Susanne Klatten Biography: Life, Career, Success & Wealth

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Olaf Kosinsky, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons

Susanne Klatten is a German billionaire heiress and businesswoman who is known for her involvement in the pharmaceutical and automotive industries. She was born Susanne Hanna Ursula Quandt on April 28, 1962, in Bad Homburg, Germany, to parents Herbert and Johanna Quandt.

As a child, Susanne was raised in a wealthy and prominent family that owned stakes in several major companies, including BMW and Altana AG. Her father passed away when she was just 13 years old, leaving her with a substantial inheritance.

After completing her education, Susanne began working for her family’s businesses, where she gained experience in the automotive and chemical industries. In 1989, she joined Altana AG as a research and development manager, and later served on the company’s executive board.

In addition to her work in the chemical industry, Susanne also became involved in the pharmaceutical industry, investing in several companies and serving on the board of directors of various organizations. She is a major shareholder in pharmaceutical company Altana AG and also owns a significant stake in chemical company SGL Group.

As of 2021, Susanne Klatten’s net worth is estimated to be $24.7 billion, making her one of the richest women in the world, according to Forbes. In addition to her wealth, she is also known for her philanthropic efforts, including her work to promote education, support environmental causes, and combat poverty.

Despite her immense wealth, Susanne has kept a relatively low profile throughout her life, preferring to maintain a private personal life away from the public eye. She is married to entrepreneur Jan Klatten and has three children.

Overall, Susanne Klatten’s success in the business world and her commitment to philanthropy have made her a respected figure in Germany and around the world.

Here is a timeline of Susanne Klatten’s life:

  • 1962: Susanne Klatten is born on April 28th in Bad Homburg, Germany.
  • 1981: She graduates from the University of Buckingham with a degree in business administration.
  • 1983: Susanne joins the supervisory board of her family’s company, Altana AG.
  • 1986: She earns a graduate degree in economics from the University of Würzburg.
  • 1989: Susanne joins the executive board of Altana AG as a research and development manager.
  • 1993: She becomes a member of the supervisory board of BMW AG, a company her family has a large stake in.
  • 2006: Susanne inherits a 12.5% stake in BMW AG and a 50.1% stake in pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturer Altana AG from her late mother.
  • 2009: She becomes the sole owner of Altana AG after buying out her brother’s shares.
  • 2010: Susanne invests in the biotech company BioNTech, which later becomes involved in developing a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 2013: She is ranked as the richest woman in Germany and the 44th richest person in the world by Forbes.
  • 2015: Susanne donates €20 million to a German university to establish a foundation for science and engineering research.
  • 2017: She becomes the majority shareholder of carbon fiber manufacturer SGL Group.
  • 2021: Her net worth is estimated to be $24.7 billion, according to Forbes.

Throughout her life, Susanne Klatten has been involved in the success of her family’s businesses, as well as investing in and supporting various industries. Her business acumen and philanthropic efforts have earned her widespread respect and admiration.

Here are five interesting facts and five quotes from Susanne Klatten:

5 Interesting Facts:

  1. Susanne Klatten’s father, Herbert Quandt, is credited with saving BMW from bankruptcy in the 1960s by investing in the company and reorganizing its management structure.
  2. She is fluent in several languages, including German, English, French, and Italian.
  3. Susanne is known for her philanthropic efforts, particularly in the areas of education and environmental conservation.
  4. In addition to her work in the pharmaceutical and automotive industries, she also has a stake in the hospitality industry, owning several luxury hotels in Germany.
  5. Susanne is a member of several prestigious organizations, including the Board of Trustees of the World Economic Forum and the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business.


  1. “I’m convinced that through innovation, education and hard work, we can build a world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”
  2. “I believe in responsible entrepreneurship that creates sustainable value for society and the environment.”
  3. “I have always believed that education is the key to unlocking human potential and creating a better world for all.”
  4. “Innovation and technology have the power to transform industries and improve lives, and I am committed to investing in these areas for a better future.”
  5. “I am deeply committed to supporting causes that make a positive impact on the world, and I believe that philanthropy is an important part of responsible business leadership.”

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