How did the Boehringer / von Baumbach family earn their fortune?

The fortune is stemming from the global pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim one of the leading pharma companies worldwide. The company is one of the leaders in animal healthcare and offers a range of medicine especially regarding respiratory diseases. The company is still today private and not listed at the stock exchange. It made in 2018 a profit of 2.1 billion euros and reported revenue of almost 17,5 billion euros. More than 50.000 people are employed globally at the company. The revenues stem predominantly from human medicine (72%) and nearly a quarter from medicine for animals (23%).  It was found by Albert Boehringer in 1885 in Ingelheim, therefore, the name Boehringer Ingelheim. His father found in 1817 the drugstore Boerhinger in Stuttgart which later became the different chemical company Boehringer Mannheim operated by his brother but sold to the Engelhorn family.  Boehringer Ingelheim was a company of a bit more than 20 people at the beginning selling tartar and derivate products. Today the fortune of the family clan of the Boehringer von Baumbachs is estimated, according to Handelsblatt with 42,4 billion euros in the last year.

How did  Boehringer Ingelheim develop?

One of their first commercially super successful inventions was to produce lactic acid in great quantities with the help of a special type of bacteria. This was sold in the beginning as baking powder. Another successful prewar product was a lemonade called Chabeso based on lactic acid, which was produced internationally but did not survive the fierce competition after the second world war, that is why it was discounted in the 1960s. The first actual pharmaceutical for what they are known today was called Laudanon, and was an opium-based pain killer in 1915.  In the following decades they produced coffein, morphin and codein as raw materials for pharmaceuticals, and expanded internationally by opening their first international branch in Vienna, still today responsible for all Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The next milestone and still one of the strongest segments of the company, was research about medication for respiratory diseases. It started with the commercialisation of Lobelin in 1923 which was a drug to battle respiratory arrest. A lot of other medicaments followed mostly in the area of cardiovascular diseases or the previously mentioned respiratory malfunctions. Further famous medicaments were the 1950 commercialised Buscopan tackling all kind of stomach cramps. Today their best selling drugs are Pradaxa which helps to prevent blood clots and Spiriva which is to tackle respiratory diseases. Number three and four in the ranks of top-selling drugs both are medicating Diabetes, one of the diseases most heavily affecting the developed countries in the 21st century.  Their latest bold management move was a swap with Sanofi, where Boehringer Ingelheim swapped their branch of over the counter drugs for humans against the veterinary division of Sanofi, strengthening their profile in the animal medicine market. They are among the companies with a very strong profile in research. Their annually budget for R&D is around three billion euros. Currently, apart of animal health, a big focus of Boehringer Ingelheim is the whole range of biomedicine, manifested for example through the acquisition of the Austrian biotech company ViraTherapeutics for 210 million euros last year. Another investment made in Austria in the same field is the production facility for cellular culture in Vienna for 700 million euro, the greatest investment ever made by the company.

Does the Boehringer family have a Single Family Office?

Yes they do, and it is called Profunda. They were able to attract several high profile asset manager, tax managers among others. Unfortunately very little is known what is the focus and the investment strategy of this prestigious high-value single family office. Another highly qualified member of their single-family office, Sven Bäumle became later a partner at KPMG, showing the high dedication and quality with which they are managing their assets.  About the asset management strategy of concrete acquisitions purchased by PROFUNDA for the Boehringer von Baumbach family is nothing publicly known, neither about the classes of assets. According to the private banking magazin, the chairman of the supervisory board, Christian Boehringer was the victim of a case of art fraud, where an art consultant overcharged purchases of paintings and other luxury assets.

This article is part of our detailed report “The single family offices of Europe’s richest families“.

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How did the Bettencourt family earn their fortune?

Their fortune stems from one main source, the 33% share in the biggest beauty company worldwide, L’Oreal, which was founded by the grandfather of the current head of the family, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, richest women in the world with an estimated wealth of 56,4 billion dollars according to Forbes. L’Oreal was found by Eugene Schueller a French of German descent in Paris as he developed in 1909 a hair dying formula he named Oreale. In 1919 he founded the company which eventually will become L’Oreal as the society of safe hair dying. As it started in hair dying the product range offered by L’Oreal is much wider and more than 80000 people work for the company as of today. In the last year, L’Oreal made a revenue of nearly 27 billion euros, and had a profit of 4,92 billion euros, resulting in a margin of 18.3%.

