Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#323 Thomas Schmidheiny $5.27B

Random fact: Has a honorary doctorate degree from Boston's Tufts University.

Overview

Schmidheiny sits on the board of LafargeHolcim, the world's biggest cement maker, and owns an 11 percent stake in the business. The Zurich, Switzerland-based company employs more than 100,000 people and had sales of more than $27 billion in 2016. He also has interests in vineyards and the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz.

As of July 21, 2017:
Last change +$29.3M (+0.6%)
YTD change +$672M (+14.6%)
Industry Industrial
Biggest asset LHN VX Equity
Citizenship Switzerland
Age 71
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Thomas Schmidheiny's net worth of $5.27B 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 Schmidheiny's fortune is derived from his 11.4 percent stake in LafargeHolcim. The Zurich, Switzerland-based company is the world's largest cement maker, according to the Global Cement Directory for 2016. He owns the shares directly, according to LafargeHolcim's 2016 annual report.

The billionaire has collected more than $1 billion in Holcim dividends since 1989 and used a portion of those proceeds to buy back the company's shares in 2011. The value of his cash and other assets includes his vineyards and is based on an analysis of dividends, insider transactions, taxes and market performance.

He owns 14 percent of C.C.C. Tourist Enterprises, a hotel operator. He owns shares in the Limassol, Cyprus-based company directly, according to its 2015 annual report. He also has a 73 percent stake in Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, a publicly-traded Swiss resort, according to its 2016 annual report.

Schmidheiny confirmed the publicly traded and closely held assets.

Biography

Birthdate: 12/17/1945
Family: Married, 4 children
Education: 1972, MBA, Imd International Institute for Business Development Graduated, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

Thomas Schmidheiny was born in 1945, into a family of industrialists in Balgach, Switzerland. His grandfather, Ernst, invested in a cement business and an asbestos processing company in the early 20th century. His father, Max, and uncle, Ernst, expanded the business over more than seven decades.

Schmidheiny received a master's degree in mechanical engineering from ETH Zurich, followed by an MBA from IMD business school in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1972. He began his career at Holcim's Mexican subsidiary Cementos Apasco in 1970, and became the company's CEO in 1978.

The billionaire inherited Holcim, the world's largest cement maker, and his brother, Stephan, received Eternit, an asbestos processing company, when their father divided his estate between them in 1984. The billionaire resigned as Holcim chairman in 2003, after paying a fine of $1.5 million for insider trading. He was investigated by the Spanish government when he bought shares in metals producer Asturiana de Zinc in 2000, after learning of a pending takeover bid by Xstrata, the mining company for which he was a board member.

A merger between Holcim and French cement maker Lafarge was completed in July 2015.

Milestones
  • 1914 Grandfather Ernst Schmidheiny buys stake in cement producer Holderbank.
  • 1945 Thomas Schmidheiny is born in Balgach, Switzerland.
  • 1969 Obtains a Master of Science degree from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
  • 1970 Starts as technical director at subsidiary Cementos Apasco.
  • 1972 Finishes MBA from IMD business school in Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • 1984 Appointed chairman of the board of Holcim.
  • 2014 Holcim announces merger with Lafarge, forming world's largest cement maker.
  • 2015 LafargeHolcim begins trading following completion of merger.