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Did you know Bernard Arnault who is the CEO and Chairman of LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) has a whopping net worth of $210.8 billion, making him overtake Elon Musk as the richest man in the world?
Now you know who has the most money in the world is Bernard Arnault, prior to that, this article presents to you Bernard Arnault’s biography, career, and achievements so you can get to know more about him as one who has the most money in the world.
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Bernard Arnault’s Data
|Popular Name:||Bernard Arnault|
|Real Name:||Bernard Jean Étienne Arnault|
|Birth Date:||March 5th, 1949|
|Age:||74 years old (by march 2023)|
|Spouse(s):||Anne Dewavri (1973-1990), Hélène Mercier(1991 to date)|
|Children:||Delphine, Antoine, Alexandre, Frédéric, Jean Arnault|
|Profession:||Business Magnate, Investor, Art Collector|
|Years active:||1971 to date|
|Net Worth:||$210.8 billion|
Bernard Arnault’s Biography
Bernard Jean Étienne Arnault popularly known as Bernard Arnault is a 74-year-old French business magnate, investor, and art collector born on March 5th, 1949, in Roubaix. Bernard Arnault is the co-founder and chief executive officer of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the largest luxury goods company in the world.
He stands 1.85 meters tall and weighs 81 kilograms.
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Bernard Arnault’s father, Jean Léon Arnault is a manufacturer, and a graduate of École Centrale Paris, he owned the civil engineering company Ferret-Savinel, and his mother, Marie-Josèphe Savinel, the daughter of Étienne Savinel, had a “fascination for Dior”.
Arnault attended the Lycée Maxence Van Der Meersch in Roubaix and further attended the Lycée Faidherbe in Lille. In 1971, Bernard Arnault graduated from the École Polytechnique, France’s top and leading engineering institution, and started work in his father’s company.
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Concerning his family life, in 1973, Bernard Arnault married Anne Dewavrin, and they together had two children, Delphine and Antoine, and they divorced in 1990. In 1991, Arnault married a Canadian concert pianist, Hélène Mercier, and they together have three children, Alexandre, Frédéric, and Jean, and they live in Paris.
Bernard Arnault’s Career
Early Career (1971 to 1987)
After Bernard Arnault had worked with his father for three years after he graduated, he convinced his father to shift the company’s focus to real estate, Ferret-Savinel sold the industrial construction division and was rebranded as Ferinel.
Prior to the acquisition of a textile company and the movement of the company’s headquarters, the real estate branch was renamed to the George V Group, and its assets were subsequently sold to Compagnie Générale des Eaux (CGE), later becoming Nexity.
By 1971, Bernard Arnault’s career had fully begun, he was Ferret-Savinel’s president from 1978 to 1984i
As a young real estate developer, in 1984, Bernard Arnault got information that the French government was set to choose someone to take over the Boussac Saint-Frères empire, a textile and retail conglomerate that owned Christian Dior so he was interested.
Bernard Arnault emerged as the CEO of Financière Agache and later he won the bidding contention for Boussac Saint-Frères, purchased the group for a ceremonial one franc, and effectively took control of Boussac Saint-Frères.
Alongside Christian Dior, Boussac’s assets included the department store Le Bon Marché, the retail shop Conforama, and the nappy manufacturer Peaudouce. After Boussac’s purchase, Arnault did away with 9,000 staff in a couple of years, and earned the nickname “The Terminator”.
Bernard Arnault later sold almost all of the assets of the company retaining only the Christian Dior brand and Le Bon Marché department store, and by 1987, Boussac was thriving and profitable once more and booked earnings of $112 million on a revenue stream of $1.9 billion dollars.
Later Career (1987 to 1989)
In the 1980s, Bernard Arnault came up with the idea to set up a group of luxury brands, he worked with the CEO of Moët Hennessy, Alain Chevalier, and the president of Louis Vuitton Henry Racamier, and they formed LVMH in 1987.
In July 1988, Bernard Arnault made a $1.5 billion provision to form a holding company with Guinness that held 24% of LVMH’s shares.
Bernard Arnault responded to rumors that the Louis Vuitton group was purchasing LVMH’s stock to form a “blocking minority” by spending $600 million to buy 13.5% more of LVMH, which made him LVMH’s largest shareholder.
Benard Arnault in January 1989 spent a whopping $500 million to gain control of a total of 43.5% of LVMH’s shares and 35% of its voting rights, thereby attaining the “blocking minority” that he needed to stop the dismantlement of the LVMH group.
Benard Arnault after buying the last shares turned on Racamier, stripped him of his power, and removed him from the board of directors, and in January 1989, he was without objection elected chairman of the executive management board.
