Klaus Schwab is a German economist who founded the World Economic Forum (WEF), which brings together billionaires from around the world every year. He has served as the chairman of WEF since it was founded in 1971. As of 2023, Klaus Schwab has a net worth of $25 million.
Originally from Ravensburg, Upper Swabia, Klaus Schwab was born on March 30, 1938. Raised by Eugen Wilhelm and Erika Epprecht, the family moved to Germany from Switzerland.
Although he has no connections to the Charles Schwab Corporation, his family has a background in business. His father was the director of Escher Wyss & Cie, a Swiss industrial company.
Klaus got a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. He later earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University and a PhD from the University of Fribourg.
Establishing the WEF
Klaus Schwab started his career as a board member on large companies including The Daily Mail Group, Bilderberg Group, Vontobel Holding, and The Swatch Group. In 1971, he released a book titled “Modern Enterprise Management in Mechanical Engineering.”
In the same year, he started the European Management Forum, which is known today as the World Economic Forum. The organization is known for its annual meetings in Davos, Switzerland, where world leaders come together and discuss the state of the global economy.
Today, 1,000 companies with over $5 billion in revenue fund the WEF’s mission. However, because the forum is exclusive to the ultrarich, it has received criticisms over the years.
A year after creating the European Management Forum, the German engineer became an honorary professor, teaching business policy at the University of Geneva and held this position for 31 years.
With a select group of economists, he has been publishing the Global Competitiveness Report since 1979. The annual report reviews the prospects for boosting economic growth and productivity in various nations.
In 2002, Klaus published the book “Recreating Asia” and in 2016 he wrote “The Fourth Industrial Revolution.” At the peak of the pandemic, he released “The Great Reset,” an economic recovery plan in response to the tragedy.
Net Worth and Earnings
Schwab has published five books that have been translated into English. This count doesn’t include his annual Global Competitiveness Report. He also earns extra income from his other gigs as the head of the WEF.
Klaus has made various investments in his career and believes that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing is important for the future. Schwab is often surrounded by very affluent people and earns a little over $1 million per year from running the WEF. This is surprising considering that Schwab has stated it’s “no longer socially acceptable” for management to take excessive salaries.
Klaus is married to Hilde Schwab and they have been together since 1971. The couple developed a romantic relationship while Hilde was working as Klaus’ assistant. They have two children, Oliver and Nicole and currently reside in Cologny, Switzerland.