Collector Bernard Arnault Surpasses Elon Musk to Become Richest Person in the World

Bernard Arnault, one of the world’s top collectors and the CEO of the luxury goods conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is officially the richest person in the world, Forbes reported this week.

With a reported fortune of an estimated $186.2 billion and counting, Arnault and his family have surpassed Elon Musk, of SpaceX and Tesla fame, to top Forbes’s list of the richest people in the world. Musk, who Forbes said lost $2.7 billion in the last trading day, has slid to second place.

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Forbes currently has Arnault far above his main business competitor, François Pinault, another French magnate who also happens to be one of the world’s top collectors. The owner of the luxury goods conglomerate Kering, Pinault and his family currently rank at #30.

Just as he hit the top of the list, Fortune ran a feature in which it said that Arnault, who is 73, is in the middle of trying to decide which of his five children will assume leadership of LVMH after him. Fortune compared the situation to the HBO series Succession.

Arnault is an art-world regular known for his large art collection and for luring top artists to collaborate with brands owned by LVMH. He and his wife Hélène have ranked on the ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list every year since 2006. His foundation runs an art space in Paris that regularly hosts blockbuster shows.

Last month, Arnault became the subject of much speculation when gossip circulated that LVMH was trying to acquire the mega-gallery Gagosian. Gagosian has dismissed that talk as the stuff of rumors, and no such acquisition has come to pass yet.


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