Junaid Raza Syed (Senior Editor/Department Manager FS)
While 2019 may not have been the best year for Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, it certainly was for fellow billionaire Bernard Arnault.
According to Bloomberg, the Amazon CEO’s net worth suffered a decline of over $10 billion in the just-concluded year.
On the other hand, Celebrity Net Worth reports that Arnault’s net worth registered a $36 billion increase.
Of this amount, a $2.8 billion increase was registered in a single day. Can you imagine that in one day, the richest man in Europe made more money than most people in the world will ever be worth? Talk of good fortune!
So good was Bernard Arnault’s year that he spent the better part of the second half of 2019 as the world’s second-richest man, and even took the top spot at one time, although his reign was short-lived.
The world’s three centi-billionaires kept switching places at the top, with the third one obviously being Microsoft founder, Bill Gates.
Mr. Gates is currently the richest man alive, leading the pack with his $107 billion net worth. Arnault comes second with $106 billion while Bezos is third with $103 billion.
Before June 2019, Bezos and Gates were the only centi-billionaires on the planet. As fate would have it though, the month would bring with it a third member of the group.
Arnault reached the $100 billion mark thanks to his majority stake in LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods manufacturer.
If you didn’t already know, the LVMH conglomerate is made up of 70 companies, all of which are established brands. The most notable ones include Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Dom Perignon, and who doesn’t know just how iconic these designs are?
Being the conglomerate’s majority stakeholder, Bernard Arnault is effectively the richest individual in the fashion world. He has chaired the LVMH board since 1989 and has served as its CEO for the same period of time.
Fond of France
Despite the man’s riches, he is still very fond of his mother country seeing as he still resides in France, in the country’s capital to be specific.
For a man who lives in Paris, you’d think that his vacation home would be in a whole other different country, right? Wrong. Arnault’s holiday home is still in his home country – the French Riviera.
And did you know that LVMH is a family business? Four of the CEO and chairman’s children work in the company or in one of its affiliated brands, while their combined stake in the company totals to over 47%.
In 2018, the conglomerate brought in revenue worth over $53 billion and definitely, Arnault and his family were the biggest beneficiaries. Why wouldn’t this be the case given that the Frenchman owns 96.5% of Christian Dior?
And just recently, the company confirmed that they had acquired Tiffany & Co., the jewelry brand that has also been doing extremely well for itself. Its addition to the LVMH family has been beneficial for the conglomerate, driving its earnings upwards.
With business going extremely well, it may be difficult for other billionaires to catch up with Arnault. Save for Bezos, other members of the B-club are yet to come close. Warren Buffett is currently the fourth richest individual in the world and his net worth of $82 billion is still miles away from Arnault’s $106.