Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH (Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE), recently added Tiffany’s to his corporate collection of luxury brands. He is the richest man in France and the third wealthiest man in the world, after Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.
At the time of the purchase, Arnault said, according to the press release, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to welcome Tiffany, a company with an unparalleled heritage and unique position in the global jewelry world, to the LVMH family.” Buying global luxury jeweler Tiffany further cements LVMH’s foothold in the U.S.
Bernard Arnault Net Worth
Arnault’s net worth is about $107.6 billion, according to CNBC. That’s a 2.7 percent increase in a single day. However some sites put his net worth slightly lower. Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index puts Arnault’s wealth at $104 billion.
Arnault’s LVMH, an elegant ensemble of Moët Hennessy, and Louis Vuitton, and other luxury brands, acquired Tiffany’s for $16.2 billion. For many years Arnault has been called the “wolf in the cashmere coat,” for his astute business dealings.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Arnault, Who Is Married to a Concert Pianist, Collects Art
Bill Gates is the richest man in the world, and Jeff Bezos is the second wealthiest. Arnault comes in third. Arnault said in Forbes, “If you compare us to Microsoft, [we are] small.”
Arnault owns a BMW 7-Series and a private jet, according to IBTimes. As for homes, he has a villa in Saint-Tropez, Beverly Hills, and other locations. He plays tennis with his friend Roger Federer.
2. LVMH Includes Many Well-Known Luxury Brands
Arnault is the CEO of LVMH, which says on its website, that it is “home to 75 distinguished Houses rooted in six different sectors. True to tradition, each of our brands builds on a specialty legacy while keeping an unwavering focus on the exquisite caliber of its products.”
Some of the famous names under the helm of LVMH include brands from several categories: Wines & Spirits, Fashion & Leather Goods, Perfumes & Cosmetics, Watches & Jewelry, and Selective Retailing. Selective Retailing includes Starboard Cruise Services and Sephora.
LVMH products include Moet, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, De Beers, Bulgari and Tag Heuer.
He also has invested in Netflix, Blue Capital, and Carrefour, according to IBTimes. And he has worked on ventures with Stella McCartney and Rihanna. According to Vogue, Rihanna, speaking at the 2019 British Fashion Awards, as she accepted an award for her Fenty label “Thank you [LVMH’s Bernard Arnault] for giving me the opportunity to prove what I love to do.”
After the Tiffany deal, Arnault’s net worth rose by as much as 1 percent.
3. Arnault’s Children are Involved in His Businesses
Arnault’s children will be a part of the LVMH legacy. They work in different “Maisons,”or Houses, of LVMH.
His son Antoine is the Chairman of Loro Piana, which offers cashmere fashion and leather goods. He is also the CEO of Berluti, maker of high-end shoes for men and fashion and leather goods.
Delphine is executive Vice-President of Louis Vuitton.
Alexandre is CEO of RIMOWA, known for luxury German luggage.
Frédéric is strategy and digital director at Tag Heuer, which offers watches and chronographs.
Jean is the youngest son and has not yet joined the company.
4. Arnault, Who Is Called the ‘Wolf in the Cashmere Coat,’ Started Out in His Family’s Construction Company
Arnault received a degree in engineering in 1971 from École Polytechnique and went to work at his family construction business.
According to Forbes, a conversation in 1971 with a New York City cab driver led to Arnault’s future foray into luxury goods. “Arnault asked the cabbie if he knew of France’s president, Georges Pompidou. ‘No,’ replied the driver, ‘but I know Christian Dior.’”
Before taking over LVMH, as reported in IBTimes , he tried various types of business ventures to enhance his management abilities. According to Forbes, he began his luxury realm in 1984. Arnault acquired “Boussac, a bankrupt French disposable diaper and textile business that included moribund fashion house Christian Dior. Six years later he took control of Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy.”
He has been called the “wolf in the cashmere coat” for his sharp business acumen. In 2018 he said in Born2Invest, “What I love is to win. What I love is being number one.”
5. Arnault Is Known as a Philanthropist
Arnault is well-known for his philanthropy. LVMH has a program that encourages start-ups, the LVMH Innovation Award. The program is an opportunity for 30 startups shortlisted by LVMH to pitch their ideas at a tech fair.
Causes that he has helped include Save the Children, the Foundation for Hospitals in Paris and Princess Grace of Monaco Foundation. According to IBTimes, he also gave more than $250 million to restore the Notre-Dame church and he contributed some $11 million toward stopping the Amazon fires.
The Bold Is Beautiful Campaign of the firm’s Benefit Cosmetics brand is aimed at empowering women and girls through education and access to self-sufficiency, as it says on the company’s website.
READ NEXT: Jeff Bezos’ Net Worth