Luxury-goods titan Bernard Arnault has eclipsed Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chairman Warren Buffett to become the world’s third-richest person on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The Frenchman, who added $14.5 billion to his fortune so far this year and is now worth $83.1 billion, edged past Buffett by about $100 million on Tuesday to join the top three for the first time since Bloomberg’s wealth ranking debuted in 2012. Arnault, the chairman of Louis Vuitton parent LVMH, is also the only European other than Zara owner Amancio Ortega of Spain to reach third on the list.
Most of Arnault’s wealth is tied to his holdings of Christian Dior and LVMH, with shares of both jumping 20 percent this year on record sales, defying a slowdown in China.
Arnault, 70, has added $32.6 billion to his net worth in the past five years. His 2018 gains rival those of Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, who has added $15.2 billion to his fortune, which now stands at $140.1 billion on the Bloomberg index.
Only Mark Zuckerberg, currently ranked sixth, has had a better start to the year, with the Facebook Inc. co-founder’s fortune climbing by $15.3 billion.