Who’s the second richest in the world now!
Bernard Arnault, the owner of luxury conglomerate LVMH, has beaten Bill Gates to become the second richest man in the world.
It is noteworthy that Bill Gates has never ranked lower than No. 2 in the seven-year history of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Bernard pushed his net worth to US $ 107.6 billion ahead of Gates by more than US $ 200 million.
The LVMH owner added US $ 39 billion to his fortune in 2019 alone, which is by far the biggest individual gain among the 500 people in Bloomberg’s ranking.
French tycoon Bernard has joined the league of Bill Gates and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, in the most exclusive wealth club last month, when his fortune surpassed US $ 100 billion for the first time.
What’s amazing is that their collective wealth exceeds the individual market values of almost every company in the S&P 500 Index, including Walmart Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp and Walt Disney Co.
2019, in particular, has been good to French tycoons, with Bernard, Kering SA’s Francois Pinault and cosmetics heir Francoise Bettencourt Meyers raking in a combined US $ 57 billion.
Bernard and his family are among luxury titans who pledged more than US $ 650 million in April towards the reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral after fire ravaged the landmark church. He controls about half of LVMH through a family holding company and also owns a 97 per cent stake in luxury fashion house, Christian Dior.
Other than fashion and luxury goods, Bernard has also invested in tech companies, including Netflix, and even a yacht company.