The 15 Richest Germans In 2014

The German economy is the fifth biggest in the world with a total GDP of $3.2 trillion, or $39,028 per capita, as of 2014. Germany is often considered the economic engine of the EU and one of the critical contributors to the region. So of course, some of the richest people in the world hail from this prosperous country.

Although the country at large does benefit from the wealth, Germany has been cited as suffering from 'the most unequal wealth distribution in the Eurozone' according to data reported by Reuters in 2014. Indeed, the fifteenth richest German has a net value that is 130,675 times greater than the per capita income of the country.

Most of the Germans at the top of the list made their fortunes through smart maintenance of inheritances while some others are self-made billionaires who started a company from scratch before diversifying into other opportunities. Fortunes are made in manufacturing, cars, retail sales, grocery sales, real estate holdings, online sales, software and other types of businesses. Noticeable brands on this list include BMW, SAP software, Trader Joe's, Aldi and Kaufland.

Thankfully, considering the obscene amount of wealth concentrated on this list, many of these billionaires choose to perform philanthropic work in addition to living the most luxurious of lifestyles. They spend considerable amounts of money investing in advancing education, promoting the arts and protecting environmental concerns as well as helping children and working on cures for diseases.

15 Ludwig Merckle – $5.1 billion


When his father, Adolf Merckle, committed suicide due to the ramifications of the 2008 financial crisis, Ludwig took the reigns of the business empire and performed a turnaround that saved the Merckle fortune.

14 Dietmar Hopp – $6.4 billion

13 Heinz Hermann Thiele – $6.6 billion


12 Klaus Tschira – $6.8 billion

11 August Von Finck – $7.9 billion


10 Hasso Plattner - $7.9 billion

9 Reinhold Würth - $8.1 billion


8 Klaus-Michael Kuehne - $10.3 billion


7 Johanna Quandt - $12.7 billion

6 Georg Schaeffler - $13.8 billion


5 Stefan Quandt - $14.7 billion


4 Susanne Klatten - $16 billion

3 Dieter Schwarz - $16.7 billion

2 Michael Otto - $16.9 billion

1 Theo Albrecht Jr. & family – $17.3 billion


With the recent passing of father Theo and brother Berthold, Theo Albrect Jr became the patriarch of the richest German family. Their fortune was developed through Aldi Nord and Trader Joe's, supermarkets that have over 5,300 locations in the United States and Europe. After a kidnapping that resulted in a ransom situation, a family foundation was created to ensure that ownership stayed with the family.

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The 15 Richest Germans In 2014