Anton Fugger

Enriching the foundations

Jakob Fugger the Rich and his wife, Sibylle Artzt, didn’t have any children. In his will, Jakob named his nephew, Anton Fugger, as his sole successor. Anton Fugger took over as head of the company in 1525 at the age of 32 and ran it extremely successfully until his death in 1560. He reorganized both the company and the foundations.

Development of the foundations under Anton Fugger

Under Anton Fugger, surpluses from trade continued to be invested in the foundations. Funds also flowed into the foundations from estates and donations. Anton Fugger completed the Fuggerei social housing complex, took care of its maintenance, and placed existing facilities, such as the Holzhaus medical establishment, on a better financial footing. He also established several new foundations: the Schneidhaus medical facility in the vicinity of the Fuggerei, as well as an old people’s home for 50 residents in Waltenhausen near Babenhausen. Anton oversaw the reorganization of all the foundations in 1548 and the appointment of “administrators” as the ultimate governors. Over the course of time, the present-day Fugger Family Seniorat was created, in which the respective heads of the lines are represented.

Reorganization of the company

During Anton Fugger’s time, the focus of the company’s activities shifted. Due to the dwindling security of large loans and decreasing income from mines, Anton Fugger increasingly invested in land in order to secure his wealth. Anton Fugger acquired large estates in Swabia in particular – for example Babenhausen, Glött, and Kirchheim – to support the family’s future livelihood. However, the provision he made in his will that trading should cease six years after his death was not followed. The trading company only relinquished its activities nearly a century later.