The binge-worthy TV series following the Waystar Royco empire and the power-hungry dynamics of the Roy family has captured the attention of millions worldwide. Like that of the generational wealth that Logan Roy boasts, Bernard Arnault, Chairman of luxury conglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton Möet Hennessy) boasts that same, but much, much more.
Bernard Arnault is the richest person on Earth with a current net worth of $222.5 billion USD at this time of publishing. He is the Chairman, CEO and Founder of the largest luxury goods company in history, LVMH. The conglomerate boasts 72 subsidiary companies, some of which individually are multinational billion dollar brand names. Some of the more well-known brands include: Belvedere, Chandon, Moet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Hennessy, Dom, Pérignon, Louis Vuitton, Rimowa, Fendi, Dior, Tiffany & Co., Marc Jacobs, Off-White, Givenchy, Tag Heuer, Hublot, Bulgari and Sephora.
Arnault has five children, all of which have major executive roles with the family business. Alexandre (son), 31, is the Executive Vice President of Tiffany & Co. He played a key role in bringing luggage giant Rimowa to global success. Frédéric Arnault (son), 28, is the CEO of Tag Heuer. He was officially announced as the Chief Executive at just 25 years old. Jean Arnault (son) is the Director of Marketing and Development for Watches at Louis Vuitton and at just 25 years of age, he is the youngest l of Bernard’s 5 children. Delphine Arnault (daughter) is the CEO of Dior as of 2023 and is Bernard’s eldest at 48 years old. Antoine Arnault (son) is the Vice Chairman of Christian Dior SE which is the majority shareholding company of LVMH, he is 45 years of age.
According to the Daily Mail, Bernard invites all his 5 children to lunch at the LVMH headquarters in Paris every month for a general business catchup and advice brainstorming session. Reportedly, Bernard asks them individually on ways to enhance the business as a whole, increase revenue and move forward strategically, as well as the efficiency of management structures of each subsidiary company individually and restructuring possibilities. Insiders of the business believe it is essentially an ‘audition’ to fulfil the Chairman and CEO position of LVMH once Bernard steps down. See the similarities yet to HBO’s hit ‘Succession’?
Arnault, when asked about his successor, claims he has “5”, whether that’s one of five or five collectively, time will tell. Close personal friend of Bernard, Sidney Toledano says he is confident that the children can work efficiently as a collective as they all “put business first.” However, at age 74, there is no indication of Arnault slowing down. He recently requested that the LVMH board raise the long standing rule that CEO’s cannot be over the age of 75, now extended to 80 after a successful plea to the board from Arnault. An indication of Bernard’s plans to stay on for at least a few more years.
Delphine’s recent appointment as CEO of Dior, the second largest brand under the LVMH umbrella is rumoured to be one of the frontrunners for the top job, alongside Antoine, the two eldest and most experienced children. Allegedly, a number of shareholders are not thrilled that Delphine is one of the favourites. Parallel to the HBO hit Succession, much of the public was shocked to find out Shiv was at one stage, next in line to fill the big, bullish boots of Logan Roy. Antoine, Bernard’s eldest, has always been the strongest candidate to lead the company in the eyes of the public, recently undertaking a new position of Vice Chairman of Christian Dior SE and working directly under Bernard in his earlier years.
According to nasdaq.com, Arnault has been restructuring his holding company, Agache, that controls the majority of stock in LVMH to give equal shares to all five children. Not to mention, the wealth isn’t all tied up in stock. Arnault owns hundreds of millions of dollars worth of property all over the world. Whether it’s soaking up the sun at his sunny Bordeaux estate, skiing in the French Alps, or continuing to build the fashion empire on his private Island in the Bahamas, St Tropez villa, Miami compound, New York penthouse or St. Barts beach house. The Arnault family can relax anywhere in the world, all via a selection of private jets…
Who will eventually be named as Bernard . successor? From making his first small fortune in construction in the 70’s, Bernard put up $15 million in personal capital to purchase Christian Dior in 1984. Today, the LVMH conglomerate is a USD $456 billion dollar company. And the kids want a slice of the pie when the boss calls it quits.