Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#167 August von Finck $8.73B

Random fact: Wanted to be a farmer before starting in private banking.

Overview

Von Finck owns Finck'sche Hauptverwaltung, a Munich-based investment firm. The closely held business owns stakes in Swiss industrial inspection company SGS, insulation manufacturer Von Roll and the Moevenpick hotel and restaurant chain. He sold family-owned bank Merck Finck to Barclays for $150 million in 1990.

As of Sept. 25, 2017:
Last change -$14.7M (-0.2%)
YTD change +$732M (+9.2%)
Industry Diversified
Biggest asset Cash
Citizenship Germany
Age 86
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

August von Finck's net worth of $8.73B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

0%
of the GDP of the United States
0%
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
0%
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
0%
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
0%
of U.S. existing home sales
0
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of von Finck's fortune is derived from his holdings in cash and other investable assets, which are based on an analysis of dividends, asset sales, taxes and market performance. He sold his quarter stake in Hochtief, a German construction company, in March 2007, for almost $2 billion to Spanish builder Actividades de Construccion & Servicios. He sold 10 percent of SGS for more than $1 billion in November 2009.

Von Finck's stakes in publicly traded and closely held companies are held directly and through family members. The billionaire is credited with the shares held by family members to reflect his control of his family's Munich-based investment vehicle, Finck'sche Hauptverwaltung. The billionaire holds a 15 percent stake in publicly traded SGS, a Geneva-based inspection company, and more than 90 percent of Custodia Holding, an investment business that trades publicly in Frankfurt. He also controls about 61 percent of Von Roll, a Swiss insulation manufacturer.

He acquired the majority of Moevenpick, a closely held hotel, restaurant and food chain, in 1992. He owns 66.7 percent of the hotel business and all of the rest through Moevenpick Holding. The group had revenue of 1.5 billion Swiss francs ($1.6 billion) in 2014, the most recent available figure as of April 2017, according to its website. The company's 2016 revenue is calculated to be 1.3 billion Swiss francs based on the revenue growth of the peer companies. Its valuation is based on calculated 2016 revenue and the average enterprise value-to-sales multiple of three publicly traded peer companies: Hyatt, Marriott and Autogrill.

Annemarie Thoene, a spokeswoman for von Finck, declined to comment on the net worth calculation.

Biography

Birthdate: 1930
Family: Married, 4 children

Baron August von Finck was born in Munich, Germany, in 1930. His grandfather, Wilhelm von Finck, had co-founded financial services companies Allianz, Merck Finck and Muenchener Rueckversicherungs. His father, August von Finck Sr., was a banker and one of Adolf Hitler's first supporters. He expanded the Merck Finck private bank in the 1930s through the so-called "Aryanization" of Jewish-owned banks in Germany by the Nazi government. The program removed assets and company ownership from Jewish citizens and transferred it to individuals aligned with the Nazi regime.

Von Finck Sr. received control of the Rothschild and J. Dreyfus banks. Following the Allied defeat of Germany in 1945, von Finck Sr. lost his board positions with the companies his father had founded and control of the banks was returned to their previous owners.

Von Finck Jr. wanted to become a farmer, though he eventually took a banking apprenticeship at Merck Finck. He inherited the bank and became its chief executive officer, following his father's death in 1980. The billionaire sold his stake in the family business for about $150 million to Barclays in 1990. Through Finck'sche Hauptverwaltung, his Munich-based private investment vehicle, Von Finck invested the proceeds into SGS, an inspection company; Von Roll, an insulation manufacturer; and Moevenpick, a hotel and restaurant chain.

Von Finck Jr. lives with his, Francine, in the medieval Weinfelden castle in Switzerland's Thurgau canton. They have four children.

Milestones
  • 1930 August von Finck born in Munich, Germany.
  • 1980 Inherits Merck Fink on father's death and becomes CEO.
  • 1990 Sells Merck Finck stake to Barclays for $150 million.
  • 1991 Begins investing Merck Finck sale proceeds into Swiss companies.
  • 1992 Buys majority stake in Moevenpick, a hotel company, from Prager family.
  • 2002 Becomes largest investor in SGS, the industrial inspection company.
  • 2007 Family wins control over board of Von Roll, a Swiss engineering company.
  • 2007 Sells stake in construction company Hochtief for 1.3 billion euros.
  • 2009 Sells 40 percent of his stake in SGS for one billion Swiss francs.
  • 2016 Half-brother Helmut drops suit over family inheritance after legal battle.