1989 to 2001
After Bernard Arnault assumed leadership, he led LVMH through an ambitious development plan, and transformed it into one of the largest luxury groups in the world, along with Swiss luxury giant Richemont and French-based Kering.
In just eleven years, yearly sales and profit grew by a factor of 5, and the market value of LVMH rose by a factor of 15, and in July 1988, Bernard Arnault bought Céline, and in the same year, he sponsored French fashion designer Christian Lacroix so he can advertise the company’s luxury clothing line.
In 1993, the company, LVMH acquired Berluti and Kenzo, and still, in the same year Bernard Arnault acquired the French economic newspaper La Tribune, and the newspaper’s failure to achieve the desired success, despite the 150 million euro he invested, made him sell it in November 2007, and he purchased Les Échos, for €240 million.
From 2007, Bernard Arnault had invested massively in many other business ventures, yielding billions of dollars.
Rising Success and Profits (2001 to date)
In 2007, there was an announcement by Blue Capital that Bernard Arnault jointly owned with the California property firm Colony Capital 10.69% of France’s largest supermarket retailer and the world’s second-largest food distributor Carrefour.
Bernard Arnault from 2010 until 2013 was a member of the Board of Advisors of the Malaysian 1MDB fund.
In March 2011, Bernard Arnault announced that he had acquired a 50.4% of family-owned shares of the Italian jeweler Bulgari worth $5.2 billion with plans of making a tender offer for the rest, which was publicly owned.
In February 2014, Bernard Arnault signed a joint venture with the Italian fashion brand Marco De Vincenzo and took a minority 45% stake in the firm, then in 2016, LVMH sold DKNY to G-III Apparel Group.
In April 2017, Bernard Arnault made an announcement that he had acquired Christian Dior haute couture, leather, both genders’ ready-to-wear, and footwear lines, which integrated the whole Christian Dior brand within LVMH.
Bernard Arnault by January 2018 had led the company to record sales of €42.6 billion in 2017, 13% over the past year, as all divisions turned in strong performances, and in the same year, the net profit rose to 29%.
The company, LVMH under Bernard Arnault’s leadership, has grown to emerge as the largest company by market capitalization in the eurozone, with a record of 313 billion euros ($382 billion) by May 2021.
Bernard Arnault has promoted decisions towards decentralizing the group’s brands as a business strategy, and as a result of the measures put in place, brands under the LVMH umbrella like Tiffany are still seen as independent firms with their own history.
Bernard Arnault’s collection includes works by Picasso, Yves Klein, Henry Moore, and Andy Warhol. Arnault was also a key player in the establishment of LVMH as a major patron of art in France.
The LVMH Young Fashion Designer was made as an international competition accessible to students from fine arts schools, and each year, the winner receives a grant to support the creation of the designer’s own label and a year of mentorship.
From 1999 to 2003, Bernard Arnault owned Phillips de Pury & Company, an art auction house, and acquired the first French auctioneer, Tajan then in 2006, he began the building project of the Louis Vuitton Foundation.
Louis Vuitton Foundation is dedicated to the creation and contemporary art and was designed by the architect Frank Gehry, and its grand opening at the Jardin d’Acclimatation Paris was held in October 2014.
Why Bernard Arnault Is Who Has The Most Money In The World
In April 1999, Bernard Arnault emerged as the richest person in fashion, he topped Zara’s Amancio Ortega, and in 2016, he received a salary worth €7.8 million as the CEO of the LVMH group.
In July 2019, Bernard Arnault emerged as the second-richest man in the world, by then, his net worth was a whopping $103 billion, he briefly overtook Jeff Bezos to emerge as the richest person in the world in December 2019, and again briefly in January 2020.
Bernard Arnault’s wealth shrunk by $30 billion as sales of luxury goods plummeted during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in August 2021, he bounced back to the status of the wealthiest man in the world, with his net worth rose to $198.4 billion.
The rise of his net worth at that time was a result of sales of LVMH’s luxury goods surging in China and other parts of Asia. Bernard Arnault is on the list of “Bernard Arnault & Family” on the Forbes Billionaires list.
According to Forbes estimate, the Bernard Arnault & Family fortune is a whopping $158 billion in 2022, being placed ahead of Bill Gates.
Bernard Arnault was the owner of the 70 m (230 ft) converted research vessel Amadeus, which was later sold in 2015. Bernard Arnault’s current 101.5 m (333 ft) yacht Symphony was built in the Netherlands by Feadship.
Currently, Benard Arnault and his family have an estimated net worth of $210.8 billion according to Forbes, which makes him who has the most money in the world, overtaking business magnate, Elon Musk, whose net worth took a hit after the handling of his Twitter purchase.
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