How did  L’Oreal develop?

From a hair dying company employing three people in 1920, to 86000 employees in 2019 was a long way and marked by many mergers and acquisitions. In 1964 L’Oreal acquired the perfume brand Lancôme which is still sold today, in 1965 Garnier the second most successful beauty brand in the L’Oreal portfolio. In 1970 Biotherm a company focused on face refreshers was added to the portfolio. In 1973 was the first time a venture into the pharmaceutical market, with the acquisition of Synthelabo which was later merged to Sanofi a still operative pharmaceutical company. In 1996 was Maybelline acquired, a US mass make up company, making L’Oreal the undisputed leader in the beauty industry in the United States. Very successful products are for example Garnier Fructis or the Giorgio Armani perfumes, especially Acqua di Gio. Until today the companies Nestlé and L’Oreal are closely tied, with Nestlé having a share of over 20% of the company.

Does the Bettencourt family have a Single Family Office?

Yes, they do, it is called Tethys Invest. According to a French newspaper, it is active in investment in diverse areas, so far mainly the health industries. It is managed by the former chief executive officer of the Lazarus bank an intimate to the Bettencourt family. Tethys invest is structured as a private equity fund with a capital of more than three billion euros and it will be the institution in the Bettencourt universe who receives the yearly dividends from L’Oreal, guaranteeing also in the future a steady and stark inflow of capital. For the year 2015, the dividend payments for the Bettencourt share of L’Oreal will mount up to 500 million euros and stay in that volume in the consecutive years. Tethys Invests’ founding stands in stark contrast to the asset management of Francoise Bettencourt Meyers mother Liliane Bettencourt who was at the end of her life under the guardianship of her grandson because she gave away nearly one billion in assets to a famous French photographer who was later sued for taking advantage of her. The daughter’s investment strategy differs greatly from her mother’s activities in the previous decades.

How does the Bettencourt family invest?

One of the first acquisitions carried out by Tethys invest was into Elsan who is operating Frances second biggest private hospital. Strengthening and demonstrating the health focus of the single family office. Another investment also in the health segment is the acquisition of Sebia, a provider of medical equipment and technology for in-vitro diagnostic testing. Here Tethys invest acquired a majority stake and added it to his portfolio. A third company where Tethys is invested, is the company Provepharm Life solutions, a company who develops and commercializes pharmaceutical drugs. Although the statement at funding Tethys Invest was to investments in diverse economic sectors, so far the focus of the single-family office had clearly been the health sector. Relating it to the knowledge gained in the health-related field of skin care these investments make a lot of sense and could produce synergies for the Bettencourt Family. One investment outside of the health sector of Téthys Invest is a 20% stake in Galileo Global Education, a provider of multidisciplinary and global education who wants to reinvent the way private education is offered.

This article is part of our detailed report “The single family offices of Europe’s richest families“.

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How did the  Wertheimer Brothers earn their fortune?

They did not earn it, but inherited from their father, Jacques Guy Wertheimer who was a long time, often conflictive business partner of fashion and perfume legend Coco Chanel, alongside his father Pierre Wertheimer. Through his initial help expanding her very successful perfume Chanel No. 5 to the US market, Wertheimer, Chanel and a third associate opened up a joint venture in which he put his capital, and Coco Chanel her brand name in a split of 70% to 10%, 20% belonging to a third business partner. Stemming from this original Chanel Perfumes company, he was able through renegotiations with Mrs Chanel, surviving expropriation through the Nazis in World War II, to eventually take over the whole Chanel brand. His grandsons Gérard and Alain Wertheimer own today each half of the company with an estimated value of 28 billion euros. In 2018 for the first time in 108 years, Chanel published his financial results, showing a highly sustainable healthy company with 1.6 billion dollars in cash, revenue of 9.6 billion dollars and a profit of 2.69 billion dollars.

How did  Chanel S.A.S. develop?

