Horst Paulmann

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Horst Paulmann
Horst Paulmann (29038964966) (cropped).jpg
Horst Paulmann in 2016
Horst Paulmann Kemna

(1935-03-22) 22 March 1935 (age 84)
Kassel, Germany
ResidenceSantiago de Chile, Chile
OccupationCEO and chairman, Cencosud
Known forRetail tycoon
Net worth$4.8 billion (May 2018)[1]
Parent(s)Hilde Kemna and Karl Werner Paulmann
RelativesJürgen Paulmann

Horst Paulmann Kemna (born 22 March 1935) is a German-Chilean billionaire entrepreneur. He is founder and chairman of Cencosud, the largest retail chain in Chile and the third largest in Latin America.[2] According to Forbes, his fortune is estimated at US$4.8 billion, and the second richest man in Chile.[1]

Early life[edit]

In 1946, Horst Paulmann and his family, consisting of his parents and seven siblings, emigrated from Germany after the end of World War II. They crossed the Alps towards Italy, continued on to Argentina in 1948, and finally to Chile in 1950.[3]

At the age of 13, Paulmann worked as a telephone operator in Buenos Aires and later worked making wooden toys. His family settled in the city of Temuco in the south of Chile, and his father got a position as a franchisee at Club Alemán and at Club de La Unión.[3] In 1952, Paulmann's family bought a local restaurant called Las Brisas and they soon transformed it into a supermarket. Since then and after the death of his father, Horst and his brother Jürgen Paulmann built a series of supermarket chains, beginning with the first hypermarket, located on Av. Kennedy. It measured 4,000 square meters and would become the foundation of the holding company Cencosud.[4]


Cencosud was founded by Horst Paulmann on 10 November 1978 when he assumed the role of CEO and chairman.[5][6] Cencosud employs more than 150,000 people in Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil and Peru, where it operates its supermarket chains (such as Jumbo, Santa Isabel, Disco, Vea, Gbarbosa, Prezunic, Bretas, Perini, Wong and Metro [es]); department stores (such as París and Johnson's); home improvement stores (such as Easy and Blaisten); commercial centers and credit stores (with over 4.3 million credit cards issued).[7][8][3][1]

One of his projects is the complex Costanera Center, which includes the tallest tower in South America, measuring 300 meters, a six story mall, a hotel, and office towers.[9][10]

In 2004, Cencosud began trading its shares on the Santiago Stock Exchange, and on the NYSE starting in 2011.[3] The Paulmann family is the main shareholder of Cencosud. Manfred, Peter and Heike Paulmann Koepfer have represented Cencosud in its directory and are part of the agreement of the board of directors, which was formed for the succession of the president in the conduct of the company.[11]

Other activities[edit]

Paulmann is the president of the Argentina–Chile Permanent Binational Business Board and a member of Argentine Business Association.[12] In the past, he was director of the Chilean–German Chamber of Commerce and the Chilean Chamber of Commerce.[6]


  • Entrepreneur of the Year Diario Financiero (2012)[13]
  • World Entrepreneur of The Year 2012, by Ernst & Young (2012)[14]
  • Konex Awards, Service and Commerce Entrepreneur (2008)[15]
  • Member of The Year, Chilean–German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (2007)
  • University Extension Award, Universidad Mayor (2006)[16]
  • People and Development of Distinction Award granted during the Percade Congress (2006)[17]
  • Chilean citizenship by grace (2005)[18]
  • ICARE Award, Entrepreneur of the Year (2005)[19]
  • ASA Salvador D’Anna Award for best retail entrepreneur of the year - Argentina (2005)[15]
  • Decoration from Orden de Mayo for his degree of Commander - Argentina (2004)[15]
  • Diego Portales Award for outstanding entrepreneur (2004)[20]

Personal life[edit]

He had three children with Helga Koepfer: Manfred, Peter and Heike.[11]


  1. ^ a b c "Forbes profile: Horst Paulmann". Forbes. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Santiago is not afraid of heights". Los Andes. 23 August 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "The king trade". Dinero. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  4. ^ Sabine Drysdale (17 November 2013). "Horst Paulmann created Jumbo selling strawberries and walnuts". El Tiempo. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  5. ^ "#1,040 Cencosud". Forbes. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Gobierno Corporativo". Cencosud. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Paulmann versus Paulmann". America Economia. 16 August 2010. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  8. ^ Miranda Camila Krauss (2 October 2011). "Horst Paulmann: "In Germany we reviewed jars trash Americans to eat..."". Economia Y Negocios. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  9. ^ "Costanera Center has closed 244 contracts with tenants". Economia y Negocios. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  10. ^ Tamara Flowers. "Cencosud reach agreement and Marriott hotel to operate in Costanera Center". La Tercera. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  11. ^ a b "Horst Paulmann design your estate plan". La Tercera. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  12. ^ "They form the Argentine-Chilean Permanent Business Council". Infobae. 17 October 2005. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  13. ^ "Horst Paulmann elected Entrepreneur of the Year by the readers of Diario Financiero". Diario Financiero. Archived from the original on 6 March 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  14. ^ "World Entrepreneur of the Year" (PDF). Ernst & Young. June 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  15. ^ a b c "Horst Paulmann Kemna". Fundacion Konex. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  16. ^ "Horst Paulmann receives recognition of the U. Mayor". Retail Latin America. 8 January 2006. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  17. ^ "The Araucana distinguish the Army and Felipe Cubillos during the congress Percade". El Mostrador. 18 August 2010. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  18. ^ "Commission approves nationality by grace Horst Paumann". Emol. 12 April 2006. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  19. ^ "Carozzi and Day, J. Paulmann Light: Icare Prize". Economia Y Negocios. 3 August 2005. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  20. ^ "CNC President Lagos will honor award "Diego Portales"". Emol. 19 May 2004. Retrieved 29 December 2015.

External links[edit]