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Who is Bernard Arnault? The man behind Louis Vuitton dethrones Bill Gates as the second richest person

The man behind Dior and Louis Vuitton Bernard Arnault dethroned Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates as the second richest person in the world on Tuesday, according to the Billionaires Index. He is now the richest person in Europe with a net worth of 105.1 billion dollars, equivalent to more than 3 percent of France’s economy.

Jeff Bezos holds the top position with a net worth of 125 billion dollars. Chairman and CEO of LVMH, Bernard Arnault has built LVMH into a global luxury powerhouse with brands such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Dom Perignon, and Sephora.

· Born on March 5, 1949, in Roubaix in Northern France, Arnault began his career at his father’s construction company.

· Arnault and his family pledged more than 650 million dollars in April for the revamp of Nore Dame Cathedral, after a devastating fire.

· He owns a number of modern and contemporary paintings including Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, to name a few.

· Luxury brand Christian Dior, founded in 1949, was acquired by Arnault in 1984. He owns a 97 percent stake in the brand.

· Later, luxury brands like Moet Hennessy and Vuitton merged to form LVMH – Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton SE.

· In the 1970s, he became the CEO and President of the business.

· In 1984, he took over fashion company Agache-Willot-Boussac and renamed it Financiere Agache.

· Over the years, he acquired big brands like DKNY, Sephora and Marc Jacobs, to name a few.

· He has also invested Netflix.

· His daughter is a member of LVMH’s executive committee and executive vice president of Louis Vuitton.

· Arnault married his second wife Helene Mercier, a concert pianist, in 1991. According to Forbes, he wooed his wife by playing Chopin and other classical composers. The couple has three sons.

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