Seven Italians Rank Among World's Richest People

Tue, 05/20/2014 - 01:00

There are seven Italian men in Bloomberg's ranking of the world’s richest people, five more than Spain, six more than the UK, one less than France.

If you think no one can like Nutella more than you do, then here is a man who not only likes it, but owes his fortune to the famous chocolate-hazelnut spread. According to Bloomberg's 2014 rich-list, Michele Ferrero, the owner of the world’s fourth-biggest chocolate making empire producing Nutella, Kinder and Ferrero Rocher is the richest man in Italy and the 28th wealthiest person on the planet with an estimated $25.4 billion (€18.5 billion) fortune.

He is followed by Leonardo del Vecchio, founder and main shareholder of the Luxottica Group, the world’s biggest eyewear company, who ranks 36th in the world list  with an estimated $19 billion (€13.5 billion) fortune.

Third in Italy, and at number 102 in the general Bloomberg's list, with an estimated $11.3 billion (€8.2 billion) is Paolo Rocca, the patriarch of one of Italy's richest families who controls Techint, an Argentina-based industrial conglomerate engaged in steel-products manufacturing, engineering and construction, oil and gas exploration and health care. 

Fourth in Italy, and 139th in the world, with $8.9 billion is Stefano Pessina, the executive chairman of Alliance Boots, the U.K.'s biggest pharmacy chain, and the largest shareholder of Walgreen, the second-biggest drugstore retailer in the U.S. 

With $7.8 billions, designer Giorgio Armani, is the fifth Italian wealthiest man, and is the 144th richest man on the planet. He is the  chairman and sole shareholder of Giorgio Armani SpA, which he co-founded with partner Sergio Galeotti in 1975. 

He is followed by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi who, regardless of his tax fraud conviction and expensive divorce settlement,  is still among the richest Italians in the world. Berlusconi controls Fininvest, his Milan-based investment company that owns shares in several publicly traded companies. His holdings include Italian broadcaster Mediaset, which had more than 10 million viewers every day in 2013; publisher Arnoldo Mondadori; insurer Mediolanum; and the A.C. Milan soccer team. Fininvest companies collectively had $7.6 billion in revenue in its latest fiscal year. 

The last Italian on the list is Gianluigi Aponte, the founder of Mediterranean Shipping Company, who came 182nd with $7.2 billion (€5.25 billion).