What would the world billionaires list look like without the American and Asian mavericks doing spectacular things in tech and other fields of endeavour? Take away these two groups and you would find an interesting crop of European billionaires who made their fortune from unlikely areas.
Today, we will look at the top five European billionaires and what they do for money.
5. Beate Heister & Karl Albrecht Jr. ($39.7 billion)
Beate Heister and Karl Albrecht Jr. are German nationals and children of the founder of one of the biggest supermarket chains in Germany.
Aldi Supermarket was founded by two brothers after World War 2 and it went on to become very successful. The brothers split at some point and one of them took over the supermarket and made a great success of it. Aldi is touted as the European Walmart.
Together, Beate and Karl Jr. are worth $39.7 billion.
4. Francois Pinnault ($52.3 billion)
The Frenchman, Francois Pinault is the Chairman of the fashion group, Kerring which owns luxury brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Gucci. He started his company as a wood and building materials company before diving into the lucrative world of luxury goods.
In 1999, he bought the controlling stake in Gucci Group and this kickstarted his journey into luxury products. Francois Pinault is currently worth $52.3 billion.
3. Francois Bettencourt Meyers ($83 billion)
She is the richest woman in the world and the third richest in Europe. Francois Bettencourt Meyers is the granddaughter of the founder of the world-famous cosmetic brand, L’Oréal. She inherited the fortune after her mother who was also the richest woman died.
2. Amancio Ortega ($84.9 billion)
Amancio Ortega is one of the wealthiest clothing retailers in the world. He sits on top of Inditex, a fashion company that owns several brands with over 7,500 stores worldwide.
Inditex is listed and Amancio owns 60% of it. According to Forbes, he earns over $400 million in dividends every year.
Amancio Ortega is Spanish and he is worth $84.9 billion.
1. Bernard Arnaut ($180.1 billion)
He needs no introduction as we have done many articles on him already. He is the third richest man in the world and the president of Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton Group (LVMH). His company is the biggest name in the luxury goods world with over 70 brands under it.
According to Forbes, he pulled off the biggest brand acquisition ever when he signed in January 2021, the American jeweller Tiffany & Co for $15.8 billion.
Bernard Arnaut calls himself the custodian of French heritage according to Forbes. His net worth is $180.1 billion.