Who owns the golden Lamborghini in SF
Nestlé is known around the world as a Swiss company. It was founded in 1866 in Vevey on Lake Geneva, where its headquarters are to this day. But the world's largest food company has long since ceased to belong to Switzerland. Almost a third of Nestlé's 3.8 billion shares are owned by US citizens. The Swiss follow just behind in second place.
And yet we are all small shareholders in Nestlé - through the pension funds. They put around 13 percent of their assets of CHF 600 billion in Swiss stocks. And most of them in the SMI index. So, indirectly, each of us owns a tiny stake in each of the 25 largest Swiss stock exchange companies.
For example at Roche. However, small shareholders there have even less to say than usual. The Hoffman and Oeri families own 50.01 percent of all shares. The wafer-thin majority is enough to control the group at will.
The case is clear with state-owned companies such as SBB and Post. They belong entirely to the Swiss Confederation - and therefore to all of us. With all the advantages and disadvantages. Profits, but also losses. The cantonal banks are also partly in the public sector.
Migros, the largest employer in the country with over 80,000 employees, also belongs to the people. Because the founder Gottlieb Duttweiler had no children, he gave the company away in 1941. To this day, anyone who lives in Switzerland can become a member of the cooperative - free of charge. Migros now has 2 million shareholders. At Coop there are even 2.5 million.
Most of the more than 300,000 Swiss companies are privately owned. In Germany, 99.6 percent of companies are small and medium-sized companies with fewer than 250 employees. The SMEs are considered to be the backbone of our economy. And they almost always remain firmly in family hands - with the patron as owner and boss.
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