Bernard Arnault Biography

Bernard Arnault

Quick Facts About Bernard Arnault

Celebrated Name Bernard Arnault
Age 72 Years
Nick Name Bernard
Birth Name Bernard Jean Etienne Arnault
Birth Date 1949-03-05
Gender Male
Profession Businessman
Place Of Birth Roubaix, France
Birth Nation France
Nationality French
Ethnicity French-white
Religion Christian
Horoscope Pisces
Race White
Mother Marie-Josephe Savinel
Father Jean Leon Arnault
Siblings 1
High School Ecole Polytechnique
Marital Status Married
Spouse Anne Dewavrin ​ ​(m. 1973; div. 1990)​ Helene Mercier ​(m. 1991)
Children 5, including Delphine and Antoine Arnault
Sexual Orientation Straight
Net Worth $173.4 billion
Source of Wealth Businessman, investor, and art collector career
Height 6 ft 1 in or 185.5 cm
Weight 78 kg or 172 lbs
Hair Color Gray
Eye Color Blue
Body Type Average
Links Wikipedia

Bernard Jean Etienne Arnault is a French businessman, investor, and art collector who is professionally known as Bernard Arnault. He is well recognized for being the chairman and chief executive of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, the world's largest luxury goods company. He is often counted among the wealthiest people in the world and has held the title of the richest person as he is the third-richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of US$178.4 billion as of 19th September 2021. He briefly surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the richest person in the world. Between 2010 and 2013, Bernard was a member of the board of advisors of the "1Malaysia Development Berhad" which is a Malaysian strategic development company wholly owned by the country's Minister of Finance. As well, the French government had honored him with the "Commandeur de la Legion d'Honneur" and the "Grand Officier de la Legion d'Honneur" awards in 2007 and 2011 respectively.

Famous For

  • Being a French businessman, investor, and art collector.
  • For being the CEO of the world's largest luxury products company, LVMH. 

Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE

Source: @zee5

Where is Bernard Arnault from?

Bernard Arnault was born on 5th March 1949 with the real name of Bernard Jean Etienne Arnault in Roubaix, France. He is of French nationality and he came from French-white ethnic background. Likewise, he follows the Christian religion. Bernard has celebrated his 72nd birthday as of 2021 and as per his birthdate, his star sign is Pisces. Thus, his race is white. His mother, Marie-Josephe Savinel, daughter of Etienne Savinel, had a "fascination for Dior". His father, manufacturer Jean Leon Arnault, a graduate of Ecole Centrale Paris, owned the civil engineering company Ferret-Savinel. He has one sibling a sister named Dominique Watine-Arnault.

Regarding Bernard's education, he was educated at the LycEe Maxence Van Der Meersch in Roubaix and the Lycee Faidherbe in Lille. He graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique, France's leading engineering school in 1971, and began work for his father's company.

How did Bernard Arnault Start His Career?

  • Bernard Arnault kicks off his career in 1971, at Ferret-Savinel where he was president from 1978 to 1984 after which he became the CEO of Financiere Agache and subsequently won the bidding war for Boussac Saint-Freres. By 1987, the company was profitable again and booked earnings of $112 million on a revenue stream of $1.9 billion dollars.
  • He then provided $1.5 billion to form a holding company with Guinness that held 24% of LVMH's shares in July 1988 and also spent $600 million to buy 13.5% more of LVMH, making him LVMH's largest shareholder.
  • He spent another $500 million to gain control of a total of 43.5% of LVMH's shares and 35% of its voting rights in January 1989 and was unanimously elected chairman of the executive management board on the 13th of January of the following year.
  • Then, he led the company through an ambitious development plan, transforming it into one of the largest luxury groups in the world, alongside Swiss luxury giant Richemont and French-based Kering. In eleven years, annual sales and profit rose by a factor of 5, and the market value of LVMH increased by a factor of 15.
  • He announced the acquisition of 50.4% of family-owned shares of the Italian jeweler Bulgari on 7th March 2011, with the intention to make a tender offer for the rest, which was publicly owned. The transaction was worth $5.2 billion.
  • He also invested $640 million in establishing LCapitalAsia in 2011 and entered into a joint venture with the Italian fashion brand Marco De Vincenzo, taking a minority 45% stake in the firm in February 2014.
  • Arnault planned to acquire Tiffany & Co. for approximately US $16.2 billion in November 2019 and the deal was expected to close by June 2020. 
  • LVMH then issued a statement in September 2020 indicating that the takeover would not proceed and that the deal was "invalid" because of Tiffany's handling of the business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • LaterTiffany filed suit against LVMH, asking the court to compel the purchase or to assess damages against the defendant; LVMH planned to counter sue, alleging that mismanagement had invalidated the purchase agreement.
  • A reliable source told "Forbes" (magazine) in mid-September 2020 that the reason for Arnault's decision to cancel the Tiffany purchase was purely financial: Tiffany was paying millions in dividends to shareholders despite a financial loss of US$32 million during the pandemic.
  • LVMH also filed a counterclaim against the court action commenced by Tiffany; a statement issued by LMVH blamed Tiffany's mismanagement during the pandemic and claimed that it was "burning cash and reporting losses".
  • Subsequently, Tiffany and LVMH agreed to the original takeover plan, though at a slightly reduced price of nearly $16 billion in late October 2020 and the new deal reduced the amount paid per share by LVMH from the original price of $135 to $131.50. LVMH completed the purchase of Tiffany in January 2021.
  • Under Bernard's leadership, LVMH has grown to become the largest company by market capitalization in the Eurozone, with a record of 313 billion euros ($382 billion) as of May 2021.
  • For a very brief period on 24th May 2021, Bernard temporarily became the richest man in the world, surpassing Jeff Bezos with a net worth of 187.3 billion dollars. 
  • Besides, he was also a member of the Board of Advisors of the Malaysian 1MDB fund from 2010 until 2013.

