Susanne Klatten

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Susanne Klatten
Born Susanne Hanna Ursula Quandt
28 April 1962 (1962-04-28) (age 52)
Bad Homburg, Germany
Residence Bad Homburg[1]
Citizenship Germany[1]
Education IMD-Lausanne (MBA)
Known for holdings in Altana and BMW
Net worth Increase US$ 14.6 billion (est.)
(Forbes, March 2010)[1]
Spouse(s) Jan Klatten (m. 1990)
Children three[1]
Parents Herbert Quandt (1910–1982)
Johanna Quandt (b. 1926)
Relatives Stefan Quandt (brother; b. 1966)

Susanne Klatten (born Susanne Hanna Ursula Quandt on 28 April 1962 in Bad Homburg, Germany) is the daughter of Herbert and Johanna Quandt. As of 2011, her net worth is 14.6 billion, and she is the richest woman in Germany and the 44th richest person in the world.[1]


After gaining a degree in business finance, Susanne Klatten worked for the advertising agency Young & Rubicam in Frankfurt from 1981 to 1983.[2] This was followed by a course in marketing and management at the University of Buckingham, and an MBA from IMD in Lausanne specialising in advertising.

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

Recognising that her wealth is sometimes a problem, she often worked incognito under the name Susanne Kant. Police prevented an attempt to kidnap her in 1978.[3]


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 specialty chemicals business. The €4.5 billion was distributed to shareholders as a dividend. Altana maintained its stock exchange listing and Susanne Klatten remained its majority shareholder.

In 2009, she bought almost all shares she did not already own in Altana.

Her father also left her a 12.50% stake in BMW.[1] She was appointed to the supervisory board of BMW with her brother Stefan Quandt in 1997.

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

She owns an approximately 25% stake in German wind turbine manufacturer Nordex and, in 2012, bought stakes from Dutch biotech company Paques and used oil recycling company Avista Oil of Germany.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Susanne met Jan Klatten while she was doing an apprenticeship with BMW in Regensburg, where he worked as an engineer. During this time she called herself Kant and did not tell him who she was until they were sure about each other.[5][6] They married in 1990 in Kitzbühel and live in Munich.[5] They have three children.[5] She also plays golf and skis in Austria. Like the other members of the Quandt family, they live quietly. 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.[7]

Affair and blackmail[edit]

On 31 October 2008 several European newspapers reported a blackmail plot against Susanne Klatten and the subsequent arrest of two men.[8] Klatten was blackmailed in 2007 by Helg (Russak) Sgarbi, 44, a Swiss[9] who threatened to release intimate films unless she paid him 14 million euros.[10] Klatten contacted the German police in response to this threat.[11] It was also reported that Klatten had previously paid 7.5 million euros to Sgarbi after he claimed his life was endangered by the mafia.[10]

The reports state that Sgarbi approached Klatten in 2006 at Hotel Lanserhof, a spa near Innsbruck, Austria, and that the couple had then met in secret at luxury hotels in Monte Carlo, her hometown of Munich, and in other European cities.[10][11]

Sgarbi was arrested in January 2009 by the Austrian EKO Cobra police unit and extradited to Germany where he faced charges of fraud, attempted fraud, and attempted extortion.[10] On 9 March 2009 Sgarbi pleaded guilty in court,[12] his counsel stating that the accusations against him were essentially accurate. It was anticipated that by pleading guilty at an early stage his sentence would be reduced. He was indeed sentenced to six years in jail which fell short of the nine years the prosecution sought. As he did not disclose the location of over €9 million he received from the women he blackmailed, he cannot be released early. His accomplice, the Italian hotel owner Ernano Barretta who allegedly filmed Sgarbi and Klatten with hidden cameras, is in custody in Italy.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Susanne Klatten - Forbes". Forbes. March 9, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  2. ^ Die Quandts by Rüdiger Jungbluth p356 published by ISBN 3-593-36940-0
  3. ^ "Richest Germans: The Family Behind BMW". Deutsche-Welle. 5 December 2005. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c "Deutsche Welte". Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Heinz Bude (6 April 2005), [ZEIT Online "Aus Liebe zur Sippe"] (in German), Die Zeit (15), ISSN 0044-2070, ZEIT Online. Retrieved 2013-03-08
  7. ^ Von Susanne Klatten geleistete Parteispenden seit 2000; Politische Datenbank
  8. ^ "German heiress at centre of sex tape blackmail plot". Daily Telegraph. 31 October 2008. 
  9. ^ "'Swiss gigolo' Helg Sgarbi on trial for blackmailing BMW heiress Susanne Klatten". Daily Telegraph. 9 March 2009. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Trial to Begin for Man Who Duped Germany's Richest Woman". Spiegel Online. 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  11. ^ a b c Bryant, Miranda (2008-11-03). "The gigolo, the German heiress, and a £6m revenge for her Nazi legacy". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  12. ^ "Swiss blackmail 'gigolo' jailed". BBC News. 9 March 2009. 

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