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Luxury

Luxury Billionaire Plots Rebound After Taking Biggest Virus Hit

  • Vuitton owner has lost more wealth than anyone in virus crisis
  • Bernard Arnault maintains massive investments during downturn
Christian Dior’s founding boutique on Avenue Montaigne on May 6.

Christian Dior’s founding boutique on Avenue Montaigne on May 6.

Photographer: Cyril Marcilhacy/Bloomberg
Updated on

In his ninth-floor office on Paris’s Avenue Montaigne, Europe’s wealthiest man, Bernard Arnault, is spending long hours plotting a post-virus future for his luxury goods empire, LVMH. At 71, the billionaire has lived through several crises, but none quite like this one, with his armada of more than 70 brands -- from Dior to Fendi -- hit from all sides.

Arnault’s wealth has plunged. With LVMH shares down 19% this year, his net worth has shrunk by more than $30 billion -- losing more money than any other individual in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. As of May 6, he had lost about as much money as Amazon.com Inc. Chairman Jeff Bezos had gained.