Germany’s Wealthiest Woman Hands Over to Her Children

Susanne Klatten, considered the richest woman in Germany, is transferring her holding company to her children. However, her shares in BMW will not be affected by this transition.

Susanne Klatten, a major shareholder in BMW, is initiating a generational shift at her holding company, Skion. Starting in July, she will transfer her shares to her three children, as she revealed to the magazine “Wirtschaftswoche.” Consequently, her children will become the new owners of Skion.

According to Klatten, the transfer process has already begun and is expected to be completed by summer. For now, the 62-year-old will remain the managing director. “It’s not a classic handover but a transition. This is also the wish of the children. They can grow into the role while I gradually step back,” she added.

Skion, the investment company, holds stakes in the chemical company Altana, the carbon manufacturer SGL Carbon, and the battery manufacturer BMZ. Additionally, it has an interest in Avista Oil, a company specializing in the recycling of used oil.

“This Is What I Missed”

Klatten explained that her decision to implement a transitional phase was influenced by her own experiences, particularly the early death of her father, Herbert Quandt. At the age of 20, she and her brother Stefan Quandt took over the family investments. Although experienced managers were available to structure and continue the legacy, she lacked the opportunity to discuss her father’s decisions with him. “I missed that,” she told “Wirtschaftswoche.” Now, she wants to handle things better.

Klatten’s three children have already gained experience within her family office and have been involved in all significant decisions for some time, as Klatten reported. Until now, they have kept a low profile.

Klatten to Remain BMW Supervisory Board Member

Klatten’s role as a major shareholder and supervisory board member at BMW will remain unaffected by this decision. She intends to continue providing stability to the car manufacturer. “I want to maintain the company’s agility, resilience, and expertise, especially regarding technologies and powertrains,” she stated.

Klatten holds around 21 percent of BMW, while her brother Stefan Quandt owns about 26 percent. Together, they own nearly half of the German automaker. Klatten is recognized as the richest woman in Germany and is ranked 71st on the current “Forbes” list of the world’s wealthiest individuals. According to “Forbes,” her fortune is estimated to be around 24 billion euros.