Lőrinc Mészáros first appeared on the list of the 100 richest Hungarian entrepreneurs a decade ago. Back in 2014, the public had a rough idea of him being an associate and confidante of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, but not much more was known. The former gas fitter breached the country’s top 100 with 7.7 billion forints and less than a dozen companies – since then, his estimated wealth has grown exponentially to 660 billion forints, an 85-fold increase.
In comparison, the first Orbán government’s public road construction phenomenon Elek Nagy, as well as the architect of Fidesz’s economic background, the great innovator of public fund appropriation, Lajos Simicska, are nowhere near Mészáros. Neither is – at least for now – Orbán’s son-in-law, István Tiborcz.
Elek Nagy has been on the list of the country’s wealthiest for twenty years, entering with 25 billion forints, and it took him until 2008 to double his billions. His company Vegyépszer was once amongst the chosen firms to construct Hungary’s motorways, held out through the era of the left-wing governments, but would not survive the second Orbán government: ten of the group’s companies had entered bankruptcy management, and Vegyépszer eventually disappeared from the major public road companies. Regardless, the entrepreneur remained a stable star of Hungarian business life, his focus shifting to other industries. Nowadays he is more known for auction and pawning giant BÁV, his real estate dealings, as well as cab network Főtaxi.