News & Opinion | June 21, 2019 10:19 am

Welcome the World’s Third Member of the $100 Billion Club

Arnault, 70, was already Europe's richest person

Bernard Arnault's worth
French luxury group LVMH Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Bernard Arnault, is worth over $100 billion. (Eric Piermont/ AFP/ Getty)
AFP/Getty Images

The 1 percent’s 1 percent just welcomed its newest member.

Chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton, Bernard Arnault, is now worth over $100 billion, according to Bloomberg. Arnault’s bank account is sitting pretty at $100.4 billion — an increase of $32 billion over the last year alone. With this new status, Arnault joins Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates as the only three people alive who have at least $100 billion to their names.

The prolific LVMH empire is the world’s largest luxury goods retailer, spanning fashion, alcohol, jewelry and travel. It includes brands like Louis Vuitton — which CNBC noted is largely responsible for Arnault’s jump on the billionaires list thanks to increased demand for its products — Christian Dior, Krug, Veuve Clicquot and Bvlgari.

Arnault, 70, was already Europe’s richest person before crossing into “centibillionaire” territory, and his wealth is equal to that of about 3 percent of France’s entire economy, according to CNBC. He and his family pledged to donate 200 million euros in April, along with the “architectural and design resources of… [the] LVMH fashion conglomerate” to Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral after a fire enveloped its famed roof.

On the very short list of three über billionaires, Arnault is third behind Gates, who’s worth a reported $106 billion and Bezos, who has $119 billion. The Amazon founder’s spot at the top is even more impressive considering his fortune dropped $40 billion this year after he and his former wife, MacKenzie Bezos, got divorced.

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