Who is the richest person in Slovakia

First social housing in the Fuggerei Jakob Fugger, the richest person of all time

Jakob saw the light of day on March 6, 1459 as the tenth of eleven children of Jakob Fugger the Elder. In a way, he fell into a nest that was made. Because Jakob Fugger Senior was already a successful Augsburg merchant, but his company was far from being important later. Cotton trade with Italy formed the basis of the family fortune - perhaps also the reason why young Jacob was sent to Venice to do an apprenticeship.

After his father's death in 1469, his older brothers Ulrich and Georg initially determined the company's fate, and from 1487 at the latest, Jakob became the leading "top manager" in the Fugger Group.

A truly pro-active strategy.

In doing so, he continued the path previously taken by his brothers and proved himself to be a true master in recognizing and using opportunities. In this sense, he did not invent a really new business model, but developed an already existing one to the highest perfection. The original core business of cotton trading had already faded a little under his brothers. Instead, the Fugger's switched to banking and, at the same time, got into silver and copper mining - with shares in mines in Tyrol, Bohemia and Slovakia, and later in Hungary. As a result of the mining holdings, the silver and copper trade soon passed into Fugger hands. From 1525 mining rights for mercury and cinnabar were acquired in Spain. Fugger also took care of the transport and shipping of the metals.

According to today's value, Fugger had a fortune of around 400 billion dollars at the end of his life in 1525. That's more than Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates or Warren Buffett have. "

From today's perspective, this can be described as diversification. However, there was a close connection between the businesses, which actually does not correspond to the idea of ​​diversification. Metal production, trading and transport in one hand, that is more vertical integration.

Jakob Fugger certainly didn't care about such modern business classifications. His aim was to make the most of the profit opportunities that were offered to him and to use synergy effects in the process.

He did not shy away from targeting market power in order to make the highest possible profit or to rely on political influence.

Jakob Fugger not only knew how to use his opportunities, he also consciously created them - a truly pro-active strategy.

Richer than Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet put together.

Under the aegis of Jakob Fugger, the Fugger Group became the financier of the Habsburgs and the Vatican. Fugger's financial resources were also involved in the election of Maximilian I and Charles V as Roman-German emperors. No wonder that Jakob Fugger was able to enjoy the continued benevolence of the Habsburgs. However, the imperial debtors were not always the best payers. Jakob Fugger was always well rewarded for his patience. He managed his company according to today's methods. He established double-entry bookkeeping, created his own news service in order to be always well informed, founded a branch network across Europe and also proved to be extremely efficient and innovative in other ways.

Jakob Fugger felt absolutely committed to the common good, which is probably attributable to Christianity, which at that time still pervaded all areas of life. The Fuggerei in Augsburg - the oldest social housing in the world - still serves its original purpose. Numerous foundations in monasteries and churches are another expression of Fugger's charity. That didn't hinder Jakob Fugger's rise to become the richest man of all time. According to today's value, Fugger had a fortune of around 400 billion dollars at the end of his life in 1525. That's more than Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates or Warren Buffett put together.


An article by Manuel Wiegmann.