The Youngest Billionaire In The World Is A Norwegian Teenager

The Youngest Billionaire In The World Is A Norwegian Teenager

Just 19 years young, Alexandra Andresen is the world’s youngest billionaire. Heir to a family fortune built on tobacco, she debuts among the 2016 World’s Billionaires thanks to her stake in investment company Ferd that FORBES values at $1.2 billion.

View the full list of the 2016 billionaire rankings here.

Fresh out of high school, Alexandra seems to have no rush to be an active owner, and is instead one of the most promising horseback riders in Norway, collecting trophies from competitions across Europe.

Equally wealthy is her sister Katharina, one year Alexandra’s senior. After a spell in a Ferd led project targeting youth unemployment in 2014, Katharina enrolled at Amsterdam University College where she is a freshman studying social science.

The sisters each own 42.2 percent of the private company and have for a while. Despite their paper wealth, they have been able to live in relative normalness in Norway until recently. For individuals above the age 17, Norwegian tax authorities annually publish tax return numbers, so since hitting legal age, the sisters have gotten attention for their stakes. Katharina in an interview on Norwegian television said that she got 500 new friend requests on Facebook FB -6.28% when details on her wealth first were published in 2014.

The company Ferd, which means “journey” in Norwegian, has roots dating back to 1849, when Alexandra and Katharina’s great-great-great grandfather Johan Henrik Andresen bought J.L. Tiedemanns tobacco factory, starting what was to be the market leading cigarette maker in Norway for over 150 years. The family remained in the tobacco industry until 2005, when it sold its share to Skandinavisk Tobakskompagni for almost $500 million. Today Ferd is a holding company with diverse interests spanning private equity holdings, real estate, security investments and a hedge fund. Today Johan H. Andersen , the sisters’ father and chairman of the board, member of the fifth generation, owns 15.2% but still has 70 percent of the votes and the T twitter handle @FerdOwner through which he spreads his thoughts to some 55,000 followers.

Despite being a private company, with no outside investors, Ferd semi-annually publishes details on their investment on their website including its equity value of more than $3 billion.

A similar set-up (the division of transfer and votes between generation, not the Twitter part) has produced yet another young billionaire from Norway this year. Gustav Magnar Witzoe owns 47 percent of SalMar ASA, one of the world’s biggest farmed salmon producers, founded by his father who still runs the company. The stake in SalMar makes this 22-year-old the third youngest billionaire on the planet.

Why are Norwegian billionaires passing the wealth to their children at such a young age? You probably have already guessed it:

Source: Forbes


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