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L’Oreal heir Francoise Bettencourt Meyers becomes the first woman to amass a fortune of $100 billion

"L'Oréal shares are up 35% year to date after reaching a new high on Thursday."

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L’Oreal heir Francoise Bettencourt Meyers becomes the first woman to amass a fortune of $100 billion

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, in 2015. Bertrand Rindoff Petroff—Getty Images

Her fortune soared to $100.2 billion on Thursday, December 28, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, propelled by record-high performance of shares in L'Oréal SA, the beauty products empire founded by her grandfather.

The achievement comes as L'Oréal's stocks have had their best year since 1998, cementing the family's position as the single largest shareholder, with a nearly 35% stake in the €241 billion ($268 billion) company.

Bettencourt Meyers, 70, is the vice-chair of L'Oréal's board of directors, carrying on the legacy started by her chemist grandfather, Eugene Schueller, in 1909.

While her $100 billion fortune is significant, it is overshadowed by her compatriot Bernard Arnault, founder of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, who ranks second globally with a staggering $179.4 billion as of Wednesday's market close.

Because of France's dominance in the luxury retail sector, several ultra-rich families have emerged, including those behind Hermès International SCA and Chanel.

Bettencourt Meyers maintains a notably private life and avoids the glamorous social scene coveted by many of the world's wealthy. Aside from her work at L'Oréal, she has written two books: a five-volume study of the Bible and a genealogy of Greek gods. She is also recognized for her commitment to playing the piano for hours every day.

Bettencourt Meyers inherited her substantial wealth as the sole heir after her mother, Liliane Bettencourt, died in 2017, with whom she had a sometimes contentious relationship.

A recent Netflix documentary, "L'Affaire Bettencourt," delves into the family feud and includes secret recordings made by a butler.

Despite facing challenges during the pandemic, including a downturn in the makeup industry due to lockdowns, L'Oréal saw a quick rebound as consumers splurged on luxury items, resulting in a 35% increase in the company's shares this year.

Source: Bloomberg

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Emily Adams

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Emily Adams is a passionate fashion enthusiast with a keen eye for emerging trends and a deep appreciation for timeless style. With years of experience in the fashion industry, Emily brings a unique perspective to The Fashion Enthusiast. Her articles seamlessly blend the latest runway looks with practical tips for incorporating high fashion into everyday life.

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