Ingvar Kamprad, the reclusive billionaire who founded Ikea, grew up selling pencils in Swedish villages and was the 8th-richest person in the world by the time he died. Here's how he built a fortune off furniture.
Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images; Ikano Group; Ruobing Su/Business Insider
- Ikea is the world's largest furniture retailer, according to Forbes.
- The Swedish company was founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad, who died in 2018 as the eighth-richest person in the world with control of the $58.7 billion Ikea fortune, according to Bloomberg.
- In his youth, Kamprad had ties to pro-Nazi groups, which he later apologized for and called "his biggest mistake."
- Kamprad's three sons, Peter, Jonas, and Mathias Kamprad, all have board member roles within the group of companies that make up Ikea.
- The Kamprad brothers own Ikano Group, a $9.1 billion group of companies involved in areas including real estate, banking, insurance, and retail that was once part of Ikea but later became an independent company, although it still controls 8 Ikea stores.
- Each brother has a net worth of about $1 billion, according to Forbes.
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Ikea is the largest furniture retailer in the world, but most of its customers probably couldn't name its founder.
Ingvar Kamprad, the company's reclusive and frugal founder who died in January 2018 at age 91, started Ikea in 1943 when he was just 17 years old. Over the years, he built it into a multibillion-dollar global company that now has 434 stores and employs more than 208,000 people worldwide.
Kamprad's three sons, Peter, Jonas, and Mathias Kamprad, all have board member roles within the group of companies that make up Ikea, an Ikea spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider.
The three Kamprad brothers own Ikano Group, a group of companies involved in areas including real estate, banking, insurance, and retail that was once part of Ikea but later became an independent company. Peter Kamprad is the chairman of the board and Jonas and Mathias are also board members.
At the time of his death, Ingvar Kamprad was ranked No. 8 on Bloomberg's Billionaires Index thanks to his control of a $58.7 billion Ikea fortune. His personal assets were confirmed at about $130 million at the time of his death, a spokesperson for Inter IKEA Group, which controls the intellectual property of Ikea, told Business Insider.
Take a look at the Swedish family behind the world's largest furniture retailer.