Bernard Arnault Biography, Net Worth, Age, Family, Nationality, Ethnicity, Zodiac Sign, Wealth, Occupation

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Bernard Arnault, the wealthiest individual in France and the CEO of LVMH, recently appointed two more of his sons to the board of LVMH, solidifying a carefully planned succession strategy for the world’s largest luxury company.

Additionally, French prosecutors are investigating a real estate transaction from 2018 involving Arnault and Nikolai Sarkisov, a Russian insurance magnate.

Let’s get to know this remarkable individual, tracing his journey from the streets of Roubaix, France, to the summit of the business world. As the founder of LVMH, Arnault’s impact on the luxury goods industry is unparalleled.

Bernard Arnault Biography

Early Life and Education

Born on March 5, 1949, in Roubaix, France, Bernard Arnault’s early life was shaped by his parents’ influence. His mother’s passion for the fashion brand Dior and his father’s ownership of Ferret-Savinel, a civil engineering company, laid the groundwork for his future endeavors.

Arnault attended high schools in Roubaix and Lille before graduating from École Polytechnique in 1971.

Net Worth (as of 2024)

As of 2024, Bernard Arnault reigns as the wealthiest person globally, boasting a staggering net worth exceeding $200 billion.

His journey to affluence began with strategic investments and the founding of LVMH, a conglomerate that owns iconic luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Dior.

Personal Life

In the realm of personal relationships, Arnault has experienced the ebb and flow of life. Having been married twice, first to Anne Dewavrin in 1973 and later to Hélène Mercier in 1991, Arnault’s family expanded to include five children.

Delphine Arnault, his daughter, is a prominent figure as the CEO of Dior since February 2023.

Bernard Arnault’s Family

Bernard Arnault, the well-known French business magnate and CEO of LVMH, hails from a family that has greatly influenced his life and career. Let’s take a closer look at his family:


  • Father: Jean Leon Arnault, a manufacturer and the owner of Ferret-Savinel, a civil engineering company.
  • Mother: Marie-Josèphe Savinel, a pianist with a deep passion for Dior.
  • Siblings: Bernard Arnault has a sister.

Spouse (wife):

In 1973, Bernard Arnault married Anne Dewavrin, with whom he had two children, Delphine and Antoine. They parted ways in 1990.

In 1991, he tied the knot with Hélène Mercier, a Canadian concert pianist. Their family expanded with three sons: Alexandre, Frédéric, and Jean.


  • Delphine Arnault
  • Antoine Arnault
  • Alexandre Arnault
  • Frédéric Arnault
  • Jean Arnault

Bernard Arnault’s upbringing in a strict Catholic environment and his family’s involvement in manufacturing and music significantly influenced his journey to becoming one of the world’s wealthiest individuals.


Isaiah Amos traces Bernard Arnault’s educational and career path, starting with his education at Lycée Maxence Van Der Meersch and Lycée Faidherbe. Graduating from École Polytechnique in 1971, he joined his father’s company, Ferret-Savinel, eventually redirecting its focus to real estate.

The Transformation of Ferinel into George V Group

Under Arnault’s influence, Ferret-Savinel transformed into Ferinel, with a shift towards real estate. After acquiring a textile company and relocating the headquarters, the real estate branch became the George V Group.

Later, these assets found a new home with Compagnie Générale des Eaux (CGE), ultimately becoming Nexity.

The Rise of Arnault: President of Ferret-Savinel

Starting his career at Ferret-Savinel in 1971, Arnault became its president from 1978 to 1984. A pivotal moment came in 1984 when he learned about the French government’s search for someone to take over the Boussac Saint-Frères empire, which included Christian Dior.

Strategic Moves: Financière Agache and Boussac Saint-Frères

With the guidance of Antoine Bernheim, Arnault acquired Financière Agache, becoming its CEO. This move positioned him to win the bidding war for Boussac Saint-Frères, gaining control of the group by purchasing it for a symbolic one franc.

“The Terminator”: Restructuring and Profits

Arnault’s leadership saw significant restructuring, with layoffs and asset sales, earning him the moniker “The Terminator.” By 1987, he successfully turned the company around, keeping Christian Dior and Le Bon Marché.

Collaboration and Formation of LVMH

Collaborating with Alain Chevalier and Henry Racamier, Arnault played a pivotal role in forming LVMH in 1987. The conglomerate’s creation marked a strategic move to prevent hostile takeovers, although internal struggles emerged later.

