Bernard Arnault is a prominent French entrepreneur, investor, and connoisseur of art. He is one of the co-founders, as well as the Chairman and CEO, of LVMH Mot Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE, which stands as the largest luxury goods company globally. As per Forbes, in December 2022, Arnault and his family possessed a combined wealth of $186.5 billion, ranking him as the world’s second-wealthiest individual and the wealthiest in Europe.
Bernard Jean Étienne Arnault came into the world in Roubaix on March 5, 1949. His mother was Marie-Josèphe Savinel, the daughter of Étienne Savinel, and she had a strong passion for Dior. His father, Jean Léon Arnault, was an industrialist and a graduate of École Centrale Paris. He owned the civil engineering company known as Ferret-Savinel.
Bernard Arnault Biography and Profile Summary
|Full Name||Bernard Jean Étienne Arnault|
|Birth Date||5 March 1949|
|Birth Place||Roubaix, France|
|Net Worth||$170 billion|
|Nick Name||Bernard Arnault|
|Father’s Name||Jean Leon Arnault|
|Mother’s Name||Marie-Josephe Savinel|
|Profession||Entrepreneur, investor, art collector, media proprietor|
Arnault’s art collection includes works by prominent artists like Picasso, Yves Klein, Henry Moore, and Andy Warhol. He also played a significant role in establishing LVMH as a major supporter of the arts in France. One of the initiatives he helped create is the LVMH Young Fashion Designer competition, which is an international competition open to students from fine arts schools. The annual winner of this competition receives a scholarship to assist in developing their brand and a year of mentorship.
In addition to his involvement in the art world, Arnault briefly owned Phillips de Pury & Company, an art auction house, from 1999 to 2003. He also acquired Tajan, France’s first auctioneer. Arnault’s contributions to the art world extend to architecture as well. In 2006, he initiated the construction of the Louis Vuitton Foundation, a project designed by architect Frank Gehry, dedicated to creation and contemporary art. The Foundation was officially inaugurated on October 20, 2014, at the Jardin d’Acclimatation in Paris.
Bernard Arnault Personal life (Wife)
Bernard Arnault has had two marriages in his life. His first marriage was to Ann Devavrin, which took place in 1973, but they divorced in 1990. His current wife is Helen Mercier, whom he has been married to since 1991. Arnault and Mercier have five children, all of whom are actively involved in the LVMH business empire. Some of his children include Frederic Arnault, Antoine Arnault, Delphine Arnault, and Frederic Arnault.
Bernard Arnault Parents
He was born to Marie-Josèphe Savinel and Jean Léon Arnault.
Bernard Arnault Age, Height, and Weight
Born on March 5, 1949, Bernard Arnault is 74 years old in 2023. He has a height of 1.85 meters and weighs 80 kg.
Bernard Arnault Net Worth
Bernard Arnault’s net worth is approximately $170 billion, making him the third wealthiest individual globally and currently the richest person in Europe. His wealth is primarily derived from his holdings in LVMH, a company specializing in luxury goods. Arnault’s fortune has seen remarkable growth, with instances where he has earned billions in just 72 hours when LVMH stock prices surged. LVMH owns various prestigious brands, including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Moet & Chandon, Tiffany & Co, and numerous others.
Bernard Arnault Career & Business
Upon taking over the company’s leadership, Bernard Arnault initiated a series of acquisitions, including the luxury goods firm Financier Agache, the troubled textile company Boussac Saint-Frères, and the diaper manufacturer Peaudouce. In 1987, he assumed the position of CEO at LVMH, and in 1989, he solidified his leadership by purchasing the majority of the company’s shares, subsequently becoming the chairman. Today, Arnault stands at the helm of one of the largest luxury conglomerates globally, alongside two other luxury giants, Kering and the Swiss luxury conglomerate Richemont. Under his guidance, LVMH has completed notable acquisitions, including prominent companies like Celine, Kenzo, Berluti, La Tribune, Les Echos, and Lowe’s.
Beyond his business ventures, Arnault is renowned for his passion for art collecting, with his collection featuring works by renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Henry Moore, Picasso, Yves Klein, and others.
Bernard Arnault Education and Awards
Presently, Bernard Arnault serves as both the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH. His academic journey included completing diploma studies at Ecole Polytechnique from 1969 to 1971. In his earlier years, Arnault attended Lycée Maxence Van Der Meersch in Roubaix and Lycée Faidherbe in Lille. After graduating from Ecole Polytechnique, which is France’s leading engineering school, in 1971, he commenced his professional career within his father’s company. Arnault spent three years persuading his father to redirect the company’s focus towards real estate, ultimately leading to the sale of the industrial construction division and a renaming of the company to Ferinel. His remarkable accomplishments in the business world have earned him numerous honors and recognitions.
- Grand Officer of the Legion d’Honneur on 14 July 2011
- Commander of the Legion d’Honneur on 10 February 2007.
- Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2012
- Woodrow Wilson Award for Global Corporate Citizenship in 2011.
- The Museum of Modern Art’s David Rockefeller Prize in March 2014.
- Member of the World’s Millionaires
Bernard Arnault Facts
- Bernard made a €200 million donation to the restoration of the Notre Dame Cathedral.
- The Wolf in Cashmere” is his moniker.
- He started his career in the construction business and rose through the ranks to become the CEO of the world’s greatest fashion conglomerate.
- His major break came when he purchased Dior from a bankrupt corporation.
- Amid the turmoil, he purchased a 24 percent controlling share in Louis Vuitton.
- Bernard Arnault is now the wealthiest person in the fashion industry.
- Picasso, Warhol, Basquiat, and Hirst are among the artists whose work he owns.
- He’s an excellent pianist.
- He is a tennis fanatic.
- He is said to be the owner of a private Caribbean island in the Bahamas.