Bernard Arnault now possesses the title of the richest man in the world soaring above Elon Musk. He is the Chief Executive Officer of the fashion house of Louis Vuitton. Elon Musk was pushed behind following the downfall in the shares of Tesla on Monday.
He has been on the list of the top 10 richest people in the world in recent years only in positions below Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg.
Bernard Arnault: Age, Education & Family
Bernard Jean Étienne Arnault was born in March in Roubaix in France. He is 73 years old. He did his early education in Lycée Maxence Van Der Meersch, and in Lycée Faidherbe in Lille.
He graduated in engineering from the École Polytechnique His father was the owner of Ferret – Savinel, an engineering company, where he started his career.
Arnault has been married to Hélène Mercier since 1991. Mercier is a Canada-based concert pianist. The couple has three children together named Alexandre, Frédéric, and Jean.
Before that, he was married to Anne Dewavrin, a marriage that lasted for 17 years. The couple got divorced in 1990. Together, they have two children: Delphine and Antoine.
Antoine Arnault is the vice-chairman and CEO of Christian Dior SE, a luxury manufacturer, and retailer in the women’s fashion industry.
Delphine Arnault is the Director and Executive Vice President of the Louis Vuitton fashion house.
Alexandre Arnault is the executive vice president of the luxury jewelry and specialty retailer Tiffany & Co.
Frédéric Arnault serves as the chief executive officer of TAG Heuer S.A., a Swiss-based luxury watch manufacturer.
Jean Arnault is the Director of Marketing and Development at Louis Vuitton.
Bernard Arnault – Professional Career
The Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (LVMH) was formed in 1987 by Bernard Arnault. It was a combined venture along with the CEO of Moët Hennessy, Alain Chevalier, and the president of Louis Vuitton Henry Racamier.
In the following year, he provided 500 million USD in order to gain control of 43.5 %of the shares of LVMH and 35 % of the venture’s voting rights.
In 1989 he was elected as the Chairman of the Executive Board of LVMH through an election that had a unanimous result.
In the following 11 years, he made his company a global giant by raising the annual sales and profit by a factor of 5, and subsequently there was a factor of 15 % rise in the market value of LVMH.
LVMH further grew through multiple acquisitions and mergers. A few of the acquisitions are the 1988 acquisition of Céline, and the 1993 acquisitions of Berluti, and Kenzo.
In 1993 Arnault made a buyout of La Tribune, a French economic newspaper.
Today there are numerous global brands under LVMH such as Tiffany & CO., Christian Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Princess Yachts, TAG Heuer, Bulgari, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Loewe, Loro Piana, Kenzo, Celine, and Sephora.
Bernard Arnault – Net Worth
Being the richest person in the world, Arnault combined with his family is having an estimated net worth of 188.6 billion USD.
He became the top richest person in the world of fashion in 1999.
In 2016 he reportedly made €7.8 million being the Chief Executive Officer of the LVMH Group.
In 2019 he was ranked as the second richest person in the world. Then he was reported to have a net worth of 103 billion USD. He surpassed Jeff Bezos twice in 2019 and 2022 for a short while. He along with his family is listed in the Forbes Billionaires List.
He had owned a converted research vessel named Amadeus. It was 230 ft and was sold in 2015. He now owns a yacht of 333 ft named Symphony. The yacht was built by Feadship in the Netherlands. Feadship is a manufacturer of high-end luxury yachts.
In 1998 he made the purchase of Château Cheval Blanc with Albert Frère, a fellow Belgian businessman. The purchase was in his personal capacity. The share of Arnault was acquired by LVMH in 2009 and it was added to Château d’Yquem, a wine property by them.
Arnault had made investments in web companies such as Bob.com, Zebank, and Libertysurf from 1998 to 2001. It was made via his Europatweb holding. In 1999 an investment was made in Netflix as well.
As per the records of 2007, Arnault had joint ownership of Carrefour. It is the second-largest food distributor in the world and the largest supermarket retailer in France. He has a 10.69 % ownership with Colony Capital.
Arnault is a boat and yacht enthusiast. He made his entry into the yacht business in 2008 with the 253 million euros purchase of Princess Yachts. He also has control of the Royal van Lent which he brought through a similar million euro amount.
Bernard Arnault: Other Facts
Bernard Arnault: Awards
Bernard Arnault is honored with awards such as the Commander of the National Order of the Legion of Honor in 2007, and the Grand Officer of the National Order of the Legion in 2011. Further, in 2011 he received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Global Corporate Citizenship.
In 2012 he was made the recipient of the Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. In 2014 he won the David Rockefeller Award by the Museum of Modern Arts.
Bernard Arnault: Moving To Belgium?
In 2013 Bernard Arnault’s name came up in a controversy that he was in an attempt to move to Belgium leaving France.
He later commented that he would never give up his French citizenship nor would he relocate from France. He has applied for Belgian citizenship and had also canceled it. He said that he applied to become a citizen of France in a try on the protection of his business foundation.
Bernard Arnault’s Views On Politics
Bernard Arnault is a supporter of Emmanuel Macron, the current President of France. Macron was a former of the Socialist Party but he ran in the presidential election under the banner of the En Marche, which he himself founded in 2016. En Marche is a political movement focusing on centrist and pro-European views.
His wife Brigitte Macron was the teacher of the children of Arnault at the Lycée Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague.