Susanne Hanna Ursula Klatten (née Quandt, born 28 April 1962) is a German billionaire heiress, the daughter of Herbert and Johanna Quandt. As of January 2022, her net worth was estimated at US$23.4 billion, and the richest woman in Germany and the 50th richest person in the world according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.[2]

Susanne Klatten
Klatten in 2017
Susanne Hanna Ursula Quandt

28 April 1962 (1962-04-28) (age 61)
EducationIMD-Lausanne (MBA)
Known forHoldings in Altana and BMW; richest woman in Germany
Jan Klatten
(m. 1990; sep. 2018)
Parent(s)Herbert Quandt (1910–1982)
Johanna Quandt (1926–2015)
RelativesStefan Quandt (brother)
Silvia Quandt (half-sister)

Education edit

Klatten was born in Bad Homburg, West Germany. After gaining a degree in business finance, she worked for the advertising agency Young & Rubicam in Frankfurt from 1981 to 1983.[3] This was followed by a course in marketing and management at the University of Buckingham, and an MBA from IMD Business School in Lausanne specialising in advertising.[4]

She gained further business experience in London with Dresdner Bank, the Munich branch of management consultants McKinsey and the bank Bankhaus Reuschel & Co.

She has often worked under the name Susanne Kant.[5]

Investments edit

On her father's death she inherited his 50.1% stake in pharmaceutical and chemicals manufacturer Altana.[1] She sits on Altana's supervisory board and helped transform it into a world-class corporation in the German DAX list of 30 top companies. In 2006 Altana AG sold its pharmaceutical activities to Nycomed for €4.5 billion, leaving only its speciality chemicals business. The €4.5 billion was distributed to shareholders as a dividend. Altana maintained its stock exchange listing and Klatten remained its majority shareholder. In 2009, she bought almost all shares she did not already own in Altana.[1] Altana and SKion, which are both wholly owned by Susanne Klatten, are shareholder of Landa Digital Printing with together 46% since 2018. Landa Digital Printing is a company of the Israeli entrepreneur and inventor Benny Landa in the field of digital printing and nanotechnology.[6]

Her father also left her a 12.50% stake in BMW,[1] but following the death of her mother in 2015, her stake in BMW is now 19.2%.[7] She was appointed to the supervisory board of BMW with her brother Stefan Quandt in 1997.

German graphite maker SGL Carbon said on 16 March 2009 that Klatten owns options to raise her stake in SGL from 8% to almost a quarter of the shares but no more than that.[1]

Quandt family activities during WWII edit

The Hanns Joachim Friedrichs Award winning documentary film The Silence of the Quandts[8][9] by the German public broadcaster ARD described in October 2007 the role of the Quandt family businesses during the Second World War. The family's Nazi past was not well known, but the documentary film revealed this to a wide audience and confronted the Quandts about the use of slave labourers in the family's factories during World War II. As a result, five days after the showing,[10] four family members announced, on behalf of the entire Quandt family, their intention to fund a research project in which a historian would examine the family's activities during Adolf Hitler's dictatorship.[11] The independent 1,200-page study researched and compiled by Bonn historian, Joachim Scholtyseck, that was released in 2011 concluded: "The Quandts were linked inseparably with the crimes of the Nazis".[10] As of 2008, no compensation, apology or even memorial at the site of one of their factories, have been permitted.[9] BMW was not implicated in the report.[10]

Personal life edit

Police prevented an attempt to kidnap her and her mother Johanna Quandt in 1978.[12]

Susanne met Jan Klatten while she was doing an internship with BMW in Regensburg, where he worked as an engineer. It is reported that during this time, she called herself Kant and did not tell him who she was until they were sure about each other,[13][14] but Klatten himself denies the story.[15] They married in 1990 in Kitzbühel and live in Munich.[13] They have three children.[13] The couple separated in 2018.[16] She has been a member of the University Council of the Technical University of Munich since 2005. In 2007 she was awarded the Bayerischer Verdienstorden, the Bavarian Order of Merit. She is one of the biggest donors of the centre-right political party, the Christian Democratic Union.[17]

In 2007, Klatten was blackmailed by Helg "Russak" Sgarbi, a 44-year-old Swiss national who threatened to release reported evidence depicting the two having an affair.[18][19][20] Sgarbi, who was charged with similar blackmail schemes against multiple women, was arrested in January 2009 and brought to court in Germany, where he was sentenced to six years in jail. His accomplice, the Italian hotel owner Ernano Barretta who allegedly filmed Sgarbi and Klatten with hidden cameras, was also arrested and was sentenced in 2012 to seven years in prison.[21]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e "Forbes profile: Susanne Klatten". Forbes. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Bloomberg Billionaires Index: Susanne Klatten". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 4 January 2022.
  3. ^ Die Quandts by Rüdiger Jungbluth, p. 356, published by ISBN 3-593-36940-0
  4. ^ "Bloomberg Billionaires Index". Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  5. ^ "The gigolo, the german heiress and a £6m revenge for her Nazi legacy". The Independent. 23 October 2011. Archived from the original on 25 May 2022. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  7. ^ "#60 Stefan Quandt". Forbes. 11 August 2019. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  8. ^ The Silence of the Quandts (English subtitles, German narration) on YouTube
  9. ^ a b Emma Bode and Brigitte Fehlau (29 November 2008). "The Silence of the Quandts: The history of a wealthy German family. A documentary film by Eric Friedler and Barbara Siebert". World Socialist Web Site. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  10. ^ a b c Paterson, Tony (29 September 2011). "BMW dynasty breaks silence on its Nazi past". The Independent. Archived from the original on 25 May 2022. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  11. ^ Bonstein, Julia (10 December 2007), "Breaking the Silence: BMW's Quandt Family to Investigate Wealth Amassed in Third Reich", Der Spiegel
  12. ^ "BMW billionaire heiress Johanna Quandt dies". Financial Times. 6 August 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  13. ^ a b c "Deutsche Welle". Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  14. ^ Bude, Heinz (6 April 2005). "Aus Liebe zur Sippe". Die Zeit (in German). ISSN 0044-2070. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  15. ^ Rüdiger Jungbluth (9 September 2015). "Das ist ja nichts, was man ausgeben kann". Spiegel Online (in German).
  16. ^ "Reichste Frau Deutschlands trennt sich von Ehemann", Die Welt, 30 June 2018 (in German)
  17. ^ Von Susanne Klatten geleistete Parteispenden seit 2000; Politische Datenbank
  18. ^ "German heiress at centre of sex tape blackmail plot". The Daily Telegraph. 31 October 2008.
  19. ^ "'Swiss gigolo' Helg Sgarbi on trial for blackmailing BMW heiress Susanne Klatten". The Daily Telegraph. 9 March 2009.
  20. ^ "Trial to Begin for Man Who Duped Germany's Richest Woman". Spiegel Online. 6 March 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2009.
  21. ^ Bayer, Tobias (13 May 2014). "Klatten-Erpresser Ernano Barretta muss in Haft". Die Welt. Retrieved 29 June 2015.

External links edit