Birthday: April 28, 1962
Age: 58 Years, 58 Year Old Females
Sun Sign: Taurus
Also Known As: Susanne Hanna Ursula Quandt
Born in: Bad Homburg
Famous as: Businesswoman
Spouse/Ex-: Jan Klatten (m. 1990)
father: Herbert Werner Quandt
mother: Johanna Maria Quandt
siblings: Stefan Quandt
education: University of Birmingham, Kaiserin-Friedrich-Gymnasium, International Institute for Management Development, University of Buckingham
awards: Bavarian Order of Merit
Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
Who is Susanne Klatten?
Susanne Klatten is a German businesswoman and heiress who is currently the richest woman in Germany. A daughter of the legendary businessman, Herbert Werner Quandt, and his industrialist wife, Johanna Maria Quandt, Klatten owns a little over 19 percent of the stake in the German automobile giant BMW. She also became the owner of a majority share in her grandfather’s pharmaceutical and chemical company Altana AG upon the death of her father. Apart from serving in the board of the automobile company as well as the pharmaceutical company, Klatten is also involved in a series of other business ventures. She owns shares in the German turbine company Nordex, German graphite maker SGL Carbon, Dutch biotech company Paques, and the used oil recycling company Avista Oil.
Life as an Heiress
Susanne Klatten is the daughter of German billionaire and industrialist Herbert Werner Quandt and Johanna Maria Quandt. Her father is regarded as the one who saved the German automobile company, BMW, from bankruptcy and made it a profitable business venture. Upon his death, Herbert Quandt left his 12.5 percent stake in BMW to Susanne. In 1997, Klatten joined her brother, Stefan Quandt, on the supervisory board of BMW.
She also owns the majority stake in her grandfather’s chemical and pharmaceutical company named Altana AG. When her father died, he left her his 50.1 percent stake in the company. She took the company to newer heights and significant growth was observed under her leadership. The company was also featured in the German DAX list of 30 top companies. The company sold its pharmaceutical wing to Norwegian pharmaceutical company Nycomed in 2006 for a reported amount of 4.5 billion euros. This amount was given to the shareholders as dividends and the company continued to focus on its specialty chemicals business.
In 2009, Klatten became the sole owner of the company, buying the remaining available shares apart from the 50.1 percent stake which she had inherited from her father. She became the deputy chairperson of the company which has a turnover of a little more than $2.5 billion annually.
Apart from these businesses, Klatten has also invested significant amounts of money in other business ventures. She owns a little over 8 percent of the shares in one of the world’s largest manufacturers of carbon products, SGL Carbon SE, and has an option to buy further shares, as much as up to 25 percent in total. In addition, she is the owner of almost 25 percent of the shares of Nordex, a European company that manufactures as well as sells wind turbines. She owns shares in the Dutch biotech company named Paques and the German oil recycling company Avista Oil as well.
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Controversies & Scandals
Klatten got involved in a controversy when Helg Russak Sgarbi, a Swiss conman, blackmailed her about leaking evidence of the two having an affair. The conman had previously been involved in similar cases where he had threatened rich women in the same way to gain financial benefits. Sgarbi was soon arrested along with his partner in crime, an Italian hotel owner named Ernano Barretta. Barretta had allegedly recorded Klatten’s clandestine meetings with Sgarbi with hidden cameras and was helping Sgarbi in blackmailing her. Sgarbi and Barretta were sentenced to six and seven years of jail term, respectively.
Susanne Hanna Ursula Quandt was born on April 28, 1962, in Bad Homburg to Johanna Quandt and Herbert Quandt. She has a bother, Stefan Quandt, who serves as a deputy chairman of the supervisory board in BMW. Klatten earned a degree in business finance and worked for the advertising agency Young & Rubicam for two years in the early 1980s. Later, she attended the University of Buckingham and the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne. She then worked with several companies, including American management consulting firm ‘McKinsey & Company’, ‘Bankhaus Reuschel & Co.’, and Dresdner Bank.
Susanne met Jan Klatten while she was doing her internship with BMW, where Jan Klatten was working as an engineer. They got married in 1990 and have three children together.