Luxury accessories conglomerate LVMH’s stock has been red hot since the start of October, propelling its CEO, Bernard Arnault, in the No. 2 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s wealthiest people. His $107 billion net worth edges out from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose net worth is $106.9 billion. Arnault is only $5.2 billion behind Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world, worth $112.3 billion.
Arnault, Europe’s richest person, was briefly number two behind Bezos in July before slipping back to the world’s third-wealthiest. Arnault, Bezos, and Gates are the world’s sole centibillionaires, based on Forbes’ real-time billionaire rankings. Arnault’s net worth reached $100 billion in June.
It’s been a fantastic year for the luxury goods titan. Back in March when Forbes published its annual collection of the world’s richest, Arnault rated No. 4, with a $76 billion fortune, behind Bezos, Gates and Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett. Ever since that time, the holdings of the stock of Paris-based LVMH, whose, has skyrocketed by over a third
LVMH’s market cap of $240 billion may not be comparable to Microsoft’s $1.1 trillion, but Arnault is in no mood to give up.
LVMH, in which his family now has a stake of 47%, from scratch was not started by Arnault, but it was built by him. In 1984, he obtained the parent company of Christian Dior’s apparel branch, he was also planning to acquire the perfume segment of Dior as well. During a direction feud in the conglomerate, the head of”LV” (Louis Vuitton) teamed up with Arnault to help oust the head of”MH” (Moët Hennessy). Arnault booted Louis Vuitton’s chief and turned about. From 1990, Arnault had control of the entire company.
LVMH’s more than 75 brands are spread over various industries such as Spirits and wine, cosmetics, and jewelry.