Welcome to 2016, Bienvenus en 2016!
If you’ve ever wondered whether France is a great country for a new business venture then you should have a look at France’s top 20 richest people to have a feel for where France’s biggest fortunes are made.
The rich of the rich are not doing too badly in France, for instance in 2014 their assets increased by 20% and they are only getting richer. The French elite’s fortune is estimated to be worth more than 325 billion which equals to 25% of French people’s bank savings.
Despite France’s economic (and social) crisis, French professional fortunes are enjoying a very prosperous era thanks to the explosion in their stock market portfolios. For example, the biggest players in the French stock market have experienced an increase of 20% between May 2014 and May 2015. Even more so, some French magnates have benefited from an increase of up to 93% in their share portfolios in one year (Patrick Dhari).
So let’s have a look at France’s biggest fortunes according to Benoît Boussemart, a recognised French economist specialised in financial evaluations. This chart certainly underlines French people’s general concern about the increasing ditch in between the rich and the poor. Worldwide, we have seen inequalities grow during the global economic crisis whereby the rich get richer and the poor poorer, France is not an exception even though it’s the country of “liberté, egalité et fraternité”.
France’s top 20 richest people in January 2016:
20. Eric Guerlain, Christian Dior, 3 Bilions (19,50% increase in 2015)
19. Jaques Saadé, CMA-CMG, 3,01 Bilions (17,10% increase in 2015)
18. Ricard, Pernot-Ricard, 3,23 Bilions (33,50% increase in 2015)
17. Pierre Bellon, Sodexo, 3,63 Bilions (22,60% increase in 2015)
16. Pierre Omydiar, eBay, 4,42 Bilions (6,50% increase in 2015)
15. Emmanuel Besnier, Lactalis, 4,5 Bilions (6,40% increase in 2015)
14. Coisne & Lambert, Sonepar, 5, 04 Bilions (4,60% increase in 2015)
13. Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, Louis Dreyfus, 5,36 Bilions (3,30% increase in 2015)
12. Jean-Claude Decaux, JCDecaux, 5,94 Bilions (2,60% increase in 2015)
11. Pierre Castel, Castel, 6,01 Bilions (2% increase in 2015)
10. Xavier Niel, Iliad, 7,02 Bilions (11,30% increase in 2015)
9. Vincent Bolloré, Bolloré, 7,63 Bilions (-5,30% increase in 2015)
8. François Pinault, Kering, 8,16 Bilions (22,50% increase in 2015)
7. Patrick Dhari, Altice, 10,07 Bilions (93,30% increase in 2015)
6. Serge Dassault, Dassault, 14,01 Bilions (27,01% increase in 2015)
5. Wertheimer Arnaud & Gérard, Chanel, 14,42 Bilions (23,70% increase in 2015)
4. Dumas, Guerrand, Puech, Hermès, 24,22 Bilions (30,3% increase in 2015)
3. Arnault Bernard, LVMH, 28,96 Bilions (47,10% increase in 2015)
2. Lilliane Bettencourt, L’Oréal, 31.47 Bilions (36.60% increase in 2015)
1. Gérard Mulliez, Groupe Mulliez, 39,94 Bilions (5,40% increase in 2015)
It remains clear that the biggest evolution in 2014-2015 was the luxury sector with dominating luxury brands like L’Oréal (beauty), LMVH (Moet Hennessy, Louis Vuitton dedicated to high-end luxury lifestyle goods), Hermès (luxury haute-couture) and Chanel (luxury beauty & high end fashion). It goes without saying that 2016 has, again, witnessed an explosion of the luxury sector thanks to an increasing buying power from the rich but also from the higher end of the middle class in the emergent powers like China.
Luxury fashion, high-end alcoholic drinks, and love for quality goods is more than a tradition to the French, it’s a profitable business that French and foreigner -both buyers and investors- believe in.