Helmut Sohmen Biography & Net Worth 

Popular Name: Helmut Sohmen
Real Name: Helmut Sohmen
Birth Date: 10 December 1939
Birth Place: Linz, Austria, Nazi Germany
Age: 82
Gender: Male
Nationality/Citizenship: Austrian
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A
Sexuality: Straight
Marital Status: Married
Spouse(s): Anna Pui Hing Pao
Children: 3
Profession: Businessman, Lawyer
Years active: N/A
Net Worth: $3 Billion
Last Updated: 2022

Helmut Sohmen is a Hong Kong-based Austrian lawyer and businessman who according to Forbes magazine’s most recent estimate appears as the seventh-richest person in Austria, and on the top 50 Richest People in Hong Kong list. Born on December 10, 1939, in Linz, Austria, Mr. Helmut graduated from Linz Realschule in 1958 and then attended the University of Vienna where he studied law. Through a Fulbright scholarship he won, he continued his studies at the University of Connecticut before returning to Vienna to receive his doctorate degree. He met Anna Pui Hing Pao while studying in Canada and eventually married her. His wealth has come from different routes, including his former job as a legal adviser to the Royal Bank of Canada in Montreal, Canada. In 1970, in order to get into the business world, Mr. Helmut moved with his family to Hong Kong where his wife’s father, Sir Yue-Kong Pao, owned one of the biggest shipping companies in the world. From 1985 to 1989, he served as the chief executive officer and became the principal shareholder of Dragon Air. He was also the company’s managing director. Since 1986, he held a position at World-Wide Shipping Group where his own father was the chairman and the president. In 2003, the company secured a majority stake in the Bergesen fleet of Norway. He then changed the name of his shipping empire to Bergesen Worldwide and has been serving as the Chairman of the Board since 2005. As of this writing, his company has more than 200 tankers and employs more than 5000 people. More details follow below.

Early Life

Former Hong Kong legislator and chairman of BW Group Helmut Sohmen was born on 10 December 1939 in Linz, Austria. He grew up in Linz.

In 1958, he graduated from the Linz Realschule (Fadingerschule). He then studied law at the prestigious University of Vienna and Southern Methodist University, and later received a Fulbright scholarship to attend the University of Connecticut in the US, eventually receiving his doctorate in Vienna.

Professional Life

After bagging his law degree, Helmut Sohmen secured his first job serving as a legal adviser to the Royal Bank of Canada. On more than one occasion, he interrupted his professional activity to graduate a Master of Comparative Law and a Master of Laws.

His father-in-law, Sir Yue-Kong Pao, owned one of the world’s largest shipping companies known as the World-Wide Shipping Group. Helmut moved with his family to Hong Kong in 1970 in order to join Sir Pao’s business. After periods of working in Bermuda and London from 1073 to 1977, Helmut finally settled in Hong Kong in 1981.

With his age against him, Sir Pao gradually stepped back from the daily management of World-Wide Shipping Group, and in 1986 Helmut was appointed chairman of the company, and Sir Pao’s ownership was passed to Helmut’s wife in 1989.

In 2003 World-Wide Shipping Group completed the takeover of Norway’s Bergesen fleet to become Bergesen Worldwide Ltd. Since renamed the BW Group, the company includes more than 200 tankers and over 5000 employees.

Helmut retired as the company’s chairperson in November 2014. His position has since been claimed by his son Andreas Sohmen-Pao.


Mr. Helmut Sohmen’s contributions to China-Austria ties earned him China’s Friendship Ambassador Award.

As an alumnus of the Southern Methodist University Law School, this dedicated advocate of education supports the graduate scholarship program for Chinese lawyers taking programs at the university’s Dedman School of Law.

He is the founder of the Sohmen-Far-East-Foundation, focusing on helping young Austrians in establishing new contacts in Asia.

In 1993, he established the Sohmen-China Foundation for the Promotion of Austria Society (ÖGCF) to foster friendly and cultural relations with China. It supports a variety of cultural and academic events and funds aid for educational concerns, visitation programs, activities in Austria, and the issueing of relevant publications.

Personal Life

He married Anna Pui Hing Pao before starting his career, and together, they have three children.

Helmut Sohmen Net Worth

Helmut Sohmen’s net worth is currently estimated at $3 billion dollars. His marriage to the daughter of a shipping magnate did a lot of wonders for his career, as even though he lacked sufficient working experience, his wife’s father took him from law practice and installed him as an heir to the world’s largest shipping company BW which he led as chief executive officer and chairman before his resignation in 2014. During his most active years, Mr. Helmut also served as the chief executive officer of Dragon Air and was also the company’s leading shareholder. In addition, he established the Sohmen Far East Foundation in the year 1991 to help young Austrians build relationships and establish contacts in Asia.

You might also like
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.