Bernard Arnault, Louis Vuitton boss, overtakes Bill Gates on billionaire index

Bernard Arnault and Bill Gates

Bernard Arnault and Bill Gates

He's still in rarefied air, but Bill Gates is no longer the world's second-richest person.

Over the last few years Bill Gates has fluctuated between being the first or second richest person in the world.

Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH, whose shares surged on Tuesday, is now more than $200 million richer than Gates, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. It now sits at $108 billion, which gives him an edge of roughly a billion dollars over Bill Gates, but still leaves Bezos and his $125 billion net worth plenty of breathing room, at least for now.

Gates is now worth $107 billion, but there's a caveat: Were it not for his philanthropic giving, he'd still be No. 1. According to reports, Arnault's, Gate's and Bezos' riches combined surpass the individual market values of nearly every company in the S&P 500 Index, including Walmart Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp, and Walt Disney Co.

Arnault, who is France's richest man, has added $39 billion to his net worth since June 2018, the biggest leap by an individual among the 500 people on Bloomberg's ranking.

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Bezos, Arnault, and Gates now make up the only three members of the $100 Billion Club, so hopefully they can keep any internal competition between them on a civil and friendly basis.

This year has been particularly good to French tycoons, with Arnault, Kering SA's Francois Pinault and cosmetics heir Francoise Bettencourt Meyers tacking on a combined $57 billion.

Arnault, 70, made headlines earlier this year when he committed $224 million to the rebuilding of fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Arnault has been the majority shareholder of Christian Dior SE, which is the main holding company of LVMH, since a reported $13.1 billion buy out in 2017.

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