Keeping up with the latest fashion trends could make you the second richest person in the world. Who knew? The President of Louis Vuitton, Frenchman Bernard Arnault. He’s just eclipsed Gates’ $107 billion pot, and given the conventional closets of others on that Forbes list, Arnault may be one of the few hundred billion dollar dealers who looks the part!
Bill Gates has been dislodged from a top two place on the rich list for the first time in seven years (not that he’ll care!). His bester isn’t a household name in the US, but as Bernard Arnault’s fortune stockpiles in France, the market gives management pay a second glance. Investors are paying varying prices for varying skills at the top, the debate flaring up again over what’s best for business.
Yesterday, it was Disney putting out a PR fire over CEO Bob Iger’s salary, a thousand times that of a regular employee. Tomorrow, same story-somewhere else. However, skippers like Iger have earned their stripes. Talent is a scarce commodity, and finding an outstanding manager has long been a guiding tenet for investors. It’s never come free, either. Mr. Arnault has set fashion trends for years with luxury brand LVMC. The fact that his net worth comes from his skin in the game, still maintaining such a massive slice of ownership in LVMC, only makes the stock market love him and trust him even more.
With a fortune amounting to 3% of the French economy, it’s evident that his paper-making talents go far beyond a simple buy-and-hold of Louis Vuitton stock. Bernard Arnault is one of us, an enthusiastic investor! He’s in tech, “a yacht company,” and even Netflix! So, one to watch for the up-and-coming stock picker in the markets.