The Czech Republics' richest man is a subject of fascination to many. Petr Kellner is a fifty-five-year-old billionaire who lives near Prague in a large villa located in Podkozi some of the time. However, like many wealthy individuals, he also moves around with his family at will. How did he make so much money? What does Petr do for fun? Is he married? There are so many questions about this mystery, man. We went digging around to see what we could find out. Here are twenty things you didn't know about Petr Kellner.
While Warren Buffet is the best-known property mogul in the world, he's certainly not the only one who owns land. Petr Kellner holds an unknown number of properties. What we can tell you is that he has quite a few and they're almost all as mysterious as the man himself. Petr has land in more than a few different countries, but the details of these property transactions aren't generally shared with the public.
2. Above It All
Some of us fear planes, and others love soaring through the sky in an aeronautical wonder. Seeing things from the perspective of a cloud will change the way you look at life, if only for a short while. We don't know if Petr flies for the pure pleasure of it or merely for business. However, he flies often enough that he's owned at least two planes. At one point Peter Kellner owned a Gulfstream G500 named Káně. The word means buzzard or vulture. At one point the G500 was known as the first civil aircraft to include active sidestick controls. We don't know if Kellner has a pilots license, but this is the sort of machine that pilots can enjoy as much as the passengers. The seating configurations are incredibly comfortable and bespoke. In short, it's the top tier in personal aircraft. For his business airplane, Petr upgraded to a Boeing 737-700BBJ back in 2010. The BBJ literally stands for "Boeing Business Jet." Typically these deluxe business conveyances include features like showers, a private master bedroom, and conference areas. The BBj's can accommodate twenty-five to fifty people at a time despite the personal touches.
One of Peter's early acquisitions was the state-owned Sklo Union, a company known for its beautiful glassworks. In the early 1960s, Czech pressed glass became a cultural and worldwide phenomenon. Though the process of pressing the molten glass into metal molds began in the US in 1830, the Czech Republic was close on our heels. In 1833 the Novosvetské glassworks was the first in their nation to have the new technology.
Today Czech glass is widely known for its beauty and quality. This is due, at least in part to the efforts of Sklo Union. The glassmaker creates beautiful pieces that can be found all over the world. From vases to hold flowers and decorative fruit bowls to drinking glasses and more unusual pieces.
4. Opportunistic In a Good Way
"We are aware that the Western world, as we know, it is starting to change at such a pace that the consequences and outcome are hard to foresee...In change we see opportunity."-Petr Kellner. Petr is clearly a man of vision who sees the upside in things. In a sea of tumultuous changes, some people only notice fear and confusion, but Petr looks at a jumble of opportunity and takes that step. This is why he is a billionaire, and the rest of us are not. Knowing when and where to focus your energy for maximum results is something nowhere near enough people have mastered. It takes daring and vision to change the future and become a leader in industry. We wish he'd teach a masterclass or at least give a TED talk about how to find opportunity and cease it.
5. From Humble Roots
It may be hard to see a billionaire as someone who once walked a mile in your shoes, but Petr is essentially a self-made man. He wasn't born into crazy amounts of money. In fact, he started out as an office supplies distributor in the 90s. The company he worked for then was involved in the import and sales of Ricoh photocopying machines. Supplying businesses with photocopiers is about as far fro private jets and vast estates as you can get. Yet life is strange and it hands you the tools you need to live it, the rest is up to you. During his time as an office supplies 'guy,' he met Milan Maderyc and Milan Vinkler. The three would eventually go on to become business partners. These three men founded PPF – Prvni Privatizacni Fond, an investments firm. The firm has diverse holdings including a bank in Serbia, real estate all over the world and a telecommunications and internet company in the Czech Republic. From printer ink to printing contracts that can change parts of the world, Petr and his friends have certainly come a very long way.
Petr Kellner doesn't exactly spread his personal information around, but living anywhere on earth a few facts are bound to be on the internet. Kellner was born May 20th of 1964 in a place called Ceska Lipa. Not much is known about his parents. He has no siblings as far as we can tell. Other than that, he's a Taurus, so he's putting that stubborn nature to work for his own benefit.
One of the first significant things Prvni Privatizacni Fond purchased that aided their meteoric rise to success was a twenty percent stake in Česká pojišťovna. The insurance company has been in business over a hundred and ninety years and insures both individuals and companies. PPF took over management after their purchase, adding this reinvigorated company back in the mid-1990s.
8. Forbes World's Billionaires List
Petr is currently listed on the Forbes World Billionaires List. He moved up from number eighty-eight to number seventy-three as of this year. That puts him in the top hundred wealthiest people on earth. He hasn't cracked the top fifty yet, but we're pretty sure he will eventually make that list.
Kellner seems to see opportunity frequently in energy. He owns about thirty percent of the energy industry holdings in the Czech Republic. His companies produce electricity and heat in addition to doing power installation and trading. He owns a power station that supplies the energy to Chrudim, Hradec Kralove, Litvinov, Pardubice, and Prague. Moreover, the company also produces busses to help with infrastructure and aid citizens and visitors in getting from place to place in the area.
