Klaus Schwab Net Worth

Today, we are going to talk about Klaus Schwab and his net worth.

If you managed to click through to this link, you are probably curious about who Klaus Schwab is. To many ordinary people, they probably do not know who he is or what he does. If you add the words “net worth” next to their names, there is a certain amount of intrigue that comes with it. Whenever somebody adds those two words, you kind of assume that this person must be rich or influential at least.

For the most part, Klaus Schwab is both of those things. Though, the latter is the one that seems a bit more apt whenever people talk about him. As the founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum, he has met a lot of world leaders and other people who contribute to our society at a larger scale than most of us do.

Even though I have researched a bit about his life prior to him founding this organization, I still don’t really understand the need for it. As we go through the journey of his life, you will see that he has done pretty well for himself. But it’s very interesting to see that the WEF is the culmination of it.

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Klaus Schwab Quick Details

  • Full name: Klaus Martin Schwab
  • Birthdate: March 30, 1938
  • Place of birth: Ravensburg, Germany
  • Occupation: Founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum
  • Estimated net worth: $198 million

The Early Life and Career of Klaus Schwab

Klaus Schwab was born around the time of Hitler’s reign on Germany. At the time, it was called the German Reich. His parents, Eugen Wilhelm Schwab and Erika Epprecht, had to move to Germany from Switzerland because his father had taken up the role of managing director for the Germany location of an industrial company.

It was definitely a weird time to have been born. The police were monitoring his family mainly because they were not from Germany. There was an instance where the Gestapo interrogated her mother for speaking with a Swiss accent outside. The weird thing about it is that his father’s company contributed somewhat to Germany’s efforts in the war during World War II. Considering how their plant was based there, they didn’t really have much of a choice.

It seems that Klaus moved to Switzerland for a few years to go to primary school. But after the war ended, he moved back to Germany to finish most of his primary and secondary schooling.

During his college years, it seems that Klaus juggled between studying for his mechanical engineering degree at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and working on jobs here and there. He eventually graduated in 1962.

In 1963, Klaus Schwab graduated summa cum laude with a degree in economics from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. Though, the way that is written in his fact sheet/curriculum vitae on the WEF website, you wouldn’t have necessarily gotten what “Lic.ès.sc.écon. et soc” meant on the first try.

The next few years after that, he continued studying for doctorates for engineering and economics, respectively. Somehow, he continued his studies for both in the same universities that he studied in previously. By 1967, he had graduated with a masters in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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The Foundation of the World Economic Forum

Prior to founding what would become the WEF, Klaus Schwab seems to have been putting his many degrees to use. He served at the board for the company that his dad worked at previously.

I’m still not sure how exactly both of his degrees lead to him creating forum. But I guess his experience at Escher Wyss lead him to realize something.

If you know how companies work, the thing that gets considered is making the shareholders of the company happy. Those people put money into the company hoping that the company would make money in the long run. That’s why a lot of people buy stocks for a certain company in the stock market for publicly-listed companies.

I guess while he was part of the managing board at Escher Wyss, Klaus Schwab realized that companies shouldn’t just think of their shareholders. The approach that he had thought of would become the “stakeholder theory.” It basically just means that a company should also consider the people who may not have a stake in the company financially but are otherwise affected by the decisions that they make. It’s often employees, suppliers and the community that they are part of.

Sometime in 1970, Klaus Schwab left Escher Wyss to organize what would become the inaugural European Management Forum. It probably took a few months to organize an event of that scale since the first ever forum involved 450 participants.

There were just a lot happening in the world by then. It was a pivotal period in history, especially in the United States. Even though it called the European Management Forum, the United States still played a big part in some form. Since a lot of companies do try to expand their services to other countries.

Despite being busy with the forum, somehow Klaus Schwab found love. Hilde Stoll was one of Klaus’s first collaborators in the forum. Soon after, they got married. You never really know where love will find you.

The Years After

The first ever European Management Forum proved to be a success that they continued. I mean, that’s one of the desired outcomes for something like this right? By the third iteration of the summit, participants decided to create the Davos Manifesto based on the theory that Klaus Schwab created.

One other thing that happened during the summit was that Aureloi Peccei put into question how sustainable these efforts for economic growth. There’s definitely a struggle of finding the balance between economic development and making sure that those efforts will not ruin our environment. Because a lot of companies use natural resources to make buildings or the products that they provide.

Soon after, the European Management Forum slowly transformed into what would be the World Economic Forum. They slowly got other countries, specially in Africa and Asia, involved in the summit. By this point, it was solidifying into the thing that a lot of people know about.

At the same time, Klaus Schwab served as a professor for business policy at the University of Geneva. It’s not wrong to find something else to do outside of managing the organization.

Klaus Schwab has seemingly been part of a lot of moments in the history of the world. A lot of political and business leaders see the World Economic Forum as an important part. Though, you’d assume that leaders in politics and business would choose to talk to each other without the pretense of a summit. Right?

In 2015, Klaus Schwab coined the term “the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” It basically has to do with the concept that the technological advancements like automation or artificial intelligence plays a huge part in the economy and the world at large. And for the most part, it makes sense. It’s been a few years since he coined the term. And the advancements made in artificial intelligence and automation have been decent.

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So What Is Klaus Schwab’s Net Worth?

Seeing as the World Economic Forum is a non-profit organization, Klaus Schwab doesn’t really earn a lot of money from it. But he still earns at least a million dollars a year from running the organization. The organization receives funding from its partners, often corporations, to keep the organization going.

It doesn’t really seem that Klaus Schwab has any other sources of income. Though one could assume that he has invested in a few companies here and there. There’s nothing I could find regarding whether or not he still teaches every now and then. He and his wife also run a foundation that is pretty much an extension of the WEF.

But considering that Klaus has had a lot of other jobs during the fifty or so years that he served as the chairman of WEF, he probably has had earned a lot of money by then. He and his family still live in Switzerland because he and his wife are still active with the organization.

It is estimated that his net worth is around $198 million.

Some Thoughts

Who would have thought that a person who studied engineering and economics in college would somehow be an influential figure in the realm of politics and economics? The latter seems obvious but the former is not.

A lot of people question the effectiveness of the organization. Considering how the world’s political and business leaders talk about what they should be doing in the upcoming year in response to some big issue, you don’t really get any immediate effects. But I guess it was naïve to assume that a two-week long forum would immediately solve the world’s problems like that.

Still, it’s insane to think that Klaus Schwab is seen as this important figure. I guess once you have built this name for yourself over the years, you tend to have some level of notoriety among a certain group of people. In this case, it’s the people who run countries and/or businesses.

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