Shipowner among Britain’s wealthiest
May 9, 2011
Shipowner John Fredriksen has long topped the lists of the wealthiest Norwegians, even though he legally moved to Cyprus several years ago for tax reasons. Now Fredriksen, who maintains a fashionable residence in London, also figures among the Top 10 wealthiest in Great Britain.
According to The Sunday Times’ “Rich List” for 2011, Fredriksen ranks seventh among the 1,000 wealthiest persons in Britain. Fredriksen and his family were listed with a net worth amounting to GBP 6.2 billion, up a whopping 125 percent from the year before.
His family includes his twin daughters Kathrine and Cecilie, who have inherited shares of Fredriksen’s self-made fortune and now are making deals of their own. Both young women are also on various boards of companies within Fredriksen’s shipping, offshore, fish-farming and investment empire.
Fredriksen himself grew up on Oslo’s working-class east side and started as a clerk in a shipbroking firm. He ended up creating a huge fleet of tankers, and became bigger than Aristotle Onassis ever was.
Fredriksen branched off into other shipbuilding deals and later diversified into offshore oil rigs and a wide variety of other businesses in the 1990s. He still controls major shipping firm Frontline and is known for his nearly photographic memory of vessels, with shipping seeming to remain his greatest passion.
Now he’s in the same ranks as the world’s ultra-rich, including Russian industrialist Roman Abramovich and Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, who topped the list compiled annually by The Sunday Times.
Newspaper Aftenposten reported that several other Norwegians also won places on the list, including shipowner Peder Smedvig (number 83) and shipping heiresses Marianne and Helene Odfjell (number 122). Shipowners Niels and Jacob Stolt-Nielsen were in 562nd place.