RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The House of Liechtenstein, from which the Principality takes its name, is the family that rules by constitutional, hereditary right over the nation of Liechtenstein, a small country between Austria and Switzerland.
But don’t confuse the smallness of the country with the size of the ruling family’s fortune. Of all the European royal families, the Liechtensteins are probably the most entrepreneurial and successful, with an estimated fortune of over 10 billion euros.
One example is LGT Group, the largest family-owned private banking and asset management group in the world. LGT, originally known as The Liechtenstein Global Trust, is owned by the Princely House of Liechtenstein through the Prince of Liechtenstein Foundation and is led by family members H.S.H. Prince Max von und zu Liechtenstein (CEO) and H.S.H. Prince Philipp von und zu Liechtenstein (Chairman).
LGT is headquartered in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, with a key presence in Zurich, Switzerland. The company maintains 3,405 employees in over 20 offices around the globe, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America.
H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein is Executive Chairman of the Industrie- und Finanzkontor Etablissement Vaduz, a leading Liechtenstein trust company with tradition and expertise in the long-term, cross-generational preservation of wealth, especially family wealth. He is also the founder and Chairman of Geopolitical Intelligence Services AG, a geopolitical consulting firm and information platform based in Vaduz.
H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein is a member of the Liechtenstein Institute of Trust board and chairman of the liberal think tank European Center of Austrian Economics Foundation.
Only dynastic members of the family are entitled to inherit the throne. Membership in the dynasty, their rights, and duties are defined in a family law enforced by the reigning prince and can be changed by a vote within the family dynasty, but not by the government or parliament of Liechtenstein.
The family descends from Liechtenstein Castle in Lower Austria (near Vienna), which the family held from at least 1140 until the 13th century and from 1807. Heinrich I of Liechtenstein was lord of Nikolsburg, Liechtenstein and Petronell.
The dynasty acquired vast swathes of land through the centuries, predominantly in Moravia, Lower Austria, Silesia, and Styria. However, in all cases, these territories were held in fief under other more senior feudal lords, particularly under various lines of the Habsburg family, to whom several Liechtenstein princes served as close advisers.
The interviews were conducted by Planet Lockdown and Claudio Grass from Switzerland.