Marc showed up this weekend wearing a t-shirt with a fun logo: Billionaire in the making. If I remember right, under it, there was something like Ibiza or Mykonos. Eric started laughing. There is the usual playful tension between the two, but this one was funny indeed.  Marc is SO not into money. It was ironic and funny indeed. I am sure he did not buy it himself, but it must be a gift from an ambitions love interest, who does not really know him or just wanted to tease him. Since it is a piece of functional clothing, Marc put it on anyway…

”A Bertarelli in the making”, was Eric’s words through his laughter. “Berta-who?”, was Marc’s return. Expected. When you are not into money, then you do not know who has it either. But this was the stimuli for today’s post. OK I knew about Ernesto Bertarelli, but who are the rest? Who cares, you’d say. Well let’s say I meet any of them at the super market or on the tram. Not sure I would take an action of any sort, but I would like to know that I was in the presence of a Billionaire. I would definitely share it with you with a comment such as “the Geneva public transport system is so good that Billionaires use it…”

Ernesto Bertarelli – $8.8 billion
Top200-2015-Bertarelli49 yo of italian decent, Ernesto and his sister inherited Serono from their dad, which at some point they sold to Merck for $9bn. They shared the money with their mom (I share beauty tips with mine).  Ernesto is very much into sailing. All his boats are called Alinghi. This is an imaginary friend they created with his sister when they were young. He lives in Gstaad, where he owns the Grand Hotel too. (photo by wikipedia)

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus – $8.4 billion
margarita52 yo of Russian decent, Margarita has been called “the Tsarina” by the press. She inherited the Louis Dreyfus from her husband when he passed away in 2009. One of the most powerful women in the world, she owns the Marseille foorball team and apparently sent her kids to school in Singapore for a year, so they learn another culture. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Elaine from Seinfeld is a cousin of her late husband.

Gianluigi & Rafaela Aponte – $6.2 Billion
I8DGGianluigi started as staff in a ferry ship (yep). At some point with his wife, they decided to launch their own cargo shipping company. Just giving you ideas for you and your significant other. Then more ventures followed, pretty much a series of cruise companies. Rafaela helps with the interior design of the fleet. The power couple is very good friends with Sophia Loren, who has served as a spokesperson for their company and the godmother of several ships. (photo by Frank Perry/AFP/Getty Images)

Willi & Isolde Liebherr & family – $6.1 billion
liebherr-isolde-willi-liebherr-bauma-2004_img_310Hans Liebherr created machinery to rebuild Germany after the war. The company has been led by his son, Willi, when Hans died in 1993. Since then engineering and machinery equals Liebherr and vice versa. Willi and Isolde, brother and sister, are very proud that they are a family company and they attribute a part of their success to this. The succession plans to their children are already in place… Potential dating targets? (photo by

Hansjoerg Wyss – $6.1 billion
foto_wyssFrom what I read, I already like this guy a lot. For several reasons. Apparently he is one of the greatest philanthropist of our times. He made his fortune by selling a medical device to Johnson & Johnson for $20bn (and some change). Now that’s a sale, not like mine on ebay. He lives in La Cote and agrees with his buddy, Patrick Aebischer, that they prefer to have another Google been born at their Biotech Campus than another Nobel Prize. (photo by

Thomas Schmidheiny – $5.5 billion
21_DSC0042_sw69yo, father of 4 children and a PhD holder from Tuffts University, Thomas inherited from his father a cement and concrete company. The huge urbanization trend in the recent decades and the population growth around the world favorited the exponential growth of his company. Thomas must really like wine, because he owns vignards and wineries in US, Australia, Arhentina, USA and Switzerland. (photo by

Ivan Glasenberg – $5.1 billion
220px-Ivan_Glasenberg58 yo, from South Africa. Now that is a career. He started in Marketing in a company in South Africa. He is an accountant actually, although he also holds an MBA from UCLA. I guess he worked very hard and he was good, because eventually he rose to the top position of the later called Glencore. His fortune comes from when Glencore went public. Ivan is a champion of race walking in South Africa and in Israel. (photo by wikipedia)

Dona Bertarelli – $4.6 billion
dona-CS-130717-001Dona, 47yo, is the sister of Ernesto, the no 1 in the list. Remember they shared the money with their mom when selling Serono to Merck? She has her own companies by now, among which the Country Club Geneva, an eco Hotel in Bahamas and the Five Seas Hotel in Cannes. Another sailing enthusiast, her Ladycat won the Bol d’Or Mirabaud on Lake Léman with Dona at the helm in 2010, and then again in 2014. Dona says she is not competitive, but more of a fighter… (photo by Spindrift racing)

Rahel Blocher – $3.4 billion
8.-Rahel-Blocher-–-3.1-Billion-Richest-People-In-Switzerland-201439 yo, she is the youngest of her siblings and the richest. Along with the rest, she got a polymer and chemical company, when her dad decided to be involved in the Swiss politics. The other two kids sold their shares to Rahel and her sister Magdalena who is the CEO of the company today. Rahel is heading an investment company, I guess she finds this one more interesting. It is good to have options. She does not like the media and she hardly ever appears in them. I respect discreet people like this!  (photo by

Magdalena Martullo-Blocher – $3.4 billion
39e4239c0dAnd this is the sister. 46 yo, married with 3 children. The story is the same as above. Prior to her own company she worked for Rivella AG and Johnson & Johnson AG. Her dad encouraged her to get involved in politics. And she did, despite the fact that, as she says, in the past she had no interest in politics in the past. (photo by ems-group)