For the last two years when you asked: “Who is the second richest person in the world?” the answer would be Bill Gates. But Gates’ reign as the second-richest person on the planet has come to an end. Bernard Arnault is now the second richest person in the world. Luckily for Bill Gates, he has a few dollar bills to wipe away his tears of being overtaken.
Bernard Arnault is the CEO of LVMH, a French luxury conglomerate. Arnault, who is known as “the wolf in cashmere,” owns luxury goods conglomerate that today owns Louis Vuitton, Moët & Chandon, Hennessy, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Fendi, and Celine. LVMH boasts 4,650 retail stores and 70 brands globally, so if it is a super swanky luxury brand, Bernard probably owns it.
In January of 2019, Arnault was ranked as the fourth richest person in the world with a net worth of $68.6 billion. Now, in July, Bernard Arnault has a net worth of $107 billion and is the second-richest on the planet. The reason why Bernard has shot up so quickly is because LVMH shares are up over 50% in 2019 thus far. The reason for all of the recent success for LVMH is believed to be from the recent surge of high-end customers from China demanding luxury items.
The 70-year-old Arnault made $39 billion so far in 2019, destroying the competition. Gates has earned $16 billion in the same period while Jeff Bezos has lost a billion. Arnault’s total wealth is now more than 3% of France’s economy.
In 2017, Bill Gates was the richest person in the world, but that was before Jeff Bezos went on an unimaginable run thanks to Amazon and took a commanding lead over the rest of the multi-billionaires. Jeff Bezos has a net worth of $122 billion, far ahead of Arnault and Gates who has a net worth of $106 billion.
This is the first time in the seven-year history of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index that the Microsoft founder was ranked below No. 2 on the most wealthy list.
Warren Buffet is the fourth-richest individual with a net worth of $81.3 billion and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg comes in fifth with a net worth of 77.4 billion.