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- LVMH boss Bernard Arnault’s net worth surpassed $200 billion on Tuesday.
- He is the third person ever — after Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos — to reach this level of wealth.
- Arnault fortune soared on the back of LVMH’s soaring stock price, which is up nearly 25% this year.
Bernard Arnault — the CEO and co-founder of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Vuitton and the richest person in the world — has reached another milestone in his wealth journey.
Arnault’s net worth climbed over $200 billion on Tuesday, making him the third person ever — after Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos — to reach attain that level of wealth, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Arnault is also the first person outside the US to surpass a net worth of $200 billion.
Arnault derives his wealth from a 97.5% stake in luxury fashion brand Christian Dior holding company which, in turn, controls 41.4% of LVMH. His net worth gained $2.4 billion on Tuesday, bringing the Frenchman’s fortune to $201 billion, per Bloomberg’s index.
LVMH shares on the Euronext Paris stock exchange closed 0.8% higher at 851 euros, or $932.30, on Tuesday. The stock is up about 25% this year.
A luxury boom is propping up Arnault’s wealth.
The French tycoon’s net worth has doubled since the beginning of 2020 amid strong demand for luxury goods as consumers splurged on designer handbags and watches during pandemic lockdowns.
This robust appetite for luxury goods is helping LVMH, which owns a range of luxury fashion brands including leather goods maker Louis Vuitton, jeweler Tiffany & Co., and watchmaker TAG Heuer. LVMH posted a 23% year-on-year growth in revenues as well as profits from recurring operations in 2022, according to the company’s financials.
Millennials and Gen Z are also driving growth in this market. A record number of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 are opting to live at home with their parents — at a level not seen since the Great Depression — thus freeing up disposable income for splashing out on luxury goods, Insider’s Nidhi Pandurangi reported in December.
LVMH is also making a targeted move to win over customers in Asia.
Shoppers in China are expected to boost the luxury goods sector this year after the country lifted COVID-zero restrictions. Chinese consumers are expected to boost demand for high-end apparel, accessories, and other items by 20% in 2023, according to a Morgan Stanley report on March 13.
To reach younger shoppers, particularly in Northeast Asia, LVMH has been making a calculated move to enlist K-pop stars for their luxury marketing campaigns across various brands from Dior to Tiffany, Insider’s Cheryl Teh reported in January.
Arnault kept the management of his business empire in the family.
Arnault has managed to keep much of the management of his business empire in the family, appointing all his five children into leadership positions across the conglomerate’s various luxury brands.
In July 2022, Arnault changed the legal structure of his family holding company Agache — the controlling shareholder of Christian Dior — to ensure his family’s control over LVMH in the long term.
The 73-year-old tycoon has not announced who will succeed him as LVMH CEO. His only daughter Delphine Arnault heads the key fashion brand Dior, while his older son Antoine Arnault is the CEO of LVMH’s holding company Christian Dior.