Who is Bernard Arnault? See the richest person’s net worth and more

There’s a new richest man in town, and he’d rather take people to the mall than to the moon.

Nathan Laine/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Bernard Arnault, who owns 48% of luxury fashion conglomerate LVMH, has just displaced Elon Musk as the richest man in the world after the Tesla owner’s fortune fell to $163.3 billion following his costly Twitter acquisition, according to Bloomberg. At one point, Musk’s net worth was $340 billion.

The 73-year-old is the first person from Europe to assert himself at the top.

While Arnault’s vast fortune is far less than Musk’s was at its peak, the entrepreneur has built quite an empire while living a relatively quiet life.

Who is Bernard Arnault and what is the LVMH company?

Bernard Arnault’s success story starts in Roubaix, France, where he grew up and began his career in his family’s construction business, Ferret-Savinel, according to CNN.

After working his way up the ranks for several years, he invested in the textile group Boussac Saint-Freres in 1984, which was known to own Christian Dior and was facing bankruptcy.

He set out to bring the brand back to profitability and take over the luxury market, especially after he bought LVMH in 1989, which was formed after the merger of Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessy.

Since the purchase, Arnault has served as the company’s chairman and managing director and is still very much part of the business today. LVMH currently owns 75 brands consisting of wine, spirits, fashion, leather goods, perfumes, cosmetics, watches, jewelry and luxury travel with 5,500 stores worldwide. In 2021, the company marked its largest brand acquisition ever with the $15.8 billion purchase of Tiffany & Co. Other notable brands in the group include Givenchy, Fendi and Stella McCartney.

According to Bloomberg, LVMH generated €64 billion ($68 billion) in sales last year and has a market value of €364 billion ($386 billion).

What is Bernard Arnault’s net worth?

Bernard Arnault’s net worth sits comfortably at $170.8 billion, according to Bloomberg. However, the figure is down slightly to $7.2 billion in 2022 as a result of tough economic markets and the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite amassing a huge fortune, Arnault shows no signs of slowing down – LVMH raised the CEO age limit from 75 to 80 at the start of 2022, hinting that he will be at the helm for at least another couple of years.

While Arnault can afford to live large, he seems to have chosen a low-key life. In fact, he recently sold LVMH’s private jet after it was tracked on Twitter, according to Bloomberg.

Arnault is also an avid art collector and has an estimated $10.3 billion in cash and other assets, according to the outlet.

Image credit: Photo by Julien Hekimian/Getty Images

Who is Bernard Arnault’s wife and does he have children?

Bernard Arnault is the father of five children. He shares his two eldest children, Delphine and Antoine, with his ex, Anne Dewavrin. He and his wife Hélène Mercier, who are still together, share three children: Alexandre, Frédéric and Jean. All five of his children currently work for the family business, but daughter Delphine is seen as the “heir” to LVMH, according to Insider, and is executive vice president of Louis Vuitton.

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