10. The Man Who Owns The World
Okay, Petr doesn't own 'the world,' but he's been working on a large corner of it. In 2000, PPF bought a 31.5% stake of Česká pojišťovna. In spite of the 1.6 billion CZK penalty, he paid it was worth the cost. PPF became the 93% owner of Česká pojišťovna in 2001. The same year PPF purchased large shares in the Czech state and Komerční Banka. The result of those profits allowed the company to buy out the remaining investors from the voucher privatization making Petr the dominant owner of the PPF group.
11. Assicurazioni Generali
As of 2007, the PPF Group signed papers for a joint venture with Assicurazioni Generali, and Italian global insurance and asset management provider. PPF took 49% of the company, and Peter Kellner became a board member there on the Board of Directors of Generali. He owns a persona 2.02% stake as well.
12. Home Credit
Home Credit is the largest consumer finance firm in China. They focus their energy on responsible lending to people without credit and are active in almost a dozen countries. Kellner's PPF group owns a large share of Home Credit in addition to their other holdings. They help provide people in the US, India, and many other countries with reasonable chances to purchase a home.
13. Josef Sudek
Petr Kellner owns one of the largest collections of Josef Sudek photographs in the world. Josef was born on March 17, 1896, in Kolín, Czechoslovakia and passed away on September 15, 1976, in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Though Sudek began his working life as a bookbinder for the Austro-Hungarian Army, he's known for his hauntingly beautiful photographs of Prague. So it seems Kellner is both an art lover and a man with an immense sense of national pride in his home.
14. Soccer Fan
While you won't be likely to run across Petr most places, you may catch a glimpse of him at Stamford Bridge. He's been seen keeping company with Roman Abramovich at times. It seems he owns an executive box there and enjoys the sport tremendously. He's even toyed with the idea of becoming more active with a London Premier League club as an owner.
15. An Accomplished Daughter
Petr has four children, though that's all we can tell you about three of them. They exist. His daughter, Anna Kellnerová however, is a Czech showjumper. She's been both a national champion and a junior national champion in the Czech Republic. We can safely assume her father is proud of her accomplishments because he once outbid Bill Gates for a mare named Catch Me who was previously ridden by Laura Klaphake. He paid CZK 250,000,000 or about a quarter billion British crowns. That is a considerable sum even for a prized horse like Catch Me.
16. Wives & Children
Peter has been married twice. His first wife was Iva Kellnerova, but we didn't find an exact date for the nuptials or the divorce. According to Celeb Family, His current wife is one Renata Kellnerova, and the couple, along with the four children, may be in residence at Vrane nad Vltavou.
17. The Kellner Family Foundation
In 2009, Petr and current wife Renata created the Kellner Family Foundation. Over the last few years have provided over CZK 1.2 billion in aid. Nine million of that went to several municipalities after the 2010 flooding. The next year they merged with the Educa foundation and helped create a school and provide opportunities to impoverished, disabled and extraordinarily gifted children among others. They focus heavily on education-related activities to give their nation a boost in schooling. The foundation has also made significant donations to further cultural and health-based causes as well as some individual funding.
18. Educated Man
Kellner himself is University educated. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts/Science from the University of Economics in Prague back in 1986.
19. Foundation of Great Education
In addition to their Helping Schools Succeed program and the Open Gate grammar school that supports financially disadvantaged students in Babice (near Prague), the Kellner Family Foundation also assists some University students. The Universities Project provides grants to Czech students to study at universities in the Czech Republic and abroad to keep them in school. Working to help raise the overall level of education in your nation is a worthy and far-seeing goal. Petr has some personal connection to and feelings for the education of those in need.
20. Extremely Private
We would love to say we learned all this information from Petr himself, but that is far from the case. The mysterious and brilliant man keeps his head low. His family is rumored to move often, and he doesn't appear to grant interviews or photographs at all. If you're curious to learn more about him, your best bet would be to move to the Czech Republic. Then you'll need to work toward becoming an insurance mogul so he might someday wish to buy out your company. Even then it's not very likely you'll be having drinks and sharing anecdotes about your life with the unusual Petr or anyone who knows him well. Perhaps if you manage to buy out Stamford Bridge, you could catch him in a relaxed mood sometime.
We've rarely done an article on someone so incredibly challenging to find information about, and we hope you've found it enlightening. Petr Kellner is a man with a vision and the drive to make it happen, but we couldn't find much about him as a person. He loves his daughter's passion for show jumping, enjoys soccer, and owns at least one plane. Moreover, he worked his way up from very little and did so with massive success. The rest of Petr remains a mystery to us. We'll keep our ears open to see if we don't find more fun facts about the Czech Billionaire who cares about schooling underserved children and his family. Sadly, this is one case where we doubt much information will ever surface.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker