As the heiress to the lucrative L’Oréal beauty products company, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers has amassed the first-ever $100 billion fortune in her lifetimec.
Her wealth surged to $100.2 billion on Thursday, December 28, as per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. This was fueled by the exceptional performance of her grandpa’s beauty products company, L’Oréal SA, which her grandfather created.
The accomplishment of the French cosmetics tycoon coincides with L’Oréal’s stocks experiencing their highest year since 1998, solidifying the family’s standing as the company’s single largest stakeholder, with approximately 35% of the €241 billion ($268 billion) business.
As vice-chair of the L’Oréal board, Bettencourt Meyers, 70, carries on the family history started in 1909 by her grandpa, Eugene Schueller, a chemist.
The remarkable $100 billion fortune of her countryman, Bernard Arnault, the founder of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, is still far more wealthy than hers. As of Wednesday’s market close, Arnault’s wealth ranked second internationally with an astounding $179.4 billion.
The French luxury retail industry’s domination has given rise to a number of affluent families, such as the ones behind Chanel and Hermès International SCA.
Bettencourt Meyers leads a remarkably secluded life, shunning the glitzy social scene that many of the world’s wealthy aspire to. In addition to her work at L’Oréal, she is the author of two books: a five-volume study of the Bible and a genealogy of the Greek gods. She is also acknowledged for her commitment to practising the piano for several hours each day.
After her mother, Liliane Bettencourt, passed away in 2017, Bettencourt Meyers became the only heir to her considerable fortune. She and her mother had a tense relationship.
A butler’s covert recordings of the family quarrel are included in the new Netflix documentary “L’Affaire Bettencourt,” which explores the family’s history and includes a legal battle turned political scandal.
Despite difficulties during the epidemic, including a decline in the beauty sector as a result of lockdowns, L’Oréal quickly recovered as customers splashed out on upscale goods, resulting in a 35% increase in the company’s shares this year.