Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

#314 Guenther Fielmann $5.35B

Random fact: Trains optometrists at Ploen Castle in Northern Germany.

Overview

Fielmann is the founder and major shareholder of Fielmann AG, Europe’s biggest chain of optical stores. The Hamburg-based business specializes in discounted eyewear and has sold more than 140 million pairs of glasses since 1972. The publicly traded company reported revenue of 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in 2016.

As of July 24, 2017:
Last change -$74.2M (-1.4%)
YTD change +$701M (+15.1%)
Industry Consumer
Biggest asset FIE GY Equity
Citizenship Germany
Age 77
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Guenther Fielmann's net worth of $5.35B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

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

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Fielmann's fortune is derived from his family's 71.6 percent stake in publicly traded eyewear chain Fielmann AG. The company is the biggest optical retailer in Europe by turnover, according to the Retail-Index website in April 2017.

He holds the shares directly (5.9 percent), through his two children (10.8 percent) and through a family foundation (55 percent), according to the company's 2016 annual report and additional information in its 2012 report. Fielmann is credited with the entire stake because he controls the company's operational and strategic decisions.

The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of dividends, taxes and market performance.

Biography

Birthdate: 9/17/1939
Family: Divorced, 2 children

Guenther Fielmann was born in Germany in 1939. His father, Wilhelm, was a school teacher; his mother a housewife.

An aspiring photographer, Fielmann became a certified optometrist in 1965, and started working for Bausch & Lomb's optician business. He opened his first namesake eyeglasses store in Cuxhaven, Germany in 1972, and over the next four decades built it into Europe’s largest chain of optical stores by specializing in discount glasses.

The publicly traded company, which sold shares in an initial public offering in 1994, has sold more than 120 million pairs of glasses since its founding.

Fielmann lives in Hamburg. He's divorced and has two children.

Milestones
  • 1939 Guenther Fielmann is born in Germany.
  • 1965 Becomes certified optometrist and starts working for Bausch & Lomb.
  • 1972 Opens first glasses store in Cuxhaven, Germany.
  • 1994 Sells shares in an initial public offering in Frankfurt.
  • 2003 Begins training optometrists at 17th century Ploen Castle.
  • 2004 Awarded honorary doctorate from University of Kiel.
  • 2009 Plants one-millionth tree for employees alongside Angela Merkel.
  • 2015 Son Marc becomes member of management board.