Swiss billionaires punch above their weight

Two of Switzerland's richest, Ernesto Bertarelli, left, and Hansjörg Wyss, seen in 2015 teaming up for a major biotech project in Geneva

Switzerland can claim 30 billionaires who are collectively worth $91.6 billion (CHF91.46 billion), according to the Forbes' annual list of the world's richest people.

This content was published on March 2, 2016 - 17:53

The list released on Wednesday puts $6.48 trillion in the hands of 1,810 people whose personal worth runs to 10 figures.

That is down from 1,826 billionaires who were collectively worth $7.05 trillion a year earlier.

Swiss businessman Ernesto Bertarelli, the former owner of biotech firm Serono, topped the Swiss rankings with $8.6 billion. He is ranked the 129th wealthiest billionaire in the world.

The next wealthiest Swiss is Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, who controls one of the world’s largest agricultural trading houses. She has $6.8 billion, making her the world’s 171st wealthiest.

Next is Hansjörg Wyss, who made part of his fortune selling artificial joint maker Synthes for over $21 billion. He is worth $6.1 billion, and is ranked 196th in the world.

US tops the list

Globally, Microsoft founder Bill Gates held onto the top spot as the world's richest person with an estimated $75 billion net worth.

Collectively, the United States far outpaced the rest of the world with 540 billionaires collectively worth $2.399 trillion.

Second is mainland China, which has 251 billionaires with $593 billion. That figure doesn’t include Hong Kong or Taiwan.

Third is Germany, which has 120 billionaires with $469.1 billion.

Articles in this story

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Sort by

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.