Washington: In the seven-year history of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bill Gates has never been ranked lower that number 2. But that ended on Tuesday when the Microsoft Corp co-founder dropped to No 3 behind Frnace’s Bernard Arnault, reported Bloomberg.
LVMH, Arnault’s luxury-goods maker, advanced to a record on Tuesday and pushed his net worth to USD 107.6 billion and ahead of Gates by more than USD 200 million.
Arnault has added about USD 39 billion to his fortune in 2019 alone, the biggest individual gain by far among the 500 people in Bloomberg’s ranking.
Arnault, 70, joined Gates and Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, in the most exclusive wealth club last month, when his fortune surpassed USD 100 billion for the first time.
This year has been particularly good to French tycoons, with Arnault, Kering SA’s Francois Pinault and cosmetics heir Francoise Bettencourt Meyers tacking on a combined USD 57 billion.
Arnault controls about half of Paris-based LVMH through a family holding company and also owns a 97 per cent stake in Christian Dior, the fashion house founded three years before his birth in 1949.His art collection of modern and contemporary paintings includes pieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Damien Hirst, Maurizio Cattelan, Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso.
Were it not for Gates’s philanthropic giving, he’d still be the world’s richest person. Gates had donated more than USD 35 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Jeff Bezos’s net worth is up slightly this year to USD 125 billion, even after reaching a divorce settlement with MacKenzie Bezos that made her the world’s fourth-richest woman....