Germany’s mega families dominate rich list

When it comes to family businesses, Germany is often regarded as the place to find many of the best examples. Its famed Mittelstand sector is dominated by them.

But just how wealthy and powerful these family dynasties are in Germany was disclosed with the publication by Manager Magazin of a list of the country’s 500 wealthiest individuals and families.

The top 10 wealthiest families in Germany are all linked to family businesses. In contrast to many other countries' rich, where newly minted tech, financial and commodity billionaires share their status with family business dynasties, Germany’s wealthiest and most powerful are pretty much all family businesses.

Top of the list was the Quandt family, specifically Stefan and Johanna Quandt, and Susanne Klatten, with a fortune estimated by Manager Magazin of €31bn.

They were followed by the dynasty behind the supermarket group Aldi (South), the Albrecht and Heister family, worth an estimated €18.3bn. Third on the list with a fortune of €17.6bn was the mother and son family dynasty of the Schaefflers, which own the eponymous industrial group and the biggest stake in the tyre business Continental.

The seven others making up the top 10 were:

  • The Albrecht family who are behind the northern German part of Aldi (North), with a fortune worth €16.5bn.
  • Dieter Schwarz and his family, owners of another well-known German supermarket brand, Lidl, with a fortune estimated at €14.5bn.
  • The Reimann family is number six on the list with wealth estimated at €14bn. The family own stakes in a host of companies throughout the world through a number of companies, including JAB Holdings.
  • The Herz family are next on the list with wealth estimated at €11bn. The family control the coffee retail brand Tchilo and the personal care group Beiersdorf.
  • The Otto family is eighth on the list with a fortune estimated at €9.5bn. The family are behind one of the world’s biggest mail order groups as well as a number of other businesses.
  • The Würth family are ninth with wealth estimated at €8.2bn. The Würth Group is huge wholesaler of construction materials, furniture and a host of other goods.
  • Tenth on the list is the Oetker family, which is behind the famous Dr Oetker baking brand. They are worth an estimated €7.7bn, according to Manager Magazin.