Walter Haefner was a Switzerland-born businessman and thoroughbred racehorse owner/breeder who had a net worth of $2.7 billion dollars. Walter Haefner was born on September 13, 1910 in Zurich, Switzerland. He gained his riches from importing cars to Switzerland and becoming the biggest shareholder of U.S. software-maker CA Inc.
(CA). During World War II, Haefner sold wood-gas-powered cars. After shifting his focus to software in the ’70s, he acquired what became a 24.8 percent stake in Islandia, New York-based CA, the world’s second-largest maker of mainframe-computer programs. Haefner was also a breeder and rider of thoroughbreds. One of his horses, Go And Go, won the 1990 Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York. He also owned a share of Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown winner. Haefner founded Amag in January 1945 on Zurich’s lakefront and the company grew to become Switzerland’s largest car dealership and main importer of Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda and Audi vehicles, according to its website. In the early ’60s, Haefner moved Amag’s accounting and payroll to an International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) system and started Automation Center AG, a computer services firm, as reported by Forbes in 2000. In 1976, Haefner entered the U.S. computer services business with the purchase of a majority stake in Dallas-based Wyly, which was later renamed Uccel Corp. CA, then known as Computer Associates International Inc., bought Uccel in 1987 and Haefner received a chunk of the company’s stock. His CA holdings, described in a June 10, 2011 proxy statement on the company’s website, were worth $2.4 billion in August 2011. Interestingly, Haefner never learned basic computer skills, according to Forbes. He did, however, participate in riding thoroughbreds during his owning/breeding days. Haefner developed a passion for thoroughbreds after his first ride on a racehorse in Paris in 1959, reportedly saying, “I loved it, the sensation of speed on a horse.
The oldest billionaire in the world passed away on June 19, 2012 at the age of 101.
|Net Worth:||$2.7 Billion|
|Date of Birth:||Sep 13, 1910 – Jun 19, 2012 (101 years old)|