The French business magnate Bernard Jean Arnault has a net worth of an impressive 183.7 billion USD.
Arnault is best known for being the world’s current second richest person next to Jeff Bezos, along with being the wealthiest businessman in Europe.
He is the chairman and chief executive of the world’s largest luxury-brand company, LVMH owning a set of well-known brands like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, and so on. The modern luxury industry considers him its Godfather.
Along the way of building his empire, the seventy-two-year-old has brought four of his kids into the business, creating a family-run union resulting in the world’s second-largest fortune.
Here are some quick facts about the business mogul.
|Full Name||Bernard Jean Étienne Arnault|
|Net Worth||183.7 Billion USD (as of December, 2023)|
|Birth Date||March 5, 1949|
|Age||74 years old|
|Education||Bachelor degree in engineering|
|Educational Institution||École Polytechnique (1969–1971), Lycée Faidherbe|
|Father’s Name||Jean Léon Arnault|
|Mother’s Name||Marie-Josèphe Savinel|
|Siblings||Dominique Watine-Arnault (sister)|
|Height||185cm, 6’0” feet|
|Weight||80 kg, 176.37 pounds|
|Spouses||Anne Dewavrin (m. 1973; div. 1990) Hélène Mercier (m. 1991)|
|Source of Wealth||LVMH|
|Social Media||Twitter, Facebook,Instagram|
|Profession||Businessman, Media Proprietor|
|Awards||Commandeur de la Légion d’Honneur (10 February 2007) Grand Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (14 July 2011)|
|Art Collection, Tennis|
Bernard Arnault: Net Worth and Income
Bernard Arnault’s net worth of 183.7 billion USD comes from all his investments in many different brands, including his own company.
He first started his journey in business when he bought Christian Dior in 1985 with little money his father made from his construction business. Since then, he has multiplied his fortune by billions.
Today, Arnault’s 97.4% share in Christian Dior makes him most of his net worth.
Currently, Arnault owns 43.5% of LVMH’s shares, and as the chairman and chief executive officer, he was compensated with $3,740,000 as of 2020. Their revenue that year was $55.3 billion.
A huge sum of his annual income comes from his investments in companies such as French luxury brands like Clenie, Berluti, Kenzo (1933), a French economic newspaper, Les Echos (1933), Spanish luxury fashion house, Loewe (1996), an American fashion designer, Marc Jacobs (1997), an American beauty and self-care brand Sephora (1997).
Other than fashion and self-care, Arnault has also invested in a variety of web companies like Boo.com, Libertysurf, and Zebank. He has since expanded his empire to yacht business and wine-producing.
In 1999, he invested in a DVD rental firm which has since grown to become one of the largest content platform and production company, Netflix.
Arnault has also always been a fan of art and has owned different art museums in the past.
Bernard Arnault: Houses, Yacht, Island, and Others
With the net worth Bernard Arnault has, one might think he has an extensive portfolio of houses. However, the billionaire likes to keep his collection of homes rather simple.
Firstly, the house he lives in currently is in Bordeaux, France. It is a 150-year-old castle owned by Arnault since 1998. The vineyard that surrounds the large castle gives it a homely environment.
Located in the largest ski area in the world, Cheval Blanc is a luxury hotel made by Arnault for his business and personal travel.
The hotel has 34 luxurious rooms, each with a balcony with a view of mountains in addition to facilities like a private penthouse, heated pool, jacuzzi, sauna, and whatnot.
Then there is a humongous villa on the island of St. Tropez used by the billionaire and his family for glamorous vacations.
Although Arnault owns many houses in Paris, some of his most popular villas lie in California. He owns five mansions in Beverly hills which are worth $125 million in total.
The yacht Bernard Arnault owns isn’t any ordinary yacht; it’s a superyacht.
The yacht named symphony is valued at over $150 million has the capacity to hold 36 passengers and take them for the ride of their life. It has a jacuzzi, an outdoor cinema, and a glass-bottom pool on the main deck.
It is the most luxurious yacht ever made.
It’s not unusual for the riches to own multiple private jets. However, Arnault keeps it simple with his green $40 million Dassault Falcon 7X jet with OY-FWO registration.
It comes as no surprise that the billionaire also owns a 133-acres indigo island in the Bahamas which is currently worth $35 million.
Arnault has always been an admirer of contemporary art and has a world-class collection of it.
He owns works by some of the most renowned painters like Picasso, Henry Moore, Andy Warhol, and Yves Klein.
Bernard has also owned an art auction house in the past called Phillips de Pury and company.
In addition to that, he greatly supports upcoming artists and holds a competition for them every year where the winner is given a $340,000+ grant to support his creation label.
Bernard Arnault’s Vacation and Lifestyle
Arnault’s lifestyle is somewhat of a mystery as he hardly discloses details of his vacation to people.
However, it is known that he likes to enjoy his days off work in Cheval Blanc with his family.
Furthermore, the business mogul has enjoyed the comfort of his own island in the Bahamas a couple of times for vacation.
Arnault likes to keep his private life out of the media’s sight as much as possible. He once famously said, “All that interests me is promoting my brands, never myself.”
However, being the face of the best luxury brands in the world, Arnault surely lives a lavish life. He lives in the estate of Chateau Cheval Blanc and has often mentioned that he enjoys quality time with his family there.
33 Square once reported that the billionaire sleeps for about 7 hours every night and has a definite sleeping schedule.
Furthermore, his bedroom is also designed to contribute to peaceful sleep with a vast sense of creativity.
He often drives to his stores in his BMW-7 series worth $136,000.
Arnault also loves to play tennis and has occasionally played with Roger Federer, a professional tennis player from Switzerland.
Bernard Arnault: Charity
Considering Bernard Arnault’s net worth, the list of donations he’s made is rather short.
However, there are some notable donations his family has made. For instance, the $234 million pledge to repair the Notre Dame cathedral, which was ravaged by a terrible fire in 2019.
In addition to this, Bernard donated $11 million to help fight amazon wildfires.
According to LVMH corporate philanthropy, LVMH also provides charity to different organizations recognized for their work with children, older adults, and people with disabilities.
Bernard Arnault: Media and Recent Investments
Bernard has acquired the interest of different reporters since the beginning of his career, frequently being mentioned in reports from the Vogue Business, The New York Times, and Forbes.
Arnault was featured as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in their annual Time 100 issue.
Forbes also named him the “Fashion Person” of the year 2011.
Bernard seems to be liked by the media. However, in 2013, he was heavily criticized by the French media after applying for Belgian citizenship. They described the act as “a tactic to evade France’s high taxes.”
Nevertheless, the businessman withdrew his application as, in his words, “a gesture of my attachment to France and my faith in its future.” This whole act gained a lot of publicity then and was reported by Le Monde newspaper.
In October of 2020, LVMH declared that it had purchased US jewelry giant Tiffany & Co. In a recent interview, Bernard Arnault described this deal as a “balanced agreement.”
Other than that, in January of 2020, he invested in Devialet (an acoustic engineering technology).
Bernard’s career was initiated in 1971 when he started working for Ferret Savinel, a construction company owned by his father. He was its president from 1978 to 1984.
Next, he took a leap into the business world in 1984 when he acquired his first luxury good company called the Financiere Agache. He subsequently got hold of Boussac Saint-Freres, a nearly bankrupt textile company.
The billionaire sold all the textile company’s assets keeping only Christian Dior brand and Le Bon Marche department store.
He became the largest shareholder of the luxury brand LVMH in 1989, when he gained control over 43.5% of its share. In the same year, the executive management board elected him the chairman. Bernard Arnault’s net worth started skyrocketing then.
Since 1989, the businessman has guided LVMH through an aspiring development plan, modeling it into one of the largest luxury groups in the world.
He has since also bought numerous shares of different companies ranging from wine production to art galleries.
Three Facts About Bernard Arnault
Bernard Arnault realized the importance of brand value while visiting the US for the first time at the age of 21 when a taxi driver he hired identified France with the name of Christian Dior than anything else.
Arnault is known as “The wolf in cashmere” and has a reputation for being ruthless in the business circle. However, in person, he is regarded as a proper gentleman.
He is also a talented pianist and apparently used his skills to woo his second wife.
How much of LVMH does Arnault own?
Arnault and his family own about 46.84% of LVMH stock, along with 63.13% of its voting rights. Most of Bernard Arnault’s net worth comes from this share.
Does LVMH own Gucci?
In 1999 LVMH bought a 5% stake in Gucci. However, Arnault does not own Gucci.