|Estimated value:||€1.1 billion|
|Country of origin:||Romania|
|Source of Wealth:||entrepreneur|
Romanian Ion Tiriac was a successful ice hockey and tennis player and is an equally successful manager and entrepreneur. In Germany he is best known as the manager of Boris Becker, whom he managed from 1984 to 1993. He also looked after many other stars of tennis as a manager. In addition, he is involved in numerous entrepreneurial activities that made him a billionaire.
From an early age, his life was shaped by sport. Born in Transylvania, he first appeared when he became table tennis champion in his age group as a child. He later started playing ice hockey. He even took part in the 1964 Winter Olympics for his home country Romania. At the same time he also played tennis, which he made his profession shortly after participating in the Olympics.
Ion Tiriac celebrated his successes as a tennis pro, especially in doubles. Ilie Nastase was his partner for a long time, and later Guillerma Vilas for just as long. In 1970 he won a Grand Slam tournament, namely the French Open in doubles. He was also very successful in representing his country Romania in the Davis Cup. He reached the final three times, in 1969, 1971 and 1972, without being able to win the competition.
In total, Ion Tiriac won 22 doubles tournaments in his career as a doubles specialist. In singles he won only one professional tournament, also in 1970 in Munich. Some other successes as a single player are also in his CV, but they were of lesser importance.
At that time he was only known to real tennis lovers, since doubles players are generally less in the focus of attention, he gained international fame through his work as a manager of tennis players. He began with this task in 1983 and quickly had numerous players under contract. The most outstanding was certainly Boris Becker, German tennis prodigy. He managed the Leimener from 1984, i.e. before his first win at Wimbledon, until 1993.
Other prominent tennis players that Ion Tiriac looked after as a manager were Anke Huber, Henri Leconte and Goran Ivanisevic. He was also President of the NOC of Romania from 1998 to 2004.
But Ion Tiriac didn’t just stop at managing tennis professionals. He undertook numerous other business investments and activities that made him the richest Romanian and a billionaire over the years.
His activities, bundled in the Tiriac Holding, include such diverse sectors as the founding of a bank, a health insurance company, a leasing company for automobiles, a license as an importer for Mercedes-Benz cars and, in addition to a travel company, his own airline.
Unlike many other entrepreneurs, he never suffered major shipwrecks or losses. Instead, his wealth steadily grew, eventually making him Romania’s richest citizen for quite some time.
Privately, he led several marriages, which resulted in a total of three children.
Ion Tiriac’s greatest hobby is his collection of cars, which is now open to the public. He has more than 350 different, high-quality vehicles from all eras at his disposal. 165 of these are presented on a rolling basis in the Tiriac Collection, which also includes motorcycles. Many of the vehicles are also characterized by having previously belonged to prominent owners. These include vehicles from Elton John, Sammy Davis Jr. and Bernie Ecclestone.
From a sporting point of view, Ion Tiriac’s greatest success was winning the 1970 French Open in doubles. As a businessman, his successes are virtually innumerable. This is how a modestly raised Romanian, who himself still knew hunger, became one of the richest people in the world. The Forbes list counts him as the only Romanian ever in the list of the richest people in the world at rank 1,818 (as of 2019).
“Germany is like a cat that you throw out of the 20th floor. She falls to her feet.”
“I always looked in the rear-view mirror so as not to make every mistake twice.”
“It is better for the character to have felt hunger once in a lifetime.”
“In my opinion, the human relationship between two business partners offers far more guarantee for a successful business relationship than about 150 written contract pages.”
In 2013 he was elected to the Tennis Hall of Fame, not in his role as a player but as a manager.
In 1987 he appeared in a US beer commercial.
Before winning the title in 1970, he had already reached the final in doubles at the French Open in 1966, which he then lost with Ilie Nastase.
His nickname, in reference to his place of birth, is the “Brasov Bulldozer”.
Two stamps were issued in Romania showing him as an active tennis player.
In a 2006 poll for the “100 Greatest Romanians of All Time” he came in 77th.
When women were allowed to compete in men’s tennis tournaments for the first time ever, it was Ion Tiriac who played the first match against a woman. He won 6-0, 6-0 against Abigail Maynard.
|Estimated value:||€1.1 billion|