Bernard Arnault Childhood & Early Life
Bernard Jean Arnault was born on the 5th of March 1949 in Roubaix, a city in the North of France. He is the son of Jean Leon Arnault, who managed the Ferret-Savinel, a civil engineering company belonging to his wife’s family. Bernard learned in Maxence Van Der Meersch in Roubaix and later joined Faidherbe in Lille. He later joined Ecole Polytechnique and graduated in 1971 with a degree in Engineering.
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Bernard Arnault Career
After graduating in 1971, Bernard became involved in his father’s company and made plans to enlarge its horizons to be profitable in other businesses. He managed to convince his father to disband the construction division and reap the benefits. Later, the family invested in real estate and became very successful. In no time, Bernard had moved up the ranks and became the director of development in 1974, the CEO in 1977, and outdid his father for the company’s president seat in 1979.
The Arnault family was forced out of France by the French socialist and relocated to America in 1981. Despite their ejection, they continued to flourish and prosper in their real estate company in the US. When Bernard went back to France in 1983, he identified a golden opportunity to enlarge the textile industry when Boussac Saint-Freres was bankrupt. He conspired with the managing partner Lazard Freres investment firm(Antonie Bernheim) to fund his purchase of Boussac.
Upon acquiring Boussac Saint-Freres, he sold shares and only remained with the Christian Dior and department store Le Bon Marche. Bernard became the CEO of Christian Dior in 1985. Together with Guinness PLC, they invested in the LVMH company in 1987, and in 1989 Arnault had control over 43.5% shares in the company. He immediately began to replace the old average employees with new exciting ones who would surpass his expectations.
Bernard Arnault Philanthropic Works
Thanks to Bernard Arnault, his company(LVMH) is involved in several philanthropic activities. He has a hand in medical research, humanitarian and scientific organizations. Save the children, the Foundation for Hospitals in Paris, and the Princess Grace of Monaco Foundation are also his philanthropic works.