Last Updated: December 4, 2023
Richest BusinessRichest Billionaires
Net Worth:
$45 Billion
Apr 17, 1951 (73 years old)
Paris, France
­čĺ░ Compare Gerard Wertheimer's Net Worth

What is Gerard Wertheimer's Net Worth?

Gerard Wertheimer is a French businessman who has a net worth of $45 billion. He is best known for owning and operating The House of Chanel perfume company. As of this writing, Gerard is one of the 20 richest people in the world. His brother Alain is also worth $45 billion.

Gerard Wertheimer was born in Paris, France in April 1951. He is the co-owner of House of Chanel with his brother Alain Wertheimer. House of Chanel was co-founded by his grandfather Pierre Wertheimer. The company owns non-Chanel brands like Tanner Krolle, Holland & Holland, and more. Gerard and Alain Wertheimer also own French vineyards including Chateau Canon in Saint-Emilion and Chateau Rauzan-Segla in Margaux. The brothers are equestrians who inherited a thoroughbred horse racing stable called La Presle Farm. Gerard Wertheimer graduated from the University of Paris. House of Chanel was founded in 1909 by Coco Chanel. The brand's products include haute couture, perfume, jewelry, and accessories and posted a revenue of $11 billion in 2018 with more than 20,000 employees worldwide.

Coco Chanel

Back in the late 1800s, Ernest Wertheimer moved from Alsace, France to Paris. He bought the company Bourjois, a theatrical makeup company that produced the very first dry rouge in the world. Ernest's sons Pierre and Paul took over the family business in 1917 and just three years later, the company was the largest and most successful cosmetic and fragrance company in France. The turning point on the path to even greater success came when Pierre met Coco Chanel in the 1920s. They became business partners. In 1924 Pierre and Coco created Parfums Chanel when Coco Chanel came to the conclusion that it was the right time to launch her signature fragrance, Chanel No. 5, to a larger and wider base of customers. Prior to the agreement with Wertheimer, Chanel No. 5 was only available in Chanel's boutique. Coco leveraged Pierre's expertise in retail as well as his knowledge of the American market and his financial resources. Pierre took a 70% stake in Parfums Chanel for his part in financing and marketing Chanel's perfume. For a 10% stake in Parfums Chanel, Coco licensed her name to the company and didn't take part in any of the business operations. She was, after all, a designer at heart.

However, as time went on, Coco was unhappy with the deal she'd made with Pierre and attempted to regain control of Parfums Chanel. She sued the Wertheimers in the mid 1930s and lost. When the Nazis descended on Paris during World War II, Chanel contacted German officials and told them that the Wertheimers, a Jewish family, owned her perfume and as an Aryan, it was her legal right under the laws that then required the property of all Jewish families to be seized. However, the Wertheimers were one step ahead of both the Nazis and the shrewd Coco Chanel. They had seen the Nazi mandates coming and moved to New York in 1940. Not only that, but they turned over full legal control of Parfums Chanel to a French businessman and Christian, Felix Amiot. When World War II ended in the favor of the Allies, Amiot turned Parfums Chanel back over to the Wertheimers. When Coco Chanel died in 1971, the family bought her out.


This brings us finally to Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, who are Pierre's grandsons. They are the third generation of Wertheimers to run the more than 100-year old company and have running the family business for 45 years. They took over complete control of the business in 1996, after their father Jacques passed away. Their wealth, while largely inherited, has been growing over the decades through business deals and acquisitions spanning retail, wine, and horse racing. The brothers are private people who rarely talk to the press. They are largely known as the fashion industry's quietest billionaires. They live very lavish lifestyles out of the public eye.

Gerard is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Alain lives in New York and has been credited with resurrecting the Chanel brand when he took over control of Chanel from his father in 1973. He was 25 at the time and convinced the board of trustees to let him take over the company. Alain and Gerard tapped one of the fashion industry's most famous creative directors, Karl Lagerfeld, to run the most famous brand in the world in 1983. Alongside the brothers, Lagerfeld took Chanel, which was then at its low point, and turned it into one of the most popular luxury brands in the world. In 2017, annual sales of Chanel's various product lines amounted to $9.62 billion. Despite this, they are two of the least famous fashion house owners. When they attend runway shows, they travel there in a modest French made hatchback and slip into the third or fourth row unnoticed.

Alain Wertheimer, as mentioned, lives in New York City in a large apartment on Fifth Avenue with his wife and children. His home isn't far from Chanel's executive offices on 57th Street. Gerard lives in a secluded, French-style mansion in the Vandœuvres region of Geneva, Switzerland. The brothers also own a chateau in France's Loire Valley as well as about seven other homes across the globe. The brothers are avid art collectors and own works by Picasso, Matisse, and Rousseau, to name a few.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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