How will you explore the world when you’re a billionaire?
Billionaire explorer Frederik Paulsen was recognized as the first human to tour all eight of the Earth’s poles. He said he has touched the “true” North Pole.
The 62-year-old gray-haired Swedish pharmaceutical billionaire was awarded an honorary directorship from the Explorer’s Club.
Five years ago, in August 2007, Paulsen went on a $2 million water exploration 14,114 feet below sea level to the floor of the Arctic Ocean with three other men, riding a Russian MIR submersible. Paul Personally funded almost half of the trip. The exploration encountered an incident and good thing the team was able to survive.
“People told me it was impossible. But I like a challenge,” Paulsen exclaimed. Most of his explorations revolved on adventure, science, philanthropy and the like.
The 63-year-old explorer three major expeditions every year, 60 days at a time, others with the accompaniment of revolving band of Russian, Sills, French and Australian explorers and scientists. Paulsen remained true to his vision back when he was still in a university, that when he had some money, he would tour around the globe.
He took over his father’s company, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, in 1983. After three decades, he managed to increase the company’s revenue from $15 million to $2 billion, amassing a net worth of $5 billion. Paulsen is a man who does not want to contain himself in the four corners of their company. The Swiss businessman finds the urge to explore the world which started 15 years ago. “I worked my tail off for 30 years. I think I’ve done my time,” he enthused.
Back in 2008, Paulsen went on the first westward ultralight crossing of the strait, from Alaska to Russia, with his French pilot, and they went again into big trouble. “I was convinced I would die,” he said, but that did not stop him from flying.
He also went on a trip with scientist Yosrf Akhtman “to see if they can find the spot where his cameras picked up a mysterious phenomenon: a series of wave deformations in a neat row of five circles across the lake’s surface, like a watery Stonehenge. The water, the oceanic expanse of Baikal, was too high and they came back empty-handed.”
He has also gone in the Baikal camp with the trip worth $1.5 million to study the chemistry of Baikal and of Lake Geneva. It is a three-year project in collaboration with Switzerland’s EPFL (Europe’s equivalent to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Moscow State University.
Frederik remains as the CEO of the company but from time to time he goes out to continue his exploration. His family foundation’s holding company delved into Georgian wineries and now sells 180,000 bottles a year.
Paulsen was also a man of good deeds. He has spent almost $10 million on a rat-eradication project in South Georgia. He donated $40 million to build Fohr’s Museum Kunst der Westkeuste (West Coast Art Museum). Paulsen also shelled out $10 million to the Salk Institute outside of San Diego, California and another $10 million to Bhutan for the new Royal Textile Academy.
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