the chairman and CEO of the supermarket chain Lidl and the hypermarket chain Kaufland. In 2014, he was ranked as 23rd richest person in the world in the Hurun Report Global Rich List. In May 2015, Forbes estimated his wealth at $ 19.9 Billion, making him the 10th richest person in Europe.
9. Leonardo Del Vecchio
Net Worth: $22.1 billion
Source of Wealth: Eyeglasses
Leonardo Del Vecchio is the founder and chairman of Luxottica. The firm owns the Sunglass Hut and Lenscrafters chains with a total of over 6000 stores and 73,400 employees. According to Forbes magazine, he is the richest man in Italy with a net worth of $22.1 billion, making him 38th in the world rankings as of February 2015.
8. Stefan Persson
Net Worth: $24.5 billion
Source of Wealth: H&M
Carl Stefan Erling Persson is the chairman and main shareholder in fashion company H&M. Persson owns a substantial stake in the Swedish technology company, Hexagon AB. He owns numerous properties in London, Paris and Stockholm. In March 2015, his net worth dropped to 24.5 Billion US Dollars, making him the 8th richest person in Europe and the richest in Sweden.
7. Michele Ferrero & Family
Net Worth: $26.7 billion
Source of Wealth: Chocolates
Michele Ferrero was an Italian entrepreneur. He owned the chocolate manufacturer Ferrero SpA, Europe’s second largest confectionery company, which he developed from the small bakery and café of his father in Alba, Piedmont. He landed his first big success when he added vegetable oil to the traditional gianduja paste to make the popular spread, Nutella. This product is very popular and on almost every grocery store in the world.
6. Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor & Family
Citizenship: United Kingdom
Net Worth: $27 billion
Source of Wealth: Real estate
Major General Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster is a British Billionaire, landowner, peer, businessman, and former Territorial Army officer in the British Army. He is the owner of property company Grosvenor Group. According to the “Sunday Times Rich List 2014,” the Duke of Westminster is worth $27 billion, placing him tenth on the list and making him the third richest Briton.
5. Georg Schaeffler
Net Worth: $27.2 billion
Source of Wealth: Ball Bearings
Georg is a German businessman and owner of 80% of the holding company INA Holding Schaeffler GmbH & Co. He is the head of the supervisory board of Schaeffler Group and a member of the supervisory board of Continental AG. According to Forbes, Schaeffler has a net worth of $27.2 billion. In June 2015, he was ranked number 21 on Forbes’ list of global billionaires and number 1 for Germany.
4. Karl Albrecht
Net Worth: $29 billion
Source of Wealth: Retail
Karl Hans Albrecht was a German entrepreneur who founded the discount supermarket chain Aldi with his brother Theo. He was for many years the richest person in Germany, until his death. In February 2014, he was ranked as 21st-richest person in the world by Hurun Report.
3. Bernard Arnault & Family
Net Worth: $37 billion
Source of Wealth: LVMH
Bernard is a French business magnate, investor, philanthropist and art collector. He is the chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH. In March 2015, Forbes estimated his wealth to be $37 Billion, making him the 13th richest person in the world.
2. Liliane Bettencourt & Family
Net Worth: $34.5 billion
Source of Wealth: L’Oréal
Liliane Henriette Charlotte Schueller is a French heiress, socialite, businesswoman and philanthropist. The 92 year old woman is one of the principal shareholders of L’Oréal and according to Forbes, she is the 10th richest person in the world with a net worth of US$ 34.5 billion, and the richest woman in Europe.
1. Amancio Ortega
Net Worth: $66.4 billion
Source of Wealth: Zara
Amancio Ortega Gaona is a Spanish fashion Businessman and founding chairman of the Inditex fashion group, best known for its chain of Zara clothing and accessories retail shops. Ortega retired from Inditex, parent company of the Zara chain in 2011, leaving the vice-president and CEO Pablo Isla of the textile empire to take his place. He maintained his #3 spot on the Forbes list from 2013, but increased his net worth drastically. In June 2015, he was ranked as the second richest person in the world by Forbes and the richest in Europe.