Art collection

  • Bernard's collection includes work by Picasso, Yves Klein, Henry Moore, and Andy Warhol whereas he was also instrumental in establishing LVMH as a major patron of art in France.
  • He owned Phillips de Pury & Company from 1999 to 2003 and began the building project of the Louis Vuitton Foundation in 2006. The Foundation's grand opening at the Jardin d'Acclimatation Paris was held on 20th October 2014.

Awards and Achievements

  • Commandeur de la LEgion d'Honneur (10th February 2007)
  • Grand Officier de la LEgion d'Honneur (14th July 2011) 
  • The Woodrow Wilson Award for Global Corporate Citizenship (2011) 
  • Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (2012) 
  • The Museum of Modern Art's David Rockefeller Award (March 2014)

Who is Bernard Arnault Wife?

Bernard Arnault is a married businessman. He tied a knot with Helene Mercier in 1991. Mercier is a Canadian concert pianist. They have three children, Alexandre, Frederic, and Jean. Bernard Arnault and Helene Mercier currently live in Paris. Bernard was previously married to Anne Dewavrin in 1973 with whom he was blessed with two children, Delphine and Antoine. They later separated in 1990. Four of his five children Delphine, Antoine, Alexandre, and Frederic all have official roles in brands controlled by Arnault, along with his niece Stephanie Watine Arnault. Since 2010, Arnault's daughter Delphine has been the partner of Xavier Niel, a French billionaire businessman active in the telecommunications and technology industry. Concerning Bernard's sexual orientation, he is straight.

Bernard Arnault Wife, Helene Mercier

Source: @thetimes.co.uk

What is the Net Worth of Bernard Arnault?

Bernard Arnault is a talented guy who has a net worth of $173.4 billion as of 2021. As the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Executive Committee of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, the total compensation of Bernard Arnault at LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE is $3,470,000. Arnault briefly surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the richest person in the world in December 2019. He again became the world's richest person for a short time in January 2020 whereas the same happened in August 2021. Forbes estimates his fortune to be $181 billion. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Bernard saw his wealth shrink by 30 billion dollars as sales of luxury goods plummeted. On 5th August 2021, he regained the status of the wealthiest man in the world, with his net worth climbing to $198.4 billion. Also, he owned the 70 m (230 ft) converted research vessel Amadeus, which was sold in late 2015. His current 101.5 m (333 ft) yacht Symphony was built in the Netherlands by Feadship. In addition, Bernard's major source of income is from his businessman, investor, and art collector career.

How tall is Bernard Arnault?

Bernard Arnault is 6 ft 1 in or 185.5 cm tall and his body weighs around 78 kg or 172 lbs. He has good-looking gray hair and blue eyes color. His short-cropped, side-parted hair and clean-shaven look have attracted a lot of people towards him. Furthermore, Bernard's body build type is average.

Did You Know?

  • Bernard graduated from Ecole Polytechnique with a degree in engineering in 1971.
  • He fathered five children across two marriages.
  • He is the CEO of the world's largest luxury products company, LVMH.
  • In 2013, it was disclosed that Arnault planned to apply for Belgian citizenship and was considering moving to Belgium.
  • On 10th April 2013, Arnault announced he had decided to abandon his application for Belgian citizenship.