10 Things You Didn’t Know About Ernesto Bertarelli

When it comes to individuals who have made incredible strides in the world of business, Ernesto Bertarelli stands among the very best. He’s one of the most influential entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and occasional songwriter. Diving deeper into his life reveals a fascinating tale of success. Here are ten things you might not know about Ernesto Bertarelli.

1. Ernesto’s Early Life

Ernesto Bertarelli was born on September 22, 1965, in Rome, Italy. Despite being Italian-born, he primarily grew up in Switzerland. Even in his early life, Bertarelli showed signs of the entrepreneurial spirit that would guide his later life. He would spend a significant part of his life in America, where he would further his education and develop his business acumen.

His family, being wealthy entrepreneurs in the pharmaceutical industry, had a significant influence on his professional pathway. The family business, Serono, was foundational in shaping Ernesto’s career and he became the CEO of the company at a young age.

2. Inherited the Family Business at a Young Age

After the sudden and premature death of his father Fabio in 1998, Ernesto, then in his early thirties, inherited the family’s biotech company, Serono. This made him one of the youngest CEOs in the history of such a large company and placed a huge burden on his shoulders. He had to prove his worth and capability to the company’s stakeholders and employees.

During his tenure, the company experienced tremendous growth and development. This period was marked by the development and release of several pharmaceutical products, adding significantly to the company’s reputation and bottom line.

3. Successful Sale of Family Business

In 2006, Ernesto made the significant decision of selling the family company, Serono. The firm was procured by Merck KGaA, a German multinational pharmaceutical company, for a staggering sum reportedly around $13.3 billion. It was a massive move that not only solidified Bertarelli’s reputation as a successful businessman but also substantially elevated his net-worth.

Despite the successful sale, Bertarelli remains active in the business world. He has invested in several enterprises and has been involved in various philanthropic endeavors.

4. He is an Avid Yachtsman

Bertarelli has an immense love for the sea. He is an avid yachtsman and has made significant strides in the world of competitive sailing. He led Team Alinghi to win America’s Cup twice, in 2003 and 2007, making him a renowned figure in the world of yacht racing.

His passion for yachting extends beyond just racing competitions. The Bertarelli family owns a luxurious superyacht named “Vava II”, one of the largest yachts in the world, reported to cost around $150 million.

5. Philanthropic Disposition

Apart from being a successful businessman, Bertarelli is also known for his charitable endeavors. In 1998, he and his sister Dona established the Bertarelli Foundation that focuses on marine conservation and life science research. The foundation has funded several key projects in these areas, making significant contributions to scientific advancement.

Particularly, the foundation’s efforts in marine conservation have led to the creation of some of the world’s largest marine reserves. Ensuring the health of our ocean ecosystems is a cause Bertarelli is deeply passionate about.

6. A Songwriter and Music Enthusiast

One might think that Bertarelli’s interests are confined to business and philanthropy, but that is far from true. Quite surprisingly, he has a deep passion for music and has written songs that have seen commercial success. He has written for several artists, including his wife, Kirsty Bertarelli, who is a singer-songwriter herself.

In particular, his song ‘Black Coffee’ reached number one on the UK Singles Chart when it was performed by the girl group All Saints. From pharmaceuticals to music, Bertarelli’s success seems to know no bounds.

7. He is a Billionaire

With the successful sale of Serono and his subsequent investments, Ernesto Bertarelli joined the ranks of the world’s billionaires. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index listed him and his family as the richest in Switzerland and among the top 100 wealthiest in the world.

Despite his substantial wealth, Bertarelli lives relatively modestly. Instead, he uses his wealth to invest in scientific research and ecological protection, reflecting his underlying philanthropic motivations.

8. He and His Wife are Multi-Talented

Ernesto Bertarelli is not the only accomplished individual in his family. His wife, Kirsty Bertarelli, is a singer-songwriter, as well as a former Miss UK. Together, they make one of the most glamorous and accomplished couples in Switzerland.

They often collaborate on various things, including writing songs and embarking on philanthropic endeavors. Their combined efforts have made a significant impact on numerous causes around the world.

9. He Has Three Children

Despite his business commitments and philanthropic efforts, Bertarelli makes time for his family. He is a proud father of three children with his wife Kirsty. His family is very important to him, and he often involves them in his various outings and projects.

Bertarelli also ensures that his children understand the value of hard work and the importance of giving back to the society. He is committed to instill in them the same principles that guided his own life and career.

10. He Holds Dual Citizenship

Though born in Italy and having spent a significant part of his life in Switzerland, Bertarelli is a holder of dual citizenship. He holds both Swiss and Italian citizenship. His multi-cultural background has shaped his worldview and has heavily influenced his business and philanthropic activities.

Despite having the ability to live virtually anywhere in the world, Bertarelli has chosen to make Switzerland his home. He believes in investing in the communities in which he lives and works, further emphasizing his commitment to making the world a better place.

In conclusion, Ernesto Bertarelli’s journey from a young entrepreneur to one of the world’s wealthiest men is both inspiring and intriguing. His multi-faceted personality and diverse interests make him a fascinating character.

For more information about Ernesto Bertarelli and his numerous endeavors, visit the following links:

Ernesto Bertarelli’s Achievements
Ernesto Bertarelli’s Forbes Profile