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Bernard Arnault ; A French Wealthiest man

A Recount of Bernard Arnault successful life

In the list of the richest peoples in the world , Arnault – A France born tycoon- is placed on the 4th order with net worth – as it was recorded in November 2018- $ 74.7 billion, but when it comes to Europe he is definitely the top. Bernard Arnault is a man with sharp business skill, successfully leading his father civil engineering business into a more diverse worldwide expansion.

Early life

Born with the name Bernard Jean Etienne Arnault in Roubaix, France on March 5th, 1949, Arnault was the son of Jean Leon Arnault, a manufacturer and the owner of Ferret- Savinel (a civil engineering company).  His mother was unknown to the public.

After completing his middle school, Arnault was enrolled at Maxence Van Deer Meersch High School. Afterwards, he was registered at prestigious Ecole Polytechnique in Palaiseau majoring in engineering. In 1971, he graduated from the institution with engineering degree.


a). Ferinel

Following the graduation, Arnault landed a job at his father’s Construction Company as an engineer in which during his 5 years of working, convincing his father to change the company’s focal point to real estate that he considered as a booming sector at that time. This movement resulted in the birth of company name, Ferinel, specializing in holiday accommodation. In 1977, Arnault was promoted as a CEO and 2 years after that, became a successor of his father’s position as the president of the company.

In the early 1980’s, the changing in France’s political environment ( The French Socialist took over the government) drove Aranault’s family to move to the USA. There, he developed a condominium in Palm Beach, Florida, expending his real estate business in the states. After the political condition in France shifted from socialist into conservative, Arnault decided to return to his home country and began seeing different areas of his business venture.

b). Christian Dior

The bankruptcy of Boussac Saint- Freres  in 984 opened an opportunity for Arnault to take over the business with the help of Antoine Berheim. This freshly-taken over textile company owned Christian Dior (purchased with $15 million), Le Bon Marche ( a department store), Conforama ( a retail shop) and Peaudouce ( a manufacturer for diapers). Aside from keeping Christian Dior and Le Bon Marche, Arnault sold the rest of the assets.

c). LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louise Vuitton SE)

LVMH is company dealing with luxury goods brand based in Paris, France as a result of the merger of two companies; Moet Hennessy and Louis Vuiton. There are 60 subsidiaries under LVMH which are managed independently. The products of this company ranging from cosmetics, clothing, accessories, fashion, perfumes, watches, wine and jewelry.

In 1993, Bernard Arnault possessed  43%  shares of LVMH and 35% of voting right, making him an elected CEO of management board. Since then, striving development took place to put LVMH as one of the largest luxury group. In 2017, the revenue generated was recorded at 42.636 billion Euro. In addition to that, other investments were thrown on some website companies for like Boo.com, Zabank, Libertysurf and yacht business.

Arnault’s Family

In 1973, Arnault married to Anne Dewavrin. From the marriage two children were born; a daughter named Delphine Arnault and a son called Antoine Arnault. The couple separated in 1990 allowing Arnault to remarried with Helene Mercier ( A pianist from Quebec, Canada) in 1991. The second marriage brought him three more sons (Alexandre, Frederic, Jean). Four of  Bernard Arnault children have official roles in his father’s company.

Bernard Arnault son, Antoine, handled Berluti, an Italian leather brand and was responsible as a chairman for a company called Loro Piana. Meanwhile, Delphine, Bernard Arnault daughter is managing Louis Vuitton as an executive vice president and director. Alexandre works at Rimowa (the name of luggage brand from Germany) as co-chief executive and Frederic, is appointed to be the head of connected technology at Tag Heuer.

How Rich is Bernard Arnault?

Data from Wikipedia stated that in 2015, Arnault employed 120.000 people for his company; a big number that helped him generate Bernard Arnault net worth of estimated $80 billion dollars per May 2017. Having this much money, Bernard Arnault house is built in more than just one place. Le Cheval Blanc is a luxurious hotel located in Courchevel owned by Arnault for personal space as well as business. Other mansions are Chateau Cheval Blanc in Bordeaux covering 41 hectares, ST. Tropez mansion in St. Tropez island, and even a private island in Bahama worth of $35 million.

Recognition Under His Name

During his lifetime, there have been some recognitions (either domestic or international) awarded to Bernard Arnault. Commandeur and Grand Officer of the Legion d’Honnoeur (he received the award on February 10th, 2007 and July 14th, 2011 respectively) were given to him. Legion d’Honnoeur is the French version of Order of Merit awarded to military personal or civilians founded by Napoleon Bonaparte. Another award was the Woodrow Wilson Award in 2011, and David Rockefeller Award from The Museum of Modern Art.

Personal Space and Taste

Picasso’s masterpiece is one of many rare art collections on display as Bernard Arnault is noted as an art collector. Other famous works from Yves Klein, Andy Warhol and Henry Moore add more to the group of selection. His fondness in art was shown when he established LVMH Young Fashion Designer Competition to cater the Fine Art students to express their creativity in art. It can be said that this is a part of philanthropy action Arnault gives to the society. The winner at this contest is granted with mentorship and full support in creating own brand.

Other than those aforementioned sections, Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation ( an art museum) was open in 2014 as a dedication for creativity in art. The building was designed by Frank Gehry in Paris with glass comprising most of the structure.  The masterpieces of world’ most re-known artist from both 20th century and modern days are exhibited here.