French businessman and art collector Bernard Arnault has an estimated net worth of $42.4 billion as of August 2017, according to Forbes; making him the richest person in France and 13th richest in the world. Born in Roubaix, France on March 5, 1949. He is the chairman and CEO of LVMH, a luxury goods conglomerate which include fashion brand Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessy.
Following his graduation from École Polytechnique with an engineering degree, Arnault immediately entered his father’s firm (Ferret-Savinel) in 1971. Having conveyed his father to branch out to a real estate business, he became director of the new Férinel in 1974 and CEO in 1977. Two years later, he inherited his father’s company and was appointed as the president. The span of 1984 saw him acquiring and selling of a number of businesses but keeping Christian Dior line. In 1988, he joined force with Guinness to acquire 24% LVMH’s share worth $1.5 billion before individually adding $600 million more for 13.5% share, making him LVMH’s first shareholder. Having 43.5% of LVMH, and 35% of voting rights by 1989, he was naturally appointed as chairman of the executive management board. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Arnault had acquired and invested in more businesses but sold some that were not lucrative. He is also a well-known art appreciator and collector. His art collections include Picasso, Yves Klein, Henry Moore and Andy Warhol.