As every year the newspaper Finance has published a list of 100 richest Slovenians for the year 2017.This year once again there are no changes at the top. However, there are some surprises and sudden successes.
The wealth of the 100 richest Slovenians has increased by 12.5 % compared to last year, and now for the first time their total assets exceed 5 billion euros.
The first place is again held by the spouses Iza and Samo Login, the founders of Outfit7, which is best known for the mobile application Talking Tom. This year they sold their company to a Chinese fund, and their total assets are estimated at 689 million euros this year, 1% down on last year. This sum includes the purchase price for the company and the dividends received.
Sandi Češko, who was the richest Slovenian in 2013, this year rose to second place with an estimated 300 million euros. The founder of Studio Moderna, his wealth grew by as much as 63% in the last year. This can be attributed to a significant improvement in business after a few bad years as a result of the political and economic crisis in the Eastern European markets, where he has most of his business.
Also appearing on the list are five other founders of the company Outfit7. One of the former co-owners of Outfit7, Marko Pistotnik, is in third place in this year, with 210 million euros. Igor Akrapovič, the owner of the Akrapovič exhaust system manufacturer, was ranked seventh, with 113 million euros.
Surprises in the list
The biggest surprises are the founders of Bitstamp, the crypto currency stock market, Damijan Merlak and Nejc Kodrič, who own 32% of the crypto exchange market, and ranked in the 6th and 8th places with 122 and 112 million euros, respectivlely.
Another surprise is the minimum to be included on the list, which has now risen to 20 million euros, compared with the number seen in 2007, when Finance first published the list. That year it was just 7.3 million euros.
There is only one newcomer on the list this year, Rok Špruk, the owner of the textile factory Tekstina from Ajdovščina. With a fortune of 31.5 million euros, he ranked 45th, whereas the Albreht family got the largest increase in assets, up by about 95%. This family, which owns Zlatarna Celje and Ljubljana’s Radison Blu Plaza Hotel. ranked 31st in the ranking, with 37 million euros.
Reasons for the ranking
The favourable economic situation was the main reason why the wealth of the richest continued to rise. Moreover, the growth of their assets was four times greater than the 3.1 % growth seen by Slovenia’s GDP.
The second reason for the increase in the total wealth of the richest is also related to this year’s greatest business sensation, as seen with the inclusion of Damijan Merlak and Nejc Kodrič the founders of Bitstamp, who together have total assets of worth 234 million euros. This number was greatly aided by the recent boom in cryptocurrency prices.
Moreover, Iza and Samo Login’s Outfit7 became the first Slovenian “unicorn,” a tech company that is worth a billion or more.
According to the sources of wealth of 100 richest Slovenes, we can say that Slovenia is a country of industrialists and traders.
After the sale of Outfit7, the number of entrepreneurs and companies dealing with information technology is lower than before, represented on the list by only Celtra (Mihael Mikek’s family) and by Dewesoft (Jure Knez).
According to estimates, the companies held by the richest Slovenians employ about 26 thousand people.
There are only five women who appear among the richest 100 Slovenians, and starting at the 34th place, a fact which goes against some more optimistic accounts of gender equality in Slovenia, and tells us a lot about the actual position of women in society. However, more women appear on the list as married couples or as a part of families, which represent a third of the names listed.
See the full list of names here.