Compared to other European countries, the number of billionaires from Scandinavia is manageable, as the billionaire ranking of the US business magazine Forbes shows. While Sweden, with 31 super rich people, is just behind other European countries such as Italy or France, Finland and Denmark have only single-digit numbers. Norway has twelve billionaires.
However, a look at the wealth of the richest Scandinavians shows that they are in no way inferior to their European neighbors. The region’s 57 billionaires are worth nearly $ 187 billion in early July. Again, the lion’s share – around $ 106.6 billion – comes from Sweden.
Despite the Swedish dominance, some other Scandinavians are among the richest in the region. At the top are entrepreneurs who stand for well-known brands and products. Compared to the Forbes ranking of the previous year, some of the ranked were able to maintain their position in 2020. However, a few new faces have mixed in among the richest ten.
These are the richest Scandinavians in 2020
In 1965 EF founder Bertil Hult started the first language trip to the south of England for 33 pupils and two teachers. Since then, the former “European Vacation School” from Stockholm has grown into a group of companies with more than 600 offices in 114 countries. The name has changed: “Education First” is the name of the company. Hult retired from operations in 2008 and his sons run the company today. Forbes estimates the Swedes net worth at $ 5 billion. Hult is also involved outside the company: Among other things, he is sponsor of the “Hult Prize” for young budding founders.
# 9 Antonia Axson Johnson
Antonia Axson Johnson has headed the Axel Johnson Group, which operates in retail in Sweden and other European countries, for almost 40 years. In 1982 she took over the business from her father. Axson Johnson handed over the chairmanship to her daughter in 2015, but she is still part of the board of directors and owner of the company. Your fortune is $ 5.1 billion, according to Forbes. In her home country she is the second richest woman in Sweden, in regional comparison it is enough for ninth place.
# 8 Melker Schörling and family
In 1987 Melker Schörling became CEO of the Swedish security group Securitas. In 1999 he founded his own investment company, followed seven years later by going public. According to Forbes, Melker Schörling Investment holds shares in the locking system manufacturer Assa Abloy and in Hexagon AB, a Swedish company for measurement technology and software. In 2017 Schörling retired from his management posts and handed over the office to his daughters. The family’s fortune is $ 5.6 billion, according to Forbes. In addition, Schörling is one of the largest property owners in Sweden.
@imago images / ITAR-TASS
# 7 Frederik Paulsen
When Frederik Paulsen (picture, right) took over his father’s pharmaceutical company in 1983, today’s Ferring group was still in its infancy. The $ 15 million in sales a year grew to $ 2.2 billion almost 40 years later. Ferring now employs 6,500 people in almost 60 countries. Although Ferring actually comes from Sweden, today the group is based in Switzerland – with Frederik Paulsen as administrative president. His fortune is $ 5.8 billion, according to Forbes.
@imago images / Ritzau Scanpix
# 6 Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen and family
Four family members share sixth place in the ranking of the richest Scandinavians. We’re talking about the owners of the Lego toy icon. Long-time Lego boss Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen shares around 75 percent of the company’s shares with his three children Thomas, Sofie and Agnete. Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen left the company in April 2019. His son Thomas is the deputy chairman of the board. In addition to the toy manufacturer, the family also holds shares in the operator of the Legoland amusement park and invests in wind farms and real estate. Her net worth is $ 6.1 billion.
# 5 Niels Louis-Hansen
With Niels Louis-Hansen, another Dane is one of the ten richest Scandinavians. Louis-Hansen is deputy chairman of the medical technology manufacturer Coloplast and majority owner with a fifth of the company shares. His father founded the company in 1957. Louis-Hansen also holds shares in the medical technology manufacturer Ambu. His fortune is $ 7.4 billion. While in the region it is enough for fifth place in the ranking of the richest billionaires, Louis-Hansen comes in second place in Denmark.
@imago images / Ritzau Scanpix
# 4 Anders Holch Polvsen
He is the richest billionaire in Denmark and fourth in all of Scandinavia. Anders Holch Povlsen owes his fortune mainly to the fashion industry. At 28, he took over the family-owned company Beststeller, which is best known for brands such as Jack & Jones, Only and Vero Moda. Holch Povlsen is also a shareholder in Asos and Zalando in the online business. There are also shares in the online payment service Klarna and in the online grocer Nemlig. Povlsen achieved notoriety when three of his four children were killed in a terrorist attack in Sri Lanka last year. Povlsen’s fortune was $ 8 billion.
@imago images / Tuchel
# 3 & 2 Jörn, Finn and Kirsten Rausing
According to the Lego owners, a Swedish family also made it among the richest in Scandinavia. The Rausing family is best known in Germany for the products from their packaging company Tetra Pak, which today belongs to the Tetra Laval Group. The grandchildren of company founder Ruben Rausing, Jörn Finn and Kirsten are all on the Tetra Lavel Board of Directors. Together, the siblings also hold shares in the New York company International Flavors & Fragrances, which manufactures fragrance and aroma substances. Jörn Rausing is involved in the online grocer Ocado. His fortune at $ 10.3 billion is therefore slightly higher than that of his two siblings, who total $ 9.1 billion.
# 1 Stefan Persson
Scandinavia’s and Sweden’s richest billionaire is again Stefan Persson, long-time CEO of the Swedish fashion group H&M. In January Persson resigned from his position as Chairman of the Board. His son, Karl-Johann, succeeded him and gave up the position of CEO, which he had held since 2009. Even after the resignation, Stefan Persson remains the fashion company’s largest single shareholder – with more than a third of the company’s shares. His net worth is $ 13.5 billion.