When most people think of rich people, they might think of Bill Gates, Donald Trump, or other big names. But did you know that Norway has more than its fair share of billionaires? Coming from a variety of backgrounds, these individuals have made their fortunes in industries ranging from shipping to grocery to hospitality.
1. John Fredriksen (Oil) – $10 billion
This oil magnate made his fortune during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1970s. Nowadays, he not only owns the world’s largest oil tanker fleet, he also holds interests in deep sea fishing, offshore, drilling, and supply tankers. Every year he donates a portion of his fortune to research hospitals around Norway, including Radium Hospital.
2. Olav Thon (Real Estate) – $6 billion
Starting out with a single building purchase in 1951 and one restaurant in 1966, he now not only owns an entire chain of restaurants throughout Norway, but also over 450 other properties. Thproperties under his ownership include hotels, shopping malls, retail stores, and office buildings. He enjoys outdoor activities and is a member of the Norwegian Trekking Association.
3. Odd Reitan (Grocery Sales) – $5 Billion
Owner of the Reitan Group, his grocery store chain’s success can be chalked up to its ubiquitousness. Throughout Norway, there is at least one REMA 1000 grocery store in every village that has over 10,000 inhabitants, and the chain has expanded to Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia. He awarded Norwegian Kroner 2 million to the chief editor of ‘=Oslo’ magazine for his work increasing the self-respect for the vendors of the street magazine.
4. Stein Erik Hagen (Retail) – $4.7 billion
Chairman and major shareholder of the Orkla Group, he is also the founder of the RIMI discount store chain, and owned it until selling it to Norway ICA in the 2000s and funneling the money he made into Orkla. Away from his business ventures, he is also best known for owning one of the largest sailboats in Europe, as well as formerly owning an entire island in the Caribbean.
5. Johan H Andresen Jr (Tobacco) – $3.2 billion
Since 1998, he has been the owner of Ferd, one of Norway’s largest industry and finance conglomerates. He made most of his fortune in selling off his shares of Tiedemanns Tobaksfabrik for over $3 billion in 2005. In 2008, he officially launched the Norwegian Microfinance Initiative (NMI), which seeks to stimulate economic growth in impoverished countries.
6. Johan Johannson (Grocery) – $3.1 billion
Nearly 75% of the Norewgian grocery chain NorgesGruppen -which has been family-owned since 1866- falls under his ownership. With a 40% market share in the country, the chain boasts over 1,750 locations throughout Norway, with annual revenues of over $8 billion. This billionaire is very private, and rarely speaks with the media.
7. Andreas Halvorsen (Hedge Fund) – $2.8 billion
A protege of hedge fund manager Julian Robertson, he is the co-founder and CEO of the Connecticut-based hedge fund firm Viking Global Investors. He has also previously been atrustee of the Greenwich Academy, has served as a board member for Right to Play USA, and has been part of the Advisory council of the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
8. Arne Wilhelmsen (Royal Caribbean) – $2.4 billion
The co-founder of Royal Caribbean cruise lines, he earned over $500 million when china Oilfield Services acquired Awilco Offshore for $2.5 billion. He also chairs his family’s investment company, which has investments in Russian hotels, oil tankers, and Baltic shopping centers.
9. Kjell Inge Rokke (Shipping/Seafood) – $1.9 billion
Controller of the Norwegian company Aker Solutions, this billionaire started out working as a fisherman on fishing trawlers in Alaska before becoming the owner of American Seafoods Company and Resource Group International. He is also the joint owner of Wimbledon Football Club, and has spent about 400 million NOK funding it.
10. Petter Stordalen (Hotels) – $1. 5 billion
A self-made businessman, this billionaire owns over 170 hotels and employs over 9200 people. He has invested in hotels, shopping centers, and various other properties. He and his wife founded the Stordalen Foundation, through which they donate millions to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs that focus on climate change and other environmental issues.