The brand Chanel is most known for the work of two designers. Its founder and fashion mogul Gabrielle Coco Chanel and the recently passed German designer Karl Lagerfeld, are the main characters responsible for the outstanding success and longevity of the Chanel brand. Coco Chanel started the history of Chanel in 1909 when she opened her first boutique in Paris to sell hats. She later one ventured into sportswear for ladies of the higher classes. The products which made her already in the 1920-30s very wealthy, were the Channel suits, a dress for women, comfortable and elegant at the same time. It was a radical innovation at a time when the majority of the female clothing had its focus on beauty but the women wearing it often complained it was too uncomfortable. The other product which is world known and associated with the Chanel brand is the perfume No. 5, invented in 1920 and still today a top-seller among fragrances. Karl Lagerfeld became creative director in 1983 at a time when Chanel was seen as a brand of elderly ladies, losing out on younger generations and new segments of customers. His engagement made it possible for the Chanel brand to become a timeless brand and increased its attractivity also for younger wealthy generations. Until his death in February of this year he was responsible for the creative line of Chanel and helped to transform the luxury fashion boutique into a billion dollar holding.

Do Wertheimer Brothers have a Single Family Office?

They do and it is called Mousse Partners, and they are also owners of another investment company called Double Mousse. Mousse Partners is a New York-based Single Family Office very much occupied with managing and growing the Assets of the Wertheimer Brothers. Their investment range is wide and known although Chanel is known for its secrecy and privacy.  The Single Family Office was founded in 1990 by Charles Heilbronn a longtime Chanel executive to manage and structure the fortune of Chanel. Mousse Partners owns Chanel as the most important company apart of its other smaller investments. It also makes independent investments of the acquisitions realised by Chanel, which concentrate mainly on beauty and fashion. According to Forbes, Chanel owns via its investment company Doublemousse 18% of the chain of hairdresser salons called Ulta which is based in the United States and highly profitable.

How do the Wertheimer Brothers invest?

There is no clear investment focus identifiable, although Venture Capital investments make an important part of the asset portfolio of Mousse Partners.  They are invested in an Icelandic Fashion label called 66° North, originally founded to produce apt working wear for Nordic Fisherman, but since becoming a global fashion brand.  According to Yahoo the single-family office also participated in a funding round of the web-shop builder application Storr, which enables people to build and run their webshop from their phones, democratizing the way to participate in e-commerce. A completely different VC investment Mousse partners realised was into the startup Everplans, which enables families to store and make available documents and their will online. The idea is to streamline and facilitate the inheritance process and respect the will of a person after his death. The broad range already visible is complemented by the strategic investment in Counter Brands LLC, an innovative skin care and beauty company based in Santa Monica, California. Mousse Partners is sought to support its international expansion.  A further investment as made into an again completely different field, highlighting the diversity of Mousse Partners and their investment strategy. Lumiere is a start-up Chinese cinema developer and operator and also received strategic funding from Mousse Partners. It is planned to expand its cinema operations throughout China and globally. Also, the digitalisation of the art market is an interesting industry for Mousse Partners, as they invested in Paddle 8, a start-up operating an online auction house for mid-priced art between 1000 and 100.000 dollars. The investment strategy is innovative, risk-averse and distributed among a wide range of industries.

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How did the Hèrmes – Dumas family earn their fortune?

The Hèrmes Holding, owner of the iconic fashion luxury brand Hèrmes, watchmaker Vaucher, and several suppliers of raw leather and glasses, and pieces of watches such as Perrin&Fils, Joseph Erard SA, Cristalleries de Saint Louis, Puiforcat and Nateber is a stark anomaly in the luxury industry. The luxury product segment offering usually a product range from clothing, watches, bags to perfumes is undergoing a deep transformation of its industry structure. Many of the formerly family owned luxury brands nowadays belong to one of the three great holdings LVMH, Kering or  Richemont. The Hèrmes family, in contrast, is still in control of the family company, with a market capitalisation of 66 billion euros. Their management style and company structure is in stark contrast to the strategy pursued by the holdings. It is aimed at the highest quality and artisanship, every single piece made by one artisan in France instead of outsourced cheap labour in Asia. This comes at a comparatively high cost, but its customers are more than willing to pay it. The revenue was nearly 6 billion with a profit of over 30%, more than two billion euros for 2018.  This makes the Dumas family heir of the Hèrmes fortune one of the richest families in the world with an estimated wealth of nearly 50 billion dollars, according to Bloomberg.

