With brands like Tiffany, Dom Pérignon and Louis Vuitton, LVMH turned him into one of the world’s richest men. But with five children, he has a hard decision to make.
Bernard Arnault, 74, in the Paris headquarters of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which over decades he built into the world’s largest luxury group. Credit... Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times
One afternoon in July, not long after being named the wealthiest man on the planet by Forbes, Bernard Arnault, the head of the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton luxury goods empire, took his place on a stage with a view of the Eiffel Tower before a packed crowd of French dignitaries and reporters.
In the front row sat four of his five adult children — the fifth was watching from New York, where he is an executive at Tiffany & Company. Their father had raised all of them since they could walk to one day run the LVMH conglomerate.
The occasion was Mr. Arnault’s announcement that LVMH would provide 150 million euros (about $161 million) to sponsor the 2024 Paris Olympics. LVMH companies will play a starring role. Chaumet, a Paris jeweler whose clients once included Napoleon’s wife Joséphine, will design the Olympic medals, and Moët Hennessy wines will flow in hospitality suites.