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#15 Francoise Bettencourt Meyers $43.7B

Random fact: Foundation has been France's largest closely held charity.

Overview

Bettencourt Meyers controls 33 percent of L'Oreal, the world's largest cosmetics maker. She's chairwoman of the holding company that holds the family's stake, which was attributed to her mother Liliane until her death in September 2017. L'Oreal owns the Lancome and Garnier brands, and had revenue of almost $29 billion in 2016.

As of Oct. 23, 2017:
Last change -$587M (-1.3%)
YTD change +$7.54B (+20.8%)
Industry Consumer
Biggest asset OR FP Equity
Citizenship France
Age 63
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers's net worth of $43.7B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
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Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Bettencourt Meyer's fortune stems from her family's stake in L'Oreal, the world's largest cosmetics company. She inherited the stake when her mother, Liliane, died at age 94, according to a Sept. 21, 2017 company statement. The family has 33.1 percent of the Paris-based company's share capital, or 185.7 million shares, according to its 2016 annual report. 

Under French inheritance law, Bettencourt Meyers must receive a minimum 50 percent of the estate. The full amount is attributed to her because she's chairwoman of the family's holding company, Tethys, according to the 2016 annual report.

The billionaire and her sons became guardians of the family fortune in 2011 following a court dispute over the finances of Liliane, who had been making gifts to her entourage, including family friend and photographer Francois-Marie Banier.

The value of her cash investments is based on an analysis of dividends, market performance, insider transactions, taxes and charitable contributions.

Marie-France Lavarini, a spokeswoman for the late Bettencourt, declined to comment on the net worth calculation.

Biography

Birthdate: 1953
Family: Married, 2 children

Bettencourt Meyers is the grandaughter of Eugene Schueller, the founder of cosmetics maker L'Oreal. She was born in 1953 to Andre and Liliane Bettencourt.

Andre Bettencourt was a decorated French war hero who resisted the Nazis, served as a government minister for 20 years and was vice chairman of L'Oreal until 1994. He died in 2007. Her mother, Liliane Bettencourt, joined the business as an apprentice at age 15 and inherited her father's stake in L'Oreal in 1957. She died in September 2017.

Relations between the Bettencourt Meyers and her mother became frayed in 2007, when Bettencourt Meyers filed a lawsuit suggesting that her mother was mentally unfit and had been taken advantage of by her entourage. An October 2011 court ruling placed the family's assets under the guardianship of Bettencourt Meyers and her two sons. The decision was confirmed in 2012.

An academic, Bettencourt Meyers has written books on Greek mythology and Jewish-Christian relations. With her mother, she founded the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation in 1987, which donates to science research, humanitarian causes and the arts.

Bettencourt Meyers is chairwoman of the family holding company, Tethys, and a L'Oreal board member. One of her two sons, Jean-Victor Meyers, replaced his grandmother, Liliane Bettencourt, on L'Oreal's board in 2012.

Milestones
  • 1953 Francoise Bettencourt is born to Andre and Liliane Bettencourt.
  • 1964 L'Oreal purchases cosmetics and perfume-maker Lancome.
  • 1974 Swiss food company Nestle buys an indirect stake in L'Oreal.
  • 1997 Becomes a director of L'Oreal.
  • 2012 Named chairwoman of family holding company Tethys.
  • 2012 Becomes a member of L'Oreal's strategy and sustainable development committee.
  • 2012 Son Jean-Victor Meyers joins her on L'Oreal board.
  • 2017 Liliane Bettencourt dies.