How did Hèrmes International SCA develop?

The Hèrmes Group was found by Thierry Hermès in 1837. Originally Hèrmes worked as a saddler and produced luxurious saddles, among his clients the royalty of various countries at that time. The next industry was luggage for the car and train when the transport revolution opened up and diversified the modes of travelling from only the carriage, to train, carriage and the first motor-cars. The product it is today most desired and admired for, its handbags were introduced in the 1920s alongside being awarded official purveyor to the court of the zar. The first and oldest famous product is the Kelly Bag invented in 1935 and made famous and highly desired by Grace Kelly, the former princess of Monaco and absolute fashion icon. The second most desired product was invented in 1984 and out of pure coincidence. Actor Jane Birkin used to carry around her personal belongings in a straw basket, complaining that there was no adequate handbag on the market. She meets the chief executive of Hèrmes on a plane and they started to design on the flight from Paris to London the first sketches of what would become the ultimate Hèrmes Icon, the Birkin Bag, sold until today to pre-selected customers waiting up to two years to get one. Further iconic products are the silk scarfs, produced since 1937 having more than 1000 different motives with 20 new designs introduced every year. The scarcity and mystique surrounding their products making Hèrmes an incredibly valuable brand, according to Brand Finance Global 500 it ranked 163th at a value of ten billion dollars.

Does the Hèrmes – Dumas family have a Single Family Office?

Since scarcity and mystery are surrounding the Hèrmes company, also the information about their investments is rather scarce. According to the Wall Street Journal, they are invested in an asset management company called Ardian. The private equity firm bought assets from various banks including a recent portfolio from the Japanese Norinchikin Bank. Ardian is also reported to have acquired a Swiss pharmaceutical company called Sintetica. Ardian was formerly the private equity branch of the French insurer Axa which was bought out. In a defensive action against a hostile takeover from the owner of LVMH Bernard Arnault, the family stood together and brought the majority of the shares, 50,2% of Hèrmes into a holding. This comes with a legally binding obligation to hold these shares for the next 20 years, preserving the control over the company and make impossible a take over presumably planned and wanted by Arnault.

How does the Hèrmes – Dumas family invest?

As can be seen by now, the Hèrmes management style is conservative and very much concerned with preserving the heritage of the family brand, then becoming another number in the LVMH portfolio. Therefore it is rather certain that a great part of the assets is reinvested into the same company financing the international expansion, leading to 307 stores worldwide out of cash-flow without outside borrowing. This is not the classical asset management but also a way to reinvest the fortune in their own company.

This article is part of our detailed report “The single family offices of Europe’s richest families“.

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Where does the wealth from the Quandt and Klatten family come from?

The Quandt’s are one of the most famous families in Germany’s industry. Günther Quandt, born in 1881, inherited many cloth factories from his father. Through the first world war, the company further grew in other sectors. The heirs of Günther Quandt – Herbert and Harald – managed and increased the family’s wealth after the death of Günther in 1954. The family is mainly known for the restructuring of car manufacturer BMW. Today, besides many other holdings BMW is the main part of the wealth of the Quandt and Klatten family (Susanne Klatten is the daughter of Herbert Quandt’s third wife Johanna).

How did the family company BMW develop?

The car manufacturer BMW was founded in 1913 by Karl Rapp as “Rapp Motorenwerke GmbH”. In 1922, the name changed to “Bayerische Motorenwerke” (BMW). In the beginning, the company mainly built airplanes and motorcycles. Today, the company is globally known for its upper-class cars. After the engagement of the Quandt family the company grew and got profitable again. In 2018, revenues were at €97.5B. Susanne Klatten and Stefan Quandt own 46.8% of the shares. Yearly dividend payouts to the Quandt family are over €1B.

Do the Quandt and Klatten family have a single family office?

