Ernesto Bertarelli ( born September 22, 1965 in Rome) is an Italian- Swiss entrepreneur and billionaire. After the death of his father he inherited the company in 1998, he was with his family, former majority shareholder, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Serono SA, the world 's third largest biotech company, part of Merck KGaA since January 2007.; the acquisition price was approximately CHF 16 billion, the equivalent of approximately 13 billion euros.
Bertarelli was appointed Knight of the French Legion of Honour in 2003.
Bertarelli is of Italian origin and was at the age of 24 Swiss citizenship. He attended, among others, the Babson College in Boston and the Harvard Business School, where he received his MBA. He lived until November 2007 in Geneva and since then in Gstaad in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland. He is married to singer -songwriter and former Miss United Kingdom Kirsty Bertarelli and father of three children.
According to the business magazine reporting he was in 2004 with about 9 and 10 billion CHF assets, the fourth-richest resident of Switzerland. According to the published annually by Forbes magazine list of the richest people in the world, he is (as of 2008 ) with assets of 10.3 billion U.S. dollars with rank 75 as the richest Swiss at all.
Sailing Inspired since his earliest childhood, Bertarelli has participated in many competitions both at sea and on Lake Geneva. He grew up with the dream to participate in the America's Cup and to win this. He achieved his goal in 2003, this dream could meet again in 2007 - he sailed as navigator on the Alinghi in all races.
In 1998, he won the Sardinia Cup, five times the Bol d'Or in 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 and finished the Fastnet Race in 1999 as a third party. He won the 2001 12M World Championships and the Swedish Match Cup in Marstrand in 2002 as a crew member and Farr 40 World Championships in 2001 as a helmsman.
In 1999 he built with the Alinghi IV one of the fastest and most radical catamarans for inland waters.