Ernesto Bertarelli is the richest person in Switzerland with a net worth of $12 billion. He acquired his net worth by inheriting the biotech major, Serono, which produces the multiple sclerosis drug Rebig. Ernesto took over the firm when his father died in 1998. He worked with his sister, Dona, and both of them successfully expanded the company to $2.4 billion in revenues and then sold it off to Merck for $9 billion in 2007.
After the company was sold to Merck, it came to be known as Merck-Serono and the Bertarelli family split the combined $9 billion stake in the company. From 2002 to 2009, Ernesto served as the board director of UBS AG. In 2008 he launched Ares Life Sciences which works mainly in the field of biotechnology, medical technology & pharmaceuticals. He also manages a number of investments through Kedge Capital Group & Northill Capital.
Ernesto was born in Rome but his family, along with him, moved to Switzerland in 1977. His wife, Kirsty Bertarelli, is a former Miss UK and is officially regarded as the richest woman in UK. The Bertarelli family is known for their philanthropic activities and they have established a foundation in 1999 which promotes extensive research and development in the field of male & female infertility and technologies related to assisted reproduction.