Stefan Quandt is a prominent figure in the business world as a German billionaire heir, engineer, and industrialist. He is best known for his significant holdings in BMW, the renowned automobile company. With a net worth of $24.1 billion as of September 2023, he ranks at number 59 on the Forbes Billionaires list.
- Age: 57
- Source of Wealth: BMW
- Residence: Frankfurt, Germany
- Citizenship: Germany
- Marital Status: Married
- Children: 1
- Education: Associate in Arts/Science, Technical University of Karlsruhe
Early Life And Education
Stefan Quandt was born on May 9, 1966, in Bad Homburg, Germany. He comes from a wealthy family, with his father, Herbert Quandt, being a German industrialist who played a pivotal role in saving BMW from bankruptcy in 1959. Stefan Quandt obtained a degree in economics and engineering from the University of Karlsruhe, where he studied from 1987 to 1993.
Stefan Quandt Career
After completing his education, Stefan Quandt embarked on a successful career path. From 1993 to 1994, he worked at the Boston Consulting Group in Munich. He then joined Datacard Group, a company based in Minneapolis, where he served as a marketing manager in Hong Kong from 1994 to 1996.
Stefan Quandt inherited a 17.4% stake in BMW upon his father’s death in 1982. Over time, he acquired further shares, bringing his ownership to 23.7% of the company. Following the passing of his mother, Johanna Quandt, in 2015, his voting stake temporarily increased to 34.19%, surpassing the 30% threshold that triggered a compulsory takeover offer under German regulations. To avoid this requirement, he sought exemption from the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).
In 2018, Stefan Quandt became BMW’s largest single shareholder when he inherited additional shares from his mother. This gave him a “blocking stake” of 25.83%, valued at 13.4 billion euros ($16.6 billion). Currently, he serves as the deputy chairman of the supervisory board at BMW.
Aside from his BMW holdings, Stefan Quandt inherited substantial stakes in various other companies from his father. Since 1989, he has managed these holdings through his holding company, Delton AG. Some notable companies under his control include:
- CEAG: Stefan Quandt owns 76.8% of CEAG, a company specializing in small power supplies and recharging devices for mobile phones.
- Logwin AG: He holds an 87.6% stake in Logwin AG, formerly known as Thiel Logistik. This company operates in the logistics and freight forwarding industry.
- Biologische Heilmittel Heel GmbH: Stefan Quandt has full ownership of Biologische Heilmittel Heel GmbH, which focuses on producing homeopathic preparations.
- CeDo Household Products: Stefan Quandt owns 100% of CeDo Household Products, a company that manufactures various household items such as freezer bags, plastic and aluminum wraps, bin liners, and coffee filters.
Gemplus International (now Gemalto)
Stefan Quandt, together with his mother, previously owned 18.3% of Gemplus International, a significant digital security company. However, in 2006, Gemplus merged with another company to form Gemalto. It is worth noting that BMW was not implicated in the historical report regarding the Quandt family’s activities during the Nazi era.
Aqton SE and Renewable Energy Investments
Through his second holding company, Aqton SE, Stefan Quandt manages investments in renewable energies. Some notable investments include:
- Heliatek: Aqton SE has invested in Heliatek, a company specializing in organic solar panels.
- Solarwatt: Stefan Quandt’s Aqton SE is also involved with Solarwatt, a manufacturer of PV panels, solar batteries, and energy management solutions.
- Kiwigrid: Aqton SE has invested in Kiwigrid, a company offering grid-based renewable energy solutions for utilities.
- BHF: Stefan Quandt’s Aqton SE has investments in BHF, a financial services company.
Philanthropy And Political Activities
Stefan Quandt supports various philanthropic initiatives through the non-profit organization Aqtivator. The organization focuses on projects that benefit children, youth, and families, with an emphasis on education, integration, and equal opportunity.
In terms of political activities, Stefan Quandt, along with his mother and sister, made significant donations totaling 690,000 euros to the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) following the 2013 elections. Additionally, ahead of the 2017 elections, he contributed 50,000 euros each to both the CDU and the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP).
Personal Life And “The Silence Of The Quandts”
Stefan Quandt married Katharina, a software engineer, in autumn 2005. They have a daughter who was born on New Year’s Eve of the same year. Stefan Quandt generally maintains a low profile and resides in Frankfurt, Germany.
In 2007, a documentary titled “The Silence of the Quandts” aired on German public broadcaster ARD. The documentary shed light on the Quandt family’s history during the Second World War, revealing their involvement with the Nazi regime and the use of slave laborers in their factories. As a result, the Quandt family announced their intention to fund a research project to examine their activities during Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship. The study, conducted by historian Joachim Scholtyseck and released in 2011, concluded that “The Quandts were linked inseparably with the crimes of the Nazis.” No compensation, apology, or memorial at the site of their factories has been reported as of 2008. It is important to note that BMW was not implicated in the historical report.
What Is Stefan Quandt’s Net Worth?
Stefan Quandt’s net worth is estimated to be $24.1 billion as of September 2023. His wealth primarily stems from his ownership and holdings in various companies, with BMW being the most significant. He holds a 26 percent stake in BMW, making him the largest single shareholder of the world’s second-largest automaker.