The richest man in France (and all of Europe) has had a banner year. He recently added $2.8 billion to his net worth in one day for a total gain of $36 billion in 2019. At times in the latter half of the year, Bernard Arnault has been the second wealthiest and even (albeit for a very very short time) the wealthiest man in the world. He is one of the three people to have a net worth of $100 billion or more. The other two are, of course, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos. The additional $2.8 billion pushed his net worth up 2.7% for a total of $106 billion. That makes him the second-wealthiest person in the world once again and puts him just $1 billion behind Bill Gates, who has a current net worth of $107 billion. Jeff Bezos is the third-wealthiest person in the world. Bezos has a net worth of $103 billion.
Arnault crossed the $100 billion threshold in June. Arnault is the majority stakeholder in LVMH – the world's largest maker of luxury goods. LVMH is made up of 70 companies including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Dom Perignon, and others. Arnault is the richest person in the fashion industry. He lives in Paris and has a vacation home on the French Riviera. Arnault has been the chairman and CEO of LVMH since 1989. The company is a family business. Four of his five children work at LVMH or one of its brands. Arnault owns a 96.5% stake in Christian Dior. LVMH had more than $53 billion in revenue in 2018. Arnault and his immediate family own more than 47% of LVMH.
Recently, LVMH confirmed its acquisition of jeweler Tiffany & Co. for $16.2 billion, which has fueled the upward trajectory of LVMH stock.
Gates, Arnault, and Bezos are all very comfortably ahead of every other billionaire in the world. Warren Buffett is the fourth person in the world with an $82 billion net worth, Larry Ellison is fifth, with $70 billion, Amancio Ortega is sixth, with $64 billion, and Mark Zuckerberg is the seventh-richest person, with $50 billion.