French Fashion Tycoon Bernard Arnault Becomes The World’s Richest Person

French fashion tycoon Bernard Arnault today crept ahead of Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest man as his net worth climbed to $186.3billion.

The chief executive of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) saw his luxury goods firm stock increase by 0.4 percent during the first hours of trading on Monday.

The rise pushed Arnault’s personal stake up by more than $600million and placed LVMH’s market cap at $320billion, according to Forbes.

Arnault’s overall net worth has jumped to $186.3billion, reportedly seeing him edge past Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is worth $186billion, by ‘only’ $300million in the world’s rich list.

This comes just days after Arnault pushed Elon Musk, worth $147.3billion, out of his spot as the world’s second-richest man after Tesla’s share price sank.

Arnault, 72, has seen his fortune jump more than $110billion in the past 14 months thanks to his French luxury goods firm LVMH, which owns the likes of Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Christian Dior, and Givenchy in its portfolio of 70+ luxury brands.

In January, LVMH made a huge luxury fashion business deal after acquiring Tiffany & Co., while Arnault then promoted his son to the leadership of the American jeweler.

Arnault’s fortune has jumped from just $76billion in March last year to $186.3billion as his luxury goods cooperation has profited despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Elon Musk dropped out of his spot as the world’s second-richest man after his fortune sank by $3.16billion last week, to $160.6billion.

The decrease to $147.3billion is a 32 percent drop from its January high, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index.

Arnault’s rise in fortune comes after he acquired Tiffany & Co. for $15.8billion in January.

After the purchase, the fashion tycoon promoted his son Alexandre to the leadership team of the jewelry maker in January.

Alexandre, 29, left his previous role as CEO of Rimowa, which is also owned by LVMH, to become an executive vice president at Tiffany & Co., in charge of product and communication.

Alexandre will work under Michael Burke, chairman, and CEO at Louis Vuitton, the group’s biggest money-spinner, who will now also chair Tiffany & Co. Anthony Ledru, head of Louis Vuitton in the US, will take over as CEO of the jeweller.

Sharing the news on Instagram earlier this year, Alexandre, who was born in France but is fluent in English, wrote: ‘Humbled, honored to join @tiffanyandco and excited to work with the teams in New York!’

LVMH’s acquisition of Tiffany & Co. followed a bitter legal dispute. LVMH backed away as the COVID-19 pandemic hammered luxury goods sales, but ultimately renegotiated a discounted purchase price.

Bernard, who has five children from two marriages, has given senior LVMH roles to his four oldest children. Youngest son Jean, 23, is still a student according to Daily Mail.

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