Rafaela Aponte-Diamant Net Worth (Updated 2024)

What is Rafaela Aponte-Diamant’s Net Worth?

Rafaela Aponte-Diamant, co-founder of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Group, has an estimated net worth of $35.52 billion, making her the world’s wealthiest self-made woman.

Aponte-Diamant’s primary source of wealth comes from her 50% stake in MSC, which she shares equally with her husband, Gianluigi Aponte. The couple’s combined net worth of over $66 billion places them among the world’s most affluent individuals.

Their success story is particularly noteworthy considering the humble beginnings of MSC, which they started in 1970 with a loan of just $200,000.

Here’s the breakdown of Rafaela Aponte-Diamant’s net worth:


Rafaela Aponte-Diamant

Net Worth:

$35.52 Billion

Date of Birth:

26 March 1945



If you’re curious about how we estimate a celebrity’s net worth, you can check out our methodology here.

Rafaela Aponte Diamant Net Worth

Early Life

Rafaela Aponte-Diamant was born on March 26, 1945, in Haifa, Mandatory Palestine (present-day Israel). Her family had Jewish roots, with her parents being immigrants from Poland.

As a child, Aponte-Diamant and her parents immigrated to Switzerland, where her father worked as an executive banker in Geneva. This early exposure to the world of finance and international business would later prove influential in her career path and eventual accumulation of wealth.


Rafaela Aponte-Diamant’s career in the shipping industry began in the 1970s when she and her husband Gianluigi Aponte co-founded the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) in 1970. The couple started their venture with a modest loan of $200,000, which allowed them to purchase their first ship. 

Under Aponte-Diamant’s co-leadership, MSC experienced remarkable growth, expanding from a single vessel to become the world’s largest shipping line by container capacity.

The company’s success has been a primary driver of Aponte-Diamant’s wealth accumulation. MSC’s operations expanded beyond container shipping to include holiday cruises (MSC Cruises), inland logistics (Medlog), and port operations (Terminal Investment Limited).

Aponte-Diamant’s role in the company extends beyond co-ownership. She is particularly involved in overseeing the decor of MSC Cruises ships, contributing her aesthetic sensibilities to enhance the passenger experience. This hands-on approach has helped solidify MSC’s position in the competitive cruise industry.

The couple’s strategic business decisions, including key acquisitions and investments, have significantly contributed to their wealth. For instance, in 2022, MSC acquired Bolloré Africa Logistics for $6 billion, expanding their global reach and operational capacity.

Personal Life

Rafaela Aponte-Diamant met her husband, Gianluigi Aponte, in 1969 during a trip to the Italian island of Capri, where he was working as a ship captain. Their marriage not only formed a personal partnership but also laid the groundwork for their business empire.

The couple has two children, Diego Aponte and Alexa Aponte Vago, who are both involved in the family business. Diego serves as the CEO of MSC, while Alexa is the company’s CFO. 

Despite her immense wealth, Aponte-Diamant is known for maintaining a low profile. She rarely gives interviews and is seldom seen in public outside of MSC-related events.

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