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#346 Wolfgang Herz $5.27B

Random fact: Guenter took over family company after father's death in 1965.


Herz co-owns Maxingvest, a Hamburg-based investment company he controls with brother, Michael. They own most of Tchibo, a closely held coffee chain, and a stake in publicly traded Beiersdorf, a maker of Nivea skin care products. Two of their siblings were bought out of the family holding company in 2003 for almost $5 billion.

As of June 19, 2018:
Last change -$86.8M (-1.6%)
YTD change -$430M (-7.5%)
Industry Consumer
Biggest asset BEI GY Equity
Citizenship Germany
Age 68
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Wolfgang Herz's net worth of $5.27B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

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

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Herz's fortune is derived from a 34 percent stake in closely held investment company Maxingvest. He shares control of the asset with his brother Michael, who has his own 34 percent stake, according to Orbis a database of company information published by Bureau van Dijk. The sharecounts reflect information from October 2016, according to Orbis, the latest available as of January 2018. Herz's siblings, Guenter and Daniela, were bought out of Maxingvest's predecessor, Tchibo Holding, in 2003, for $4.5 billion, while brother Joachim's 17.5 percent stake was donated to a foundation after his death in 2008.

The family sold their stake in closely held cigarette producer Reemtsma to Imperial Tobacco for $6.7 billion in 2002, and purchased a majority stake in publicly traded personal care seller Beiersdorf, the maker of Nivea skin cream products, for more than $5 billion in 2003. He owns almost 18 percent of the Hamburg-based business's shares, according to the 2016 annual report.

They also control Hamburg-based Tchibo, a coffee company with sales of about 3.4 billion euros ($3.7 billion) in 2015. It's valued using the average enterprise value-to-sales and enterprise value-to-Ebitda multiples of two publicly traded peer companies: Tom Tailor and Gerry Weber.

Michael and Wolfgang have transferred most of their shares in Maxingvest to their children to avoid the impact of planned inheritance tax reform, according to Manager Magazin in May 2016. Michael and Wolfgang retain ownership in the analysis to reflect their control of Maxingvest.

Arnd Liedtke, a spokesman for Maxingvest, declined to comment on the net worth calculation.


Birthdate: 5/25/1950
Family: Unknown, No children

Max Herz founded Tchibo in 1949, establishing a chain of Hamburg coffee shops with business partner Carl Tchilling-Hiryan. Herz married Ingeburg Herz in 1940, and the couple had five children: Guenter, Joachim, Michael, Wolfgang and Daniela. Herz died at 60 age in 1965, leaving no succession plan in place. His oldest son, Guenter, took over as CEO against the will of his three younger brothers and, with the help of his mother and siblings, transformed Tchibo into a retail chain that specialized in coffee products.

In 1974, the Herz family purchased a stake in personal care company Beiersdorf, the maker of Nivea skin creams products, and built it into a majority stake. They became the majority shareholders of closely held Hamburg-based cigarette producer Reemtsma in 1980, selling the stake in 2002 to Imperial Tobacco for $6.7 billion, for a profit of more than $4.5 billion. Guenter had stepped down from his CEO position the year before after decades of family quarrels, and Michael, Wolfgang and Joachim bought the stakes held by Daniela and him for about $4.7 billion. Then called Tchibo Holding, the company was renamed Maxingvest in 2007, in honor of parents Max and Inge.

Joachim died in 2008 after being hit by a motorboat while swimming. His 17.5 percent stake in Maxingvest was donated to a foundation that the family named after him. In the same year, Wolfgang and Michael bought a 25 percent stake in fashion house Escada for about $100 million. One year later, the Munich-based company filed for bankruptcy after running out of cash.

  • 1905 Father Max Herz is born.
  • 1940 Father marries Ingeburg Herz; the couple has five children.
  • 1974 Family buys a stake in Beiersdorf, whose brands include Nivea.
  • 1980 Acquires closely held cigarette producer Reemtsma.
  • 2002 Sells stake in Reemtsma for $6.7 billion to Imperial Tobacco.
  • 2003 Family buys siblings Daniela and Guenter out of Tchibo.
  • 2007 Tchibo Holding renamed Maxingvest in honor of parents Max and Inge.
  • 2008 Brother Joachim dies after being hit by a boat while swimming.