Albert Frère







Born on: 4 February 1926 in Belgium 

Nationality: Belgian 

Net Worth: $ 5.2 billion, Source of Wealth: Self-Made, Businessman 

Education: School drop-out. 

Political Compass: Conservative-right

In his own Words:

He said: “I am very pleased to offer some of the greatest wines from my cellar to benefit a cause that is so dear to my heart.”

He also has a very private philosophy in life ”I try to remain unknown as much as possible”. 

This was in order to raise money for his foundation which helps kids with disabilities.

Frère is married and has three children, He is also the co-owner, together with Bernard Arnault of LVMH, of the Château Cheval Blanc winery near Bordeaux.  

At the age of 30, he started investing in Belgian steel factories and by the end of the 1970s he practically controlled the whole steel industry in the region of Charleroi. He foresaw the coming steel crisis of the late 1970s and sold his enterprises to the Belgian state after merging them with the competing steel firm Cockerill to create Cockerill-Sambre.Frère used the proceeds from this sale to build an investment empire around the Swiss holding company Pargesa which he founded with the Canadian investor Paul Desmarais. Pargesa took over the Belgian holding company Groupe Bruxelles Lambert in 1982 and over the year added significant stakes in such wide-ranging Belgian companies as Petrofina, Royale Belge Insurance, Compagnie Luxembourgoise de Télédiffusion (CLT), and Tractebel. He actively promoted international consolidation of the sectors in which he was involved, selling Banque Bruxelles Lambert to ING Group, Royale Belge to AXA, Tractebel to Suez, Petrofina to Total S.A., and RTL to Bertelsmann.Albert Frere owns CNP, a media, utilities and oil empire that he has built from his family’s scrap-metal business. In July 2008 it is said that he completed what some say is the greatest coup of his career, helping push through the stalled mega-merger of CNP subsidiary Suez with French utility Gaz de France. The merged company, European energy giant GDF Suez, is one of the largest independent electricity suppliers in the world; Frere remains its vice chairman.


Campaign financing: 0

Running for Office: 0

Public endorsement:0

Advocacy + Lobbying:6

Public advocacy : 6

Lobbying officials: 3

Political Network: 8

Opinion Shaping:5

Media control:0

Public exposure:2

Research funding:8 

 Philanthropy: 8

Donations magnitude: 6

Control over recipients: 8

Public policy relevance:9



He has not really influenced the political environment in Belgium, although he is known to maintain a good friendship with many politicians in Belgium, France, and Canada.  



Frere’s close retaliations with top politicians give him great power.  He is one of the only individuals who meet with the Belgium prime minister Charles Michel from time to time, which just shows the magnitude of his power in such as mall country like Belgium. 

Opinion shaping:



Founded the Charles-Albert Frere Foundation in memory of his son, who passed away in a car crash. The foundation supports children in need and disadvantaged adults. In 2009, Frere organized a wine auction and raised $1.6 million for the foundation. 


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