The main holding of the Quandt and Klatten family is the substantial stake in BMW. But, besides that, there are also different family office investment vehicles of the Quandt family. Mainly known is the HQ Trust, which is a multi family office owned by the Harald Quandt Holding. It was founded by family members in 1981 to manage the family wealth. In 1988, the firm was opened for investments from external investors and thereby turned from a single to a multi family office. HQ Trust invests in private equity, real estate and capital markets. Susanne Klatten and Stefan Quandt are investing through own vehicles which can be called single family offices.

How are the Quandt and Klatten families investing?

As previously said, the HQ Trust multi family office is engaged in private equity, real estate and capital markets. Private equity investments are done through external funds as well as through direct investments. Susanne Klatten is strategically investing through the SKion GmbH. The company invests in companies with revenues between €0.3-2.5B, mainly in industry, services, renewables, optics, medtech and diagnostics companies. Furthermore, SKion also invests smaller amounts in water technology companies. Stefan Quandt’s investment company focues (besides BMW) on digital security, renewable and smart grid and credit rating companies.

Picture source: Frank Albrecht

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Where does the wealth from the Porsche and Piëch family come from?

In 1930, Ferdinand Porsche founded the Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche GmbH, which is today one of the most famous luxury car manufacturers in the world. In the beginning, the shares of the company were mainly distributed between Ferdinand Porsche (80%) and the lawyer Anton Piëch (10%). After Ferdinand Porsche’s death, the shares were equally distributed between the Porsche and Piëch families. Amongst others, the famous car manager and long-time CEO of the Volkswagen AG, Ferdinand Piëch, stems from the dynasty. The family’s wealth is estimated at €52.8B.

How did the family company Porsche develop?

Started as a small engineering company, the company at first developed cars for other companies. Amongst others, Porsche designed the “Volkswagen Käfer” in 1934. Today the most famous cars from Porsche are sports cars like the 911, Carrera GT. In recent years Porsche also sells SUVs like the Porsche Cayenne or Porsche Macan. In 2009, Porsche tried to take over the closely-related car maker Volkswagen. The attempt failed through issues with the required credit lines. Thereafter, the tide has turned and Volkswagen took over Porsche. As a consequence, the Porsche and Piëch families are also main owners of Volkswagen. Today, Porsche has yearly revenues in the amount of €25.8B and is highly profitable. Volkswagen is the biggest car maker in the world with more than 600,000 employees and sales over €235M.

Do the Porsche and Piëch family have a single family office?

There is no known single family office of both families. The fortune of the family is mainly based on the shares in the stock-listed Porsche Automobil Holding SE. The Porsche Automobil Holding SE holds 30,9% of Volkswagen. Furthermore, the holding invests in companies like the PTV group. Ferdinand Piëch sold the majority of his holding shares in 2017 and instead invests in real estate projects through an own firm. The family members either invest on their own or simply rely on their Porsche share.

How are the Porsche and Piëch families investing?

As previously said, family members are pursuing their own ventures and investments. Ferdinand Piëch is an active real estate investor in the German Stuttgart region (where also Porsche comes from). Through the Agron GmbH he invests in multiple projects like Forum1 in Böblingen or main buildings in Stuttgart’s inner city. Susanne Porsche is an investor in the German company builder Finleap. Great-grandson Anton Piëch builds up his own car company.

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How did Ingvar Kamprad earn his fortune?

Ingvar Kamprad earned his fortune mainly with a single company, the biggest furniture retailer of the world, IKEA. He was one of the individuals starting from scratch in the 1920s to create a furniture empire which still remains a private company. The legend goes, that he started as a boy at the age of 5 to sell matches and later on amplified his portfolio and started to sell furniture. The moment a customer took of the legs of a table to transport it more easily, Kamprad had the idea to sell furniture to set up yourself at home, disrupting the furniture market completely. He did pass away in 2018, unlike other family companies he did not put his sons as next generation into direct charge, but created a complex set of foundations and holding companies giving his sons only direct control over the bank IKANO, responsible for the customer credits at IKEA. The holdings are managed by people outside of the family. Forbes estimated his wealth around 60 billion US dollar, but since he took over the rights of ownership to a foundation in Liechtenstein already in the 1980s his actual wealth was probably much lower, still a billionaire though.

How did the IKEA group develop?

