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Toto does indeed come from money. So Williams did need his money. Mercedes doesn't so much need his cash, but it helps them cut cost in other areas.
He owns a majority stake in HWA AG, the company that builds the Mercedes F3 engines, and the Mercedes SLS GT3 race car. That same company also builds some components for their DTM race cars alongside AMG.
So even though he might not be that experienced, they figure with him running all motorsport activities, he would want to do well because it will bring up the value of his investments.
He also owns a management company with Mikka Hakkinen, and some of the Mercedes DTM drivers are clients of his firm. Mercedes lost Bruno Spengler because BMW negotiated with the firm to get him. Susie wolff and Valteri Bottas are also clients of his management company.
But of course Nikki Lauda probably also had a hand in him coming aboard since they're both Austrians.