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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Banking and Finance - Billionaire Francoise Bettencourt Meyers and the French fashion and cosmetics industries

Banking and Finance

Billionaire Francoise Bettencourt Meyers and the French fashion and cosmetics industries

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers has recently become the first woman ever to accumulate a fortune of $100 billion, marking an incredible achievement for both herself and the French fashion and cosmetics industries. This milestone was reached as L’Oreal SA’s shares, the beauty products empire founded by her grandfather, soared to a record high, with the stock on track for its best year since 1998. Her net worth fell slightly to $99.7 billion.

Her sons, Jean-Victor Meyers, 37, and Nicolas Meyers, 35, are also directors. Bettencourt Meyers also serves as the chair of her family’s holding company, Téthys, which has the L’Oreal stake. Her husband, Jean-Pierre Meyers, serves as chief executive.

Bettencourt Meyers’ success comes from France’s thriving beauty and fashion industries, which have also thrust LVMH’s Arnault, Chanel’s Wertheimer brothers, and the Hermes family into the realm of the ultrawealthy. Her fortune begins the year 40 percent up after L’Oreal’s shares climbed to a record high over 2023.

France’s growing domination of luxury retail has spawned several other ultra-rich families, including:

  • Bernard Arnault (LVMH): $179 billion
  • Francoise Bettencourt Meyers (L’Oreal): $99.7 billion
  • Alain Wertheimer (Chanel): $36.6 billion
  • Gerard Wertheimer (Chanel): $36.6 billion

Hermès family: The Hermès family is the richest in Europe with a combined fortune of USD 151 billion. Their fortune has increased by an impressive 59% according to recent reports. As of December 2023, they are now the third wealthiest family in the world, ahead of the Mars and Koch empires from the US, and also ahead of political powerhouses such as the ruling House of Thani in Qatar and the Al Sauds of Saudi Arabia. The Hermès family comprises over 100 members, but only about 16 heirs hold a greater stake in the company, which is valued at around USD 220 billion as of December 2023.

The two most important members of the family are Axel Dumas and Pierre-Alexis Dumas, who are believed to be individually the richest among all. However, it is not known what their net worth is from the stake they hold in the family business. Other heirs include Nicolas Puech, who is an 80-year-old cousin of Jean-Louis Dumas. He made headlines in December 2023 when it was reported that he planned to adopt his 51-year-old Moroccan gardener and leave his $13.1 billion fortune to him. There is no information about the fortunes of any other members of the family.


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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - Banking and Finance - Billionaire Francoise Bettencourt Meyers and the French fashion and cosmetics industries
Nikolas Anderson
Associate Editor at CEOWORLD Magazine. I report on CEOs, boards, corporate governance, what’s going on inside the world’s biggest companies, and the future of work. Previously, I was Senior Energy Correspondent covering oil and gas companies, G-20 energy policy, and the global transition towards cleaner fuels.