Global Markets

Bernard Arnault beats Elon Musk to remain Richest man in the World with $233bn

Bernard Arnault, a French businessman, has maintained his position as the world’s wealthiest individual on Forbes’ billionaires list this year. His fortune has reached an astonishing £233 billion, surpassing the likes of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg, who are prominent figures in social media and ecommerce.

At the helm of the LVMH luxury fashion empire, which encompasses 75 brands and cosmetics labels such as Louis Vuitton, Sephora, and Tiffany & Co, the 75-year-old entrepreneur from Roubaix, France, has seen his net worth increase by an estimated $22 billion compared to the previous year, according to Forbes’ calculations.

Arnault’s conglomerate has experienced unprecedented success, with his personal wealth growing by $22 billion in 2024 alone. This substantial increase places him $38 billion ahead of Elon Musk, who secured the second position with a more modest fortune of $195 billion this year.

Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and Space X, who acquired Twitter in October 2022, continues to compete for the second spot with Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. Bezos, with an estimated personal wealth of $194 billion, contributed to the record-breaking number of billionaires worldwide recorded by Forbes.

Mark Zuckerberg, despite being the owner of Meta, which oversees Facebook, Instagram, Threads, WhatsApp, and other platforms, secured the fourth position. He trails behind Elon Musk as the second-richest social media owner. Zuckerberg’s fortune experienced a meteoric rise in 2023, increasing by approximately $116 billion. This surge can be attributed to the significant growth of Meta’s stock, cost-cutting measures, and ventures into artificial intelligence and the metaverse.

Larry Ellison, the Chief Technology Officer at software company Oracle, claimed the fifth spot this year with an estimated personal wealth of $141 billion. This achievement marks a notable success for the American businessman, as his net worth was estimated at $107 billion in the previous year.

According to Forbes, Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, came a distant 144th on the list with $13.4 billion.

Describing 2024 as a record year for 10-figure wealth that has left the billionaire class bigger and richer than ever, Forbes said the planet’s billionaires’ fortunes continue to swell as global stock markets shrug off war, political unrest and lingering inflation.

“There are now more billionaires than ever: 2,781 in all, 141 more than last year and 26 more than the record set in 2021.

“They’re richer than ever, worth $14.2 trillion in aggregate, up by $2 trillion from 2023 and $1.1 trillion above the previous record, also set in 2021.

“Two-thirds of the list’s members are worth more than a year ago; only one fourth are poorer. Much of the gains come from the top 20, who added a combined $700 billion in wealth since 2023, and from the U.S., which now boasts a record 813 billionaires worth a combined $5.7 trillion.

China remains second, with 473 (including Hong Kong) worth $1.7 trillion, despite weak consumer spending and a real estate bust that helped wipe out $200 billion in wealth and knocked 89 billionaires from the ranks. India, which has 200 billionaires (also a record), ranks third.

“To calculate net worths, we used stock prices and exchange rates from March 8, 2024. See below for the full list of the world’s billionaires and our methodology. For daily updated net worths of all 2,781 billionaires,” Forbes said.

Leave a Reply