This article directly stems from the research process for our European single family office database. Our list of Scandinavian family offices includes the most important family investment vehicles that invest in various areas, such as financial markets, real estate, venture capital, private equity and renewables.
Son of Godtfred Kirk Christiansen and grandson of Lego founder Ole Kirk Christiansen, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen is formerly the CEO of Lego serving from 1979-2004 and as of July 2021, the third richest Dane with an estimated net worth of $9bn. Kjeld is married to Camilla and has had three children: Sofie Kirk, Thomas, and the youngest Agnete is an international dressage rider. In this article, we investigate if Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen owns a Scandinavian family office.
The Kirk Christiansen family operates through Kirkbi
In 2004, Kjeld had an estimated net worth of $2.5bn and has grown his fortune through numerous investments by the family office Kirkbi. Kirki maintains a 75% stake in the trademark rights for Lego, the remaining 25% belongs to the Lego Foundation. The family office also holds 47.5% ownership in Merlin Entertainment and numerous investments in Falck, ISS, and Landis+Gyr. Kirkbi’s investment activities are based on two strategies: Core Capital and Thematic Capital. Core Capital is focused on delivering sound, reliable yields via equity investments, property, and fixed income investments. Whereas Thematic Capital uses alternative investments with a heightened focus on renewables and sustainability. A fine example of the thematic approach can be seen in their large-scale investment in an offshore German wind farm, Borkum Riffgrund I. The deal was valued at €350m and Kirkbi acquired a 50% stake in the project. The family office has also gained a foothold in the sustainable market when it comes to healthcare, outlined by their $40m investment in Icelandic firm, Kerecis. Kerecis has developed fish-skin dressings to treat individuals suffering from chronic wounds and burns.
In honor of Lego founder Ole, the Kirk Christiansen family established the Ole Kirk Fond which strives to provide equal opportunities for children across Denmark and also in areas impacted by humanitarian crises. In 2021, the Kirkbi office and the Ole Kirk Fond donated $15.7m to support children affected by the crises occurring in Haiti and Afghanistan.
Picture source: Ryan Wallace