Rich Pickings

Who is the Wealthiest of Them All?

The Quandt family, mother Johanna Quandt with daughter Susanne Klatten and son Stefan Quandt. Source: DPA
Manager Magazine's wealthiest family in Germany: The Quandt family, mother Johanna Quandt with daughter Susanne Klatten and son Stefan Quandt.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    German magazine editors focus on families and operational assets, rather than individual wealth, when compiling their rich lists, compared to the way such lists are compiled in the U.S.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • In Germany, rich people don’t like to be on wealth-lists and editors respect that, grouping them into family clans.
    • German magazine researchers only focus on operational assets when establishing the list and ignore all private properties.
    • German editors also include noble families’ wealth, whereas Forbes only focuses on self-made entrepreneurs.
  • Audio

    Audio

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Who are the wealthiest people in Germany? Two magazines – Manager Magazine, which is owned by the Spiegel publishing house, and Bilanz Magazine, owned by Die Welt newspaper, have both published rich lists.

The way they compile these lists, and the way they decide what to include and what to leave out, speaks volumes about Germany’s attitudes to wealth and to privacy.

Both lists are inspired by Forbes magazine in the United States that since 1987 publishes a list of the world’s richest people – “The World’s Billionaires List.”

Kerry A. Dolan and Luisa Kroll, who compile the ranking, said on the Forbes website that they calculate net worth by valuing “individuals’ assets – including stakes in public and private companies, real estate, yachts, art and cash” – and they take into account estimates of debt.

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