- Francois Durand/Getty Images
LONDON – Europe’s wealthiest individuals are a mixed group.
Some of them founded iconic international brands like Lego and Ikea, and some owe their billions to the wealth of centuries-old dynasties.
There are those in eastern Europe who made their money recently after the collapse of the Soviet Union, industrialists from Scandinavia with fortunes derived from old industry, and some in Western Europe with ancient royal connections.
Business Insider has used Forbes’ 2017 Billionaires’ List to determine the wealthiest individual in each European state, ranked from the least wealthy upwards.
In some countries, no residents made the Forbes list, and the countries were therefore not included in this ranking.
Monaco’s Tatiana Casiraghi — NET WORTH: £1.9 billion ($2.4 billion)
- Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images
Beer heiress Tatiana Casiraghi is Monaco’s richest resident, and she also happens to be a royal there. Casiraghi inherited the bulk of her fortune from her late grandfather, who sold his Colombian brewery Bavaria for billions in 2005. She is married to Prince Andrea Casiraghi of Hanover, who is fourth in the line to the Monaco throne.
Finland’s Antti Herlin — NET WORTH: £2.9 billion ($3.7 billion)
Finland’s richest man made his money in an unlikely way – the escalator and elevator business. He’s the great-grandson of Harald Herlin, who purchased the KONE engineering company in the 1920s.
Poland’s Dominika & Sebastian Kulczyk — NET WORTH: £2.8 billion ($3.6 billion)
- Wikimedia / CC 3.0
The sibling pair share the fortune left by their father Jan, who died in 2015. They have run their father’s portfolio of investments and assets since 2014.
Portugal’s Americo Amorim — NET WORTH: £3.4 billion ($4.4 billion)
- REUTERS/Nacho Doce
Amorim made his billions in Corticeira Amorim, the world’s biggest cork company, which was set up by his grandfather. He also has holdings in Angola, a former Portuguese colony, and across Europe.
Belgium’s Albert Frere — NET WORTH: £3.8 billion ($4.9 billion)
- Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Frere is an investor who got rich on steel in the 1970s, and has since dipped into a range of other sectors. He’s a baron, but that title that was given to him by the Belgian king.
Norway’s Odd Reitan — NET WORTH: £4.1 billion ($5.3 billion)
Reitan made money in groceries and retail, setting up REMA 1000, which is currently the biggest supermarket chain in the country. In 2012, he wrote a book imagining that he could be appointed ruler of Norway by the King.
Switzerland’s Ernesto Bertarelli — NET WORTH: £6.7 billion ($8.6 billion)
- REUTERS/Heino Kalis
Bertarelli made a fortune from the sale of Serono, the pharmaceuticals firm that was founded by his grandfather. His wealth and investments are now largely managed through Waypoint Capital.
Cyprus’ John Fredriksen — NET WORTH: £7.7 billion ($9.9 billion)
Fredriksen would be Norway’s richest man had he stayed in his nation of birth, but he’s now a citizen of Cyprus, and one of the world’s most important oil barons. He made a huge amount of money transporting oil during the Iran-Iraq War.
Netherlands’ Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken — NET WORTH: £9.8 billion ($12.6 billion)
- Fortune, Youtube
The Netherland’s richest person is heir to the Heineken brewing company. Her grandfather, Gerard Adriaan Heineken, set the company up in the late 19th century. She sits on the managing board of the firm.
Denmark’s Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen — NET WORTH: £16.4 billion ($21.1 billion)
- Kirkbi, Lego
Kristiansen owes his fortune to Lego. He’s the grandson of Ole Kirk Christiansen, who founded the toy company, and was Lego’s CEO for a quarter of a century until 2004.
United Kingdom’s Sri and Gopi Hinduja — NET WORTH: £12 billion ($15.4 billion)
- YouTube / Rahul Joglekar
The pair, who reside in the UK, are one-half of the so-called “Fantastic Four,” a set of siblings in their seventies who run conglomerate company Hinduja Group, which is based in London. The firm owns Indian automotive manufacturer Ashok Leyland.
Austria’s Dietrich Mateschitz — NET WORTH: £10.4 billion ($13.4 billion)
- Getty Images
The Red Bull founder is Austria’s richest man, and still holds nearly half of the shares in the company. If you’re struggling with education, don’t worry too much – it reportedly took Mateschitz 10 years to finish university.
Sweden’s Stefan Persson — NET WORTH: £15.2 billion ($19.6 billion)
- REUTERS/Jurek Holzer/SvD/Scanpix
Persson is the largest shareholder in H&M, the massive European fashion chain. The company was founded by Erling Persson, his father, and his son Karl-Johan Persson is currently the CEO.
Germany’s Beate Heister & Karl Albrecht Jr. — NET WORTH: £21.1 billion ($27.2 billion)
The pair are children – and heirs to the fortune – of the late Karl Albrecht, who co-founded discount supermarket chain Aldi with his brother. Albrecht, who passed away in 2014, based his supermarket chain’s success on a no-frills strategy similar to Wal-Mart’s in America, and there are now over 10,000 stores in 18 countries.
Italy’s Maria Franca Fissolo & Giovanni Ferrero (below) — NET WORTH: £19.6 billion ($25.2 billion)
- REUTERS/Giorgio Perottino
The wife and son of the late Michel Ferrero owe their fortunes to Ferrero SpA, the confectionery company that bears their name, and of which Giovanni is CEO.
France’s Liliane Bettencourt — NET WORTH: £30.7 billion ($39.5 billion)
- REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
Bettencourt is the “grand dame” of L’Oreal, and the richest woman in Europe. She and her children own 33% of the cosmetics giant. She suffers from dementia, which means her children now run her business affairs.
Spain’s Amancio Ortega — NET WORTH: £56.4 billion ($71.3 billion)
- Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Ortega is a Spanish business magnate who founded the Inditex fashion group. The group is best known for the Zara fashion chain. He is the fourth richest person in the world.