Ingvar Kamprad net worth: $43 billion

Ingvar Kamprad net worth: Ingvar Kamprad was a Swedish businessman who had a net worth of $42.5 billion at the time of his death in 2018. He is best known for founding the multinational retail company which specializes in furniture, IKEA. IKEA generates more than $40 billion per year in revenue today. For much of his life Ingvar controlled IKEA through the a combination of mildly complex foundations and investment trusts. For example, the Interogo Foundation, which controls the IKEA concept and trademarks and collects a royalty on all products sold with the IKEA name. The Dutch Stichting INGKA Foundation is a charity that owns INGKA Holding, which is the parent company for all IKEA stores. In May 2006, the charitable foundation was reported by The Economist to be the world’s wealthiest charity, however the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has since become larger. Today his three sons control the family investment company Ikano which operates as a investment fund and the owner of franchise rights for Ikea in various countries.

Net Worth Details: In 1970, Kamprad moved his family to Switzerland to avoid extremely high Swedish taxes. His paper net worth eventually ballooned to $40-50 billion. He moved back to Sweden in 2011. Before making the move, he transferred the ownership of IKEA to a series of complicated trusts and foundations to reduce his net worth down to just $113 million in liquid assets. Since he was still technically the beneficiary and owner of those trusts, most outlets agreed that his net worth could still be estimated in at least the range of $40 billion.

In March 2010, Forbes estimated his fortune at $23 billion USD, which made him the eleventh richest person in the world at that point. Just a year later, he fell to 162nd after his lawyers produced documents proving that the foundation he established and heads in Liechtenstein owned IKEA, and that its bylaws bar him and his family from benefiting from its funds. In June 2015, he was listed as the eighth wealthiest person in the world in Bloomberg Billionaires Index. In February 2016, Forbes reported his net worth to be $3.4 billion.

Early Life: Ingvar Kamprad was born in Sweden on March 30, 1926. Kamprad lived in Switzerland from 1976-2014. Kamprad began his career as a salesman at a very young age. When he was just 5 years old, he bought matches in bulk from Stockholm and sold them at a discount. When he was seven, he began traveling on his bike to sell to neighbors. He found that he could sell them at a low price but still make a good profit due to buying them in bulk so cheaply. From there, it wasn’t long before he began selling other items, including fish, Christmas tree decorations, seeds, ballpoint pens, and pencils.

Career: He launched IKEA in 1943 with a small loan from his dad when he was 17 years old. He started with selling replicas of his uncle Ernst’s kitchen table. In 1948, he diversified his portfolio to add other pieces of furniture. His business was mostly mail order at this point. The acronym IKEA is made up of the initials of his name (Ingvar Kamprad) plus those of Elmtaryd, the family farm where he was born, and the nearby village Agunnaryd where he was raised.

In 1956, a little more than 10 years after being launched, IKEA began “flatpacking” furniture to reduce shipping and storage costs. The idea was to give the customer a show room but then sell unassembled which was cheap but decent quality and could be easily transported home. IKEA became extremely successful over the years.