The IKEA group was found 1943 and originally sold a range of non-food products for daily use before in 1947 he did begin to sell furniture in his home region of Smaland. In 1951 the first IKEA catalogue was sent out and the company focused on furniture on a mailorder basis, in 1956 the furniture was first sold in a carton box as a DIY set up. In 1958 the first IKEA furniture store did open and customers did set their furniture up themselves and also did transport them home themselves leading to major cost improvements. The next step was a further international expansion leading to 315 stores in 27 countries. A by-product are the IKEA restaurants, who already make 5% of the profit of the IKEA group, and are poised to rise further, outdoing known restaurant chains as Vapiano in turnover. Another industry IKEA is active in, are Shopping Malls in Russia, called “Mega Malls” and prefab houses which are known under the name BloKlok with franchises all around the world. In a joint venture with Marriot Hotels, IKEA also does operate budget hotels around the world, fiercening further competition in the already very competitive hotel industry. The sales in 2018 were 38,8 billion euros and the except the franchised IKEA stores the profit was 2,1 billion euros.

Does the Kamprad family have a Single Family Office?

Since the company structure is rather opaque, the actor within the IKEA cosmos which comes closest to a traditional family office, is the Interogo foundation who owns the Inter IKEA Group and the Interogo Holding. Since it is not clear to the public who maintains what control over the company the Interogo Holding seems to carry out most of the investments and is based in Switzerland. There are three branches of the Interogo Holding which make financial investments. The first is the Vastint Holding a company focused on investments in real estate. The second is Nalka Invest AB, a fund supporting SMEs in Sweden which match the desired investment focus. At last exists Inter Fund Management which manages all types of investments regarding the IKEA brands.

How does the Kamprad family invest?

Unfortunately, there is not much known about the investment strategy of the Kamprad family office, but one two example stood out.  The first is an investment of the Interogo Holding in buying a share of 190 Million US dollars in the fellow Swedish market primus H&M as a long-term stable investment according to an Interogo spokes-person. Vastint investments are very much engaged in real estate investments in Eastern Europe, especially Poland. In Romania, Vastint is developing a whole new town. Nalka Invest did recently acquire OneMed a medical service distribution company focused on Northern Europe.  Nalka is invested in 9 companies operating in such different industries as inside lifts, outdoor clothing, learning and education materials for children to a small company producing shoe accessories.

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How did Bernard Arnault earn his fortune?

Bernard Arnault was born to a father who owned a construction company and is a studied engineer.  He started working in his father’s company eventually replacing his father as director of “ferret-savinel” and leading the company from 1978 until 1984. His first successes in businesses were the construction of holiday apartments first at the Côte d’ Azur and later in Palm Beach, Florida which made him a wealthy constructor. His entry in the business he is most associated with today, the fashion and luxury industry, started in 1984 when he was able to amass enough capital to take over the struggling fashion company Boussac/ Saint Fréres which owned for example Dior. He redeveloped the fashion company and sold most of it, to finally engage in the luxury business with the acquisition of Céline a luxury fashion brand. In 1987 Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennessy merged to avoid a hostile take over, but the owners did not get along well. While mediating the conflict he was able to rise his stake in the company and finally in 1989 with a share of 43,5%  he was elected chairman of the executive board against the explicit will of the family members of Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennessy. Since then LVMH is his main company and via acquisitions and mergers was able to become the biggest luxury fashion company worldwide as of today.

How did the LVMH with luxury labels like Louis Vuitton develop?

LVMH, as mentioned before, was a merger between the luxury suitcase producer Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennessy who produce high-class champagne and cognac. They were taken over by Arnault in 1989 and since then were able to merge and grow to a portfolio of more than 80 brands grouped into six groups: Wines and Spirits, mainly champagne or other wine derivates, Selective Retailing, Fashion & Leather Goods, Watches & Jewelry, Perfumes & Cosmetics and other activities, f.e. a newspaper. Brands owned by LVMH include Dom Pérignon, Veuve Cliquot, Bvlgari, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Rimova, TAG Heuer among many others. The company was not built and grown from scratch but over time and by investing a lot of capital acquired producers of luxury goods which were traditionally family firms or small scale handcrafts. The revenue in 2018 was 46,8 billion euro, making 10 billion euro profit. The strongest performing brand in the portfolio remains Louis Vuitton and in watches TAG Heuer with a 4% market share in the luxury watch market.

