Saturday 26 September 2020

Good causes new status symbol for the rich, Quote suggests


The 21st edition of the Dutch rich list – Quote 500 – was published on Thursday with no real surprises.

Heineken heiress Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken is by far the richest Dutch national with €12.5bn in assets, a 13.6% increase over 2016. Resident in London and with houses scattered across Europe, De Carvalho is far richer than the number two Frits Goldschmeding whose wealth Quote puts at €4.3bn, a 22.9% increase for the Randstad temps agency founder.

Builder Dik Wessels comes in at €4 bn, a 21.2% gain. Ralph Sonneberg of window coverings group Hunter Douglas has €2.7bn (+21.2 %) and media tycoon John de Mol has €2.6bn, only 4% up on his wealth in 2016.

Wildlife park

Presumably nearly all of the 500 have the real estate, cars, jets and other accoutrements of wealth. The new status symbol, Quote suggests, is a good cause – often in the form of a wildlife park, a hospital or a museum.

The reason is not to make money but to have something to do with their money, Quote’s new editor Sander Schimmelpenninck said.

Schimmelpenninck said that being entrepreneurs themselves, the country’s richest prefer to fund causes they are interested in personally rather than to aid an existing charity.

For example, this could include buying a hospital to ensure good treatment or setting up a wildlife park instead of donating money to the World Wide Fund for Nature. The Quote editor said about 10 members of the Quote 500 have already taken this step in Africa.

Just three of the women in the list are self-made millionaires. The rest in inherited their fortunes from fathers and grandfathers, Quote said.

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