France’s Bernard Arnault Becomes the World’s Richest Person
Bernard Arnault, a French billionaire, became the world’s richest person this week.
Arnault’s ascension to the top spot is especially notable given that American billionaires – particularly in the technology sector – have dominated the list of the world’s richest people for several years.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is still neck and neck with Arnault, with Elon Musk close behind.
Jeff Bezos started 2021 as the leader, but he has been challenged by Elon Musk and Bernard Arnault. The former took a hit after Tesla’s stock began to cool off after hitting a record high in Q1 2021.
Arnault’s name may be unfamiliar to some, but he has been one of the top five wealthiest people in the world since 2018, and he has been a billionaire for more than a decade.
The French tycoon got his start in the fashion industry when he bought Christian Dior in 1985 with a fortune he made in construction.
Vive la France
Bernard Arnault is the CEO of many iconic French luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton, Dom Pérignon, and Christian Dior. His luxury conglomerate, LVMH (Louis Vuitton Mot Hennessy), also operates in the retail and hospitality sectors.
It may come as a surprise that LVMH is thriving in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the company has been buoyed by strong sales in Asia, particularly China.In January 2021, LVMH completed a nearly $16 billion deal for Tiffany & Co, possibly the largest luxury brand acquisition in history.