Does the Arnault family have a Single Family Office?

The Arnault family does and it is called Groupe Arnault. His focus or the known focus is technology, with a broad range of investments into start-ups. According to the Financial Times, the family office is active in investing in start-ups but traditionally in later rounds, series B onwards to give capital. Among their investments was Netflix, Airbnb as the most known companies. In 2017, Aglaé Ventures was set up, a fond focused on investing in early-stage startups, diversifying the investment strategy and trying to support and improve the European start-up ecosystem as a competitor to Silicon Valley. Aglaé Ventures will be investing between 200,000 and 2 million euros in early-stage ventures, very much focusing and helping with the internationalisation and growth of start-ups.

How does the Arnault family invest?

The technology focus of the Arnault family is proclaimed as their contribution to the development of the high technology in Europea and competing more effectively in a sector which is perceived to be decisive in the future of the economy. The family office furthermore has set up in cooperation with L Catterton a private equity fund managing 12 billion dollars, focused to invest in the consumer markets in growing markets. Consumer brands and especially middle markets are perceived to be underdeveloped and L Catterton sees potential there for further investments. The fund is owned 60% by Catterton and 40% jointly by the Groupe Arnault and LVMH. It is further reported to combine assets of both companies in real estate and shares of companies in the American and European markets. Catterton funds were since the 1980s a fund in which LVMH did invest in and now t merged their assets with Groupe Arnault and LVMH to create more synergies and they created L Catterton.

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Where does Amancio Ortega’s wealth stem from?

Amancio Ortega grew up in very humble surroundings, as the son of a railway employee starting to work as an errand boy at the age of 14 for a shirt maker in his hometown A Coruña in Galicia in Northern Spain. This was his first contact with the textile industry. In 1963 his entrepreneurial journey began as a manufacturer of bathrobes. Until in 1972 he opened Confecciones GOA (his initials reverted) as the first proper textile company and the first member of the Inditex Group, holding of his fashion companies. Finally in 1975 started the entrepreneurial success story of Zara. He is famously shy and avoids any kind of press or media. Until the 1990s the public did not even know who owned the Inditex Group, the fashion champion coming out of nowhere. As of 2019, according to Forbes his wealth is estimated at 65 billion US$ making him the sixth richest man in the world, and the richest person in Europe. He still owns nearly 60% of Inditex giving him undisputed and direct control over the fashion company.

How did the Inditex group with fashion labels like Zara develop?

Inditex was found as a holding in 1985 for today 8 brands among them, Zara is today the most important one and generates 65% of the turnover. The Inditex holding owns the brands Zara, Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home and Uterque has over 7000 stores in 96 countries around the world. All eight brands retail fashion, mainly for people, but with Zara Home also entered the home accessory and decoration market. In 2011 the Inditex Group overtook GAP as the largest fashion producer worldwide making them the most important fashion company in the world. Under the tenure of the latest CEO Pablo Isla, the number of stores more than doubled from 2692 stores in 2005 to 7013 stores at the end of 2015. In 2018 the turnover of the company was more than 26 billion euros, 3,2 billion in online sales. According to analysts, the short lead time is the key to the success of the group, being able to deliver “fast fashion” and renew their offer in stores every two weeks, producing much faster than competitors such as H&M.

Does the Ortega family have a Single Family Office?

The Ortega family manages its wealth through its single family office Pontegadea Investments SL. It is an investment firm fully focused on real estate investments and totals over 13 billion US$ in net worth. The Ortega single family office has the greatest portfolio in property and inmoveables among the European billionaires. The investment branch almost exclusively focuses on buildings, clearly showing a long-term strategy when it comes to the management of the patrimony of the entrepeneurial success of Inditex. The Single office began, still under Ortegas tenure, to acquire prime real estate objects in Spains’ metropoles most important high streets, such as Calle Gran Vía in Madrid or Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona. Later and with increasing dividends received from Inditex, Pontegadea was able to diversify and amplify their real estate portfolio all over the world. Before the acquisition of the Troy Block of Amazon, their biggest real estate deal was the buying of the Adelphi building in London for more than 680 million Euros.

How does the Ortega family invest?