LVMH Takeover and Expansion

In 1988, Arnault invested in LVMH and, facing a potential hostile takeover, increased his stake to become its largest shareholder. This move was crucial in preserving the conglomerate’s unity and preventing its dismantlement.

Visionary Leadership at LVMH

Elected chairman of the executive management board in 1989, Arnault initiated an ambitious development plan for LVMH. Over eleven years, the company’s sales, profits, and market value soared, establishing it as a global luxury powerhouse.

Diversification and Global Expansion

Arnault’s leadership saw strategic acquisitions, including Céline, Berluti, Kenzo, Guerlain, Loewe, and Sephora. The 1990s marked further integration of brands like Thomas Pink, Emilio Pucci, Fendi, DKNY, and La Samaritaine.

International Ventures and Business Investments

Beyond the luxury sector, Arnault ventured into various industries, investing in web companies, Netflix, and entering the supermarket retail business with Carrefour. His foray into the yacht business and acquisitions continued to diversify his portfolio.

Challenges and Triumphs: 1MDB Fund and Tiffany & Co.

Arnault faced challenges, being a member of the 1MDB fund’s Board of Advisors from 2010 to 2013. The acquisition and subsequent legal battle with Tiffany & Co. showcased the intricacies of his business decisions.

Market Leadership and Decentralization Strategy

Under Arnault’s guidance, LVMH became the largest eurozone company by market capitalization, emphasizing brand decentralization. His approach allowed brands like Tiffany to maintain their independence.

Arnault’s Art Collection and Philanthropy

Delving into Arnault’s personal interests, the article highlights his art collection featuring works by Picasso, Yves Klein, Henry Moore, and Andy Warhol. Additionally, Arnault’s role in promoting art through LVMH initiatives is explored.

Legacy: Louis Vuitton Foundation and Continued Success

The article concludes by acknowledging Arnault’s ownership of Phillips de Pury & Company, his contributions to the Louis Vuitton Foundation, and LVMH’s record sales in 2017, showcasing his enduring impact on the business world.

Art Collection

Beyond business, Arnault’s passion extends to art. His remarkable collection features works by iconic artists like Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Yves Klein.

Arnault’s role as a patron of the arts is highlighted by initiatives like the LVMH Young Fashion Designer competition and the Louis Vuitton Foundation.

Challenges and Successes

Arnault’s career has not been devoid of challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a temporary decline in his wealth due to reduced sales of luxury goods.

Additionally, his consideration of Belgian citizenship in 2013 sparked controversy, although he later clarified his commitment to France.

Political Views and Awards

Arnault’s involvement in politics is noteworthy, having supported Emmanuel Macron in the 2017 French presidential election.

His contributions to the business world and the arts have earned him numerous awards and honors, including the Légion d’Honneur in France and the Order of the British Empire in the UK.

FAQs – Quick Facts

What Is His Real Name?

Bernard Jean Étienne Arnault

How Old Is He (as of 2024)?

Born on March 5, 1949, Arnault is currently 75 years old.

What Is His Date of Birth?

March 5, 1949, in Roubaix, France.

Where Is His Birthplace?

Roubaix, France.

Where Is He Originally From?


What Is His Net Worth (as of 2024)?

Over $200 billion.

Does He Have Children (as of 2024)?

Yes, five children.

Bernard Arnault Married How Many Times?

He married twice.

Who Is Bernard Arnault’s First Wife?

Anne Dewavrin (m. 1973 – 1990)

Who Is Bernard Arnault’s Second Wife?

Hélène Mercier (m. 1991 – present)

Bernard Arnault Had How Many Children With Anne Dewavrin?

He had two children with, Anne Dewavrin (Delphine and Antoine).

Bernard Arnault Currently Has How Many Children With Hélène Mercier?

He currently has three children with Hélène Mercier, his second wife, as of 2024 (Alexandre, Frédéric, and Jean).

In Conclusion

Bernard Arnault’s journey from Roubaix to becoming the world’s wealthiest person is a testament to vision, determination, and business acumen.

His impact on the luxury goods industry and the arts is indelible, marking him as a titan in both business and culture.

Bernard Arnault Biography, Net Worth, Parents, Siblings, Family, Career, Education, Personal Life

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