Strona główna Biznes Bernard Arnault, this is the richest man in the world

Bernard Arnault, this is the richest man in the world

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Bernard Arnault, this is the richest man in the world
Bernard Arnault, this is the richest man in the world

Until a few days ago, to talk about the richest man in the world. Was to talk about the boss of Tesla and Twitter, Elon Musk. And before him, it was the other great technological guru, Jef Bezzos, the boss of Amazon. Until this December, the representative of classic luxury, 73-year-old Frenchman Bernard Arnault, president of the LVMH empire, initially the acronym of Luis Vuitton Moët Hennesyy, which has some 70 fashion, sparkling wine, cosmetics, watch and jewellery brands, including Christian Dior, Dom Pérignon, Sephora, Givenchy and Fendi, took the top spot on the podium.

Calculated by the Bloomberg agency at $171 billion, Arnault’s fortune passed Musk’s ($164 billion) just a few days ago. But more than a few billion, two worlds separate these two tycoons. The former’s discretion contrasts with the latter’s eccentricities. And while Musk wants to send cars into space Arnault sold his private jet to avoid being tracke on social media.

Bernard Arnault, this is the richest man in the world

The luxury business is a cornerstone of his fortune and a phrase he uttered in 2014 perfectly describes the value he places on his business. „I often compare our industry to other fast-growing industries. I deeply admire Apple and own an iPhone myself. But can you say that in 20 years people will still be using iPhones? Maybe they will and maybe they won’t. Maybe we will have a new product or something more innovative. What I can say today is that I am quite convince that in 20 years, people will still be drinking Dom Perignon”.

The conversation with the taxi driver
Born in the French town of Roubaix on 14 March 1949, his father was a wealthy public works entrepreneur whom he, an engineer, managed to convince to redirect his activity towards real estate development, which led him to live in Florida for a few years. It was on a trip to New York that he asked a taxi driver if he knew the French president and he told him that he did not, but that he did know who Christian Dior was.

Bernard Arnault, this is the richest man in the world

That conversation changed his life. In 1984, he bought the group that owned the textile firm, which was bankrupt. He sold all the non-Dior businesses and with that money bought shares in what is now LVHM. Five years later, he became its chairman and CEO. From then on, he made a succession of acquisitions of companies related to fashion and beauty. The latest was the American jeweller Tiffany & Co.

Married twice, he has five children: Delphine, Antoine, Alexandre, Frederic and Jean. They all work for the LVMH conglomerate and are often together at various business events. Discreet in his daily life and far from social networks, he is an art lover and owns works by Basquiat. Hirst, Wharhol and Picasso. A personal friend of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. He has lived in Brussels since 2011, in the exclusive neighbourhood of Uccle. Trie to obtain Belgian nationality when the socialist François Hollande announced the 75% tax on large fortunes.