This 25th year of tracking global wealth was one to remember. The 2011 Forbes Billionaires List breaks two records: total number of listees (1,210) and combined wealth ($4.5 trillion). This horde surpasses the gross domestic product of Germany, one of only six nations to have fewer billionaires this year. BRICs led the way: Brazil, Russia, India and China produced 108 of the 214 new names. These four nations are home to one in four members, up from one in 10 five years ago. Before this year only the U.S. had ever produced more than 100 billionaires. China now has 115 and Russia 101.
Below is the richest people in Switzerland according to Forbes:
1. Ernesto Bertarelli & family
Ernesto Bertarelli has made his fortune from pharmaceuticals and biotechnology companies. His wife Kirsty Bertarelli, a former Miss UK, is officially the richest woman in UK.
2. Hansjorg Wyss
The Harvard M.B.A. ran medical device maker ‘Synthes’ for 30 years; stepped down as chief exec in 2007. He established bio-engineering institute at Harvard and in 2009 announced a $125 million donation — largest individual philanthropic gift in school’s history. He now heads Wyss Foundation, which gives scholarships to students getting master’s degrees in conservation. He also owns a 900-acre ranch and vineyard in California.
3. Thomas Schmidheiny
His great-grandfather owned a brick factory; grandfather worked in cement. His father Max carved up his estate in 1984: brother Stephen, also a billionaire, got construction company Eternit, Thomas got Holcim, the world’s second-largest supplier of cement and concrete. Ran it for 2 decades; stepped down as chairman in 2003; still holds 18% stake. Wine aficionado, he owns vineyards in Argentina, Australia, California. Also owns Swiss vineyard in his native town of Balgach. Honorary Consul-General of the Republic of Cyprus in Switzerland.
4. Walter Haefner
The largest individual shareholder of IT software maker CA (formerly Computer Associates). He sold data processing firm to University Computing in 1968; that company bought by Computer Associates 1987. He still holds 24% stake and also owns Automobil-und Motoren AG (AMAG), Switzerland’s main importer of Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda and Audi. Transferred ownership of his Moyglare Stud Farm in Ireland that boasts of 110 horses, many of them race winners, with names like Simple Exchange, Media Puzzle, Refuse to Bend and Go and Go to his daughter.
5. Stephan Schmidheiny
Industrialist turned philanthropist and environmentalist. In 1978 became president of the board of his father’s Eternit, a construction materials manufacturer. Much of his wealth is now held in a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds and private equity investments and is handled by professional managers.
6. Sergio Mantegazza
His father Antonio founded tour outfit Globus in 1928 with a single boat that ferried tourists around Lake Lugano. Today Sergio controls family’s tour and travel empire.
7. Jean-Claude Gandur
Having netted $1.5 billion in the sale of his Addax Petroleum to Sinopec in 2009, Gandur could have retired to focus on adding to his world-class collections of art and Egyptian antiquities.
8. Esther Grether & family
She inherited a beauty and health care products company from her late husband in 1975. Also has a 7.5% stake in watchmaker Swatch, now worth over $900 million. Biggest part of her fortune comes from her collection of 20th century art, which reportedly includes over 600 pieces by such artists as Pablo Picasso, Paul Cezanne, Salvador Dali, Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti.
9. Thomas Straumann
The grandson of Reinhard Straumann, who founded alloy research institute in 1954. Reinhard invented metals for use in watch components. Thomas’ father Fritz led push into dental implants. Opened offices in United States 1989. Public 1998. Thomas retired as chairman of Straumann Holding 2002; still sits on board. Also owns luxury hotels in Switzerland.
Source: Forbes Swiss Billionaires