Beginnings of Bernard’s Life Jean Étienne Arnault was born on March 5th, 1949 in the city of Roubaix, which is located in France. Jean Léon Arnault, his father, was a manufacturer and a graduate of École Centrale Paris. Jean Léon Arnault was his son. Marie-Josèphe Savinel, his mother, was the daughter of Étienne Savinel, the owner of the civil engineering company Ferret-Savinel.
He was named after his maternal grandfather. In 1950, Savinel granted his son-in-law Jean Léon Arnault (Bernard’s father) the responsibility of managing Ferret-Savinel, and he eventually awarded Jean Léon Arnault ownership of the company as well. In 1971, Bernard received his diploma from the École Polytechnique, which is widely regarded as the best engineering institution in all of France.
After receiving his diploma in 1971, Arnault went to work for the business that his father had founded, Ferret-Savinel (which was previously owned by his maternal grandfather). In 1978, he was elected to the position of president of the corporation, and he remained in that role until 1984. During his time at Ferret-Savinel, he was instrumental in shifting the firm’s focus from construction to real estate, which would prove to be a fruitful strategic decision for the company in the long run.
The next year, in 1984, he collaborated with Antoine Bernheim in order to purchase the luxury goods manufacturer Financiere Agache. He first assumed the role of chief executive officer at Financiere Agache and later became proprietor of the textile business Boussac Saint-Freres. Arnault sold all of Boussac’s assets with the exception of the luxury brand Christian Dior and the department store Le Bon Marche. Boussac was the owner of a wide variety of brands and stores, including Christian Dior and Le Bon Marche.
Arnault’s keen acumen in the financial world allowed him to establish LVMH in 1987, a conglomerate of luxury brands that included Christian Dior, and he found himself enjoying greater prosperity than ever before as a result. In 1987, the luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton combined with the beverage company Moet Hennessy, which resulted in the formation of the conglomerate.
In July of 1988, he made a contribution of $1.5 billion and founded a holding company together with Guinness in order to acquire 24% of LVMH’s shares. Arnault spent an additional $600 million to purchase 13.5 percent of LVMH shares in order to preemptively oppose the rumors that the Louis Vuitton group was going to try to buy up LVMH stock in order to establish a “blocking minority.”
This was done in order to counter the rumors that were circulating. Because of this move, he is now the largest shareholder in LVMH. However, he was not finished, and in January of 1989 he invested an additional sum of money, this time in the amount of $500 million, to purchase additional shares. At that time, he had accumulated a total of 43.5 percent of LVMH’s shares, giving him voting rights equal to 35 percent of the company.
He prevented the LVMH group from being dismantled by using the power and influence that he possessed, and he has since guided the conglomerate through a metamorphosis that has positioned it as one of the greatest and most successful luxury organizations in the world.
Under Arnault, LVMH saw significant growth. In the span of eleven years, not only did sales and profits increase by a factor of five, but also the market value of the company increased by a factor of fifteen. Arnault has continued to advocate an approach that decentralizes the brands, which helps them to be recognized as autonomous companies and firms with their own histories and tales.
This is despite the fact that the conglomerate owns a considerable number of brands (75 in total as of June 2020). Céline, which was acquired in 1988, Berluti, which was acquired in 1993, Kenzo, which was acquired in 1993, Guerlain, which was acquired in 1994, Loewe, which was acquired in 1996, Marc Jacobs, which was acquired in 1997, Sephora, which was acquired in 1997, Thomas Pink, which was acquired in 1999, Emilio Pucci, which was acquired in 2000, and Fendi (in 2001).
Arnault is involved in a wide variety of other businesses in addition to LVMH. Through his holding firm Europatweb, he made investments in a number of different web startups between the years 1998 and 2001. These investments included Boo.com, Libertysurg, and Zebank. In 1999, he made an investment in Netflix through the investment firm he founded, Groupe Arnault.
In 2007, it was revealed that Arnault, in conjunction with the property firm Colony Capital from the state of California, owned 10.69 percent of Carrefour. The French supermarket chain Carrefour is the world’s second-biggest food distributor and the largest grocery retailer in France. In addition to that, he’s gotten himself interested in the yachting industry.
He purchased Princess Yachts to the tune of 253 million Euros in the year 2008. After that, for close to the same sum of money, he purchased the majority stake in Royal van Lent.
Collection of artworks
Arnault is well recognized for his intense interest in art collecting, for example, and he is not only interested in running his commercial empire. Arnault has funded creative exhibitions in France under the auspices of LVMH. Some of the artists featured in these exhibitions include the pioneer of pop art, Andy Warhol, as well as the abstract painter Pablo Picasso.
Arnault wed Anne Dewavrin in 1973, and the couple divorced 15 years later in 1990. They have a combined total of two children. He tied the knot with Canadian concert pianist Hélène Mercier in the year 1990. They are the parents of three children as a couple. In the year 2019, in the aftermath of the catastrophic fire that damaged the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, Arnault and his family made a commitment of two hundred million euros to assist with the repair and restoration work.
Bernard Arnault Net Worth
French billionaire Bernard Arnault is most known for his roles as chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods company. He amassed his fortune through these roles. As of the time when this article was written, Bernard Arnault has a net worth that is equivalent to 125 billion dollars. As a result of his wealth, he is currently ranked among the top 10 richest persons on the planet, with individuals such as Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.
Bernard Arnault Wealth Details
The majority of Arnault’s wealth was acquired through Christian Dior, in which his family has a controlling stake of 73 percent. The Arnault family owns direct ownership of 5.7 percent in the world’s largest luxury goods company, LVMH. Christian Dior owns 41% of the company, making it Christian Dior’s greatest business holding. In addition to that, he holds shares in Carrefour and owns 8.4 percent of Hermes.
In 2009, he parted ways with the vineyard Cheval Blanc by selling his share of the business to LVMH for 238 million euros. In 2016, LVMH reported a total revenue of $41.6 billion. The total value of Bernard Arnault’s assets officially surpassed $100 billion for the first time in June of 2019.
At that time, he held the third-place spot on the list of the wealthiest people on the entire planet. As of the month of July 2019, his net worth had surpassed $108 billion, which put him in second position on the list of the world’s wealthiest people, nearly $400 million ahead of Bill Gates. The rise in Bernard Arnault’s net worth from the beginning of 2019 to the end of the year was $36 billion.