Net Worth: $1.3 Billion
- Source of Wealth Shipping
- Birth Place Linz, Austria
- Marital Status Married
- Full Name Helmut Sohmen
- Nationality Austrian
- Date of Birth December 10, 1939
- Occupation Lawyer and Businessman
- Education University of Vienna and Southern Methodist University
- Children three children
About Helmut Sohmen
Hong Kong-based Austrian lawyer and businessman Helmut Sohmen has an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion as of March 2013 according to Forbes. He is also the seventh richest person in Austria, 1107th in the world and 38th in the List of 50 Richest People in Hong Kong. Born on December 10, 1939 in Linz, Austria, he graduated from Linz Realschule in 1958 then studied law at the University of Vienna. He won a Fulbright scholarship to continue studying at the University of Connecticut and went back to receive his doctorate in Vienna.
Sohmen married Anna Pui Hing Pao who held several functions in Hong King. The two met while he was studying in Canada. He began accumulating his estimated net worth of $1.3 billion as a legal adviser to the Royal Bank of Canada in Montreal. However, he had to temporarily interrupt his professional career to graduate as Master of Comparative Law and a Master of Laws.
In 1970, in order to get into business, Helmut Sohmen moved with his family to Hong Kong where his father-in-law, Sir Yue-Kong Pao, owned one of the largest shipping companies in the world. From 1985 to 1989, he was named the CEO and became the major shareholder of Dragon Air. He was also the managing director of the company. Since 1986, he worked with the World-Wide Shipping Group where his father was the chairman and the president. In 2003, the company acquired a majority stake in the Bergesen fleet of Norway. He then renamed his shipping empire Bergesen Worldwide. Since 2005, he served as Chairman of the Board. As of 2010, his group has 140 tankers and more than 4,500 employees.
Sohmen was given the China’s Friendship Ambassador award for his contributions to China-Austria ties. As an alumnus of the Southern Methodist University Law School, he supports the graduate scholarship program for Chinese lawyers studying at the university’s Dedman School of Law. He also founded the Sohmen-Far-East-Foundation to help young Austrians in establishing new contacts in Asia.