Bernard Arnault (fr. Bernard Arnault) – French businessman, president of the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy group of companies. He owns about 70 brands including Dom Perignon, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, Sephora and Tag Heuer, as well as nearly 3,900 retail stores. He is the richest man in France and the third richest man in the world according to Forbes. As of February 2023, Bernard Arnault’s fortune was estimated at $ 156.5 billion.
Place of Birth & Education
Bernard Arnault was born on March 5, 1949 in the French city of Roubaix. His father Jean Leon Arnault, a graduate of École Centrale Paris, was the manufacturer and owner of the Ferret-Savinel construction company.
After graduating from Maxence Van Der Meersch High School in Roubaix, Arnault was admitted to the Ecole Polytechnique, from which he graduated with an engineering degree in 1971.
In 1971, Bernard Arnault joined his father’s company Ferret-Savinel. In 1976, he persuaded his father to liquidate the company’s 40 million French francs construction division and change the company’s focus on real estate. In 1974, Bernard Arnault became director of development for the company, and in 1977 he was appointed CEO. In 1979 he succeeded his father as president of the company.
In 1984, with the help of Antoine Bernheim, senior partner at Lazard Frères et Cie, Arnault acquired Financière Agache, a luxury goods company. He became CEO of Financière Agache and then took control of Boussac, a textile company. Boussac was owned by Christian Dior, Le Bon Marché department store, retail chain. He sold almost all of the company’s assets, retaining only the prestigious Christian Dior brand and the Le Bon Marché department store.
In 1989, 40-year-old Bernard Arnault, with the help of a bank loan, bought up LVMH shares for $ 1.8 billion and became the owner of a 24% stake. The following year, he concentrated 43% of the shares in himself.
In July 1988, Arno acquired Celine. In 1993 LVMH acquired Berluti and Kenzo. In the same year, Arnault bought out the French economic newspaper La Tribune. The newspaper did not achieve the desired success despite an investment of 150 million euros, and he sold it in November 2007 to buy another French economic newspaper, Les Échos, for 240 million euros.
In 1994 LVMH acquired the Guerlain perfume company. In 1996, Arno bought out Loewe. After Marc Jacobs and Sephora in 1997. These brands were also included in the group: Thomas Pink in 1999, Emilio Pucci in 2000, and Fendi, DKNY and La Samaritaine in 2001.
Bernard Arnault is the controlling shareholder of LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy). Now Bernard Arnault owns fashion houses Dior, Givenchy, Selin, Lacroix, Kenzo, Frank et Fils and le Bon Marche stores, the most famous Chateau d’Yquem vineyard with four centuries of history. He owns Guerlain and the famous Sefora perfume boutiques. Arno is the owner of famous alcoholic brands such as Hennessy cognac, Moёt & Chandon champagne, Dom Perignon, Pommery, Veuve Clicquot, Krug.
In 2012, the businessman applied for Belgian citizenship. Although Arnault himself said that his actions were caused by the desire to develop investments in Belgium, many believe that this is a desire to evade taxes after French President François Hollande decided to impose a 75% tax on those whose incomes exceed one million euros per year. …
State. For many years Bernard Arnault has been one of the richest people in France according to ratings published by Forbes magazine. In 2011-2012, the businessman rose to the 4th position in the list of the richest people in the world, with a personal capital of $ 41 billion.
In 2013, the industry experienced a significant decline and this affected the welfare of Bernard Arnault: his capital fell to $ 29 billion, he rolled back to the very end of the top ten.
2014-2016 were quite successful for Bernard Arnault, his capital started to grow again, but this did not help to return to the top ten of Forbes. In early 2017, the entrepreneur’s finances returned to the “pre-crisis” level of $ 41 billion, but this brought him only 11th place in the rating.
In April 2017, his fortune was estimated at $ 55.9 billion. He became the richest man in France and the eighth richest man in the world according to Forbes.
In the spring of 2018, he became the richest person in Europe, according to Bloomberg, with a fortune of 81 billion euros. Also ranked 4th in the world in terms of wealth, after Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
As of 2023 with a state of $107 billion ranked 2nd in the world in terms of personal capital according to the rating Bloomberg.
As of February 2023, Bernard Arnault’s fortune was estimated at $ 156.5 billion. He is ranked 3rd in the list of the richest people in the world according to Forbes.
Patron and collector
Bernard Arnault is also known as a philanthropist and collector, founder of the Louis Vuitton Museum in Paris. Arno is known for his contemporary collection, which includes paintings by Picasso, Yves Klein, Henry Moore and Andy Warhol. He was also instrumental in the founding of LVMH as the main patron of art in France. The LVMH Group has created the Young Fashion Designer Award. This is an international competition that is open to students from fine arts schools. Each year the winner receives a grant to support the creation of his label and a year of training.
Commander of the Legion of Honor.
Married twice (last marriage – 1991), father of five children. In a marriage with their first wife, Anna Devavren, they had two children: Antoine and Dolphin. The second wife, the pianist Helene Mercier, bore him three sons.