Their investment focus lays clearly on landmark real estate property where they become owner and generate substantial income in rents. One outstanding property they bought where a substantial share of the Amazon HQ in Seattle worth over 740 million US$ making them the greatest Amazon landlord. Already in 2017 the investment fond generated income of 385 million € only in rents, making real estate investments a long-term very secure way to invest and preserve the family patrimony. Pontegadea has its clear investment focus on both sides of the Atlantic and a minor part in Asia. 51% stems from Europe, 46% from the Americas and only 3% stems from real estate investments in Asia. What is noteworthy, is the clear strategy which was already seen before by the acquisition of stores for Zara, always first class, prime location, within a city guaranteeing stable and high returns. As of 2018 the value of the assets held by Pontegadea is figured with 29 billion euros, the equity over 21 billion euros. One notable exception which was not in the real estate sector, was the investment in a share of 9.99% of the physical infrastructure of Telefónica, making them the part owner of the submarine cables, the glass fiber net for high-speed internet and antennas for mobile phone data coverage.

This article is part of our detailed report “The single family offices of Europe’s richest families“.

Picture source: Social.Cut

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Where does the fortune of the Belgian Van Damme, De Spoelberch and De Mevius families come from?

The Belgian families Van Damme, De Spoelberch and De Mevius decided in 1987 to merge their family-owned breweries. Through the merger, the Interbrew company with strong brands like Leffe or Stella Artois arose. Interbrew is the precedessor of today’s largest brewery InBev. In 2018, Anheuser-Busch InBev had sales in the amount of $54.6B. The offsprings of the founder families are still holding large shares of the today stock-listed company. Their net worth is estimated at around €49.4B. This makes them Belgium’s richest family and one of the richest families in the world.

Development of the family company Anheuser-Busch InBev

After the brewery merger in 1987 Interbrew bought many different national and regional breweries to bolster its brand portfolio and increase its sales. Acquisitions include Diebels, Beck’s, the German Gilde Group, Serbian Apatinska pivara or the German Spaten-Löwenbräu group (e.g. Franziskaner beer). In 2000, the company was stock-listed. In 2004, the brewery group merged with the Brasilian Ambev company, In 2008, Inbev took over Anheuser-Busch which resulted in today’s name Anheuser-Busch-Inbev. Revenue grew by 4.8 percent last year to $54.6B. That makes them the world’s largest beer producer. The brand portfolio consists of globally known and strong brands like Corona, Leffe, Stella Artois, Becks or Franziskaner.

Is there a single family office of the Van Damme, De Spoelberch and De Mevius families?

There is no common single family office of all the three brewery families. Although the families are decreasing their share in Inbev, its still the largest component of their fortune. The Spoelberch family is furthermore investing with other HNWI families through the Cogepa investment firm. Cogepa is investing in growth capital investments and buy-out transactions like a typical private equity investor. Portfolio companies include Scalian, BioAgilytix or Staci. Three members of the de Spoelberch family are in the Cogepa’s board of directors: Grégoire de Spoelberch, Olivier de Spoelberch, and Philippe de Spoelberch. Furthermore, the de Spoelberch and De Mevius family run together the Belgian Verlinvest investment firm.

How do the family members of the Belgian brewery family invest?

As mentioned before, there are two mainly family-owned investment firms: Cogepa and Verlinvest. Cogepa is a multi-billion private equity investor. Portfolio companies are active in different industries. BioAgilytix is a bioanalytical testing compani. Scialian is an engineering consulting firm. Staci is a logistics firm. Verlinvest is also a private equity investor who invests in private and public companies with tickets ranging form €30M to €150M. Verlinvest’s portfolio company inlcude the US pet product retailer chewy.com or the water brand “Glaceau Vitamin Water”. Formerly, Verlinvest also owned G-Star Raw. Alexandre Van Damme, a Van Damme family member who is worth multiple billions, is holding shares of Brands International (Burger King), Kraft Heinz and shares of Jacobs Douwe Egberts (which is owned by the befriended Reimann family’s JAB Holding).

This article is part of our detailed report “The single family offices of Europe’s richest families“.

Picture source: mnm.all

Featured: Our Single Family Offices Europe Database

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