France’s richest 500 individuals have grown their fortunes by 15% in the past year, reaching a total wealth of € 390 billion in the 2014 ranking of the Challenges magazine published Thursday. “The richest French have not been touched by the the crisis,” the magazine writes, adding that since 1996, the combined wealth of the 500 richest increased fivefold, and that of the top ten has increased more than seven times.
The € 390 billion also represents a record increase of 25% compared to the previous year. The top three ranked individuals remain the same led by the CEO of LVMH Bernard Arnault, who earned € 2.7 billion in a year to reach a total of € 27 billion, Liliane Bettencourt – daughter of the founder of the group L’Oréal cosmetics, with € 26 billion and Gérard Mulliez, founder of the distribution group Auchan ( €20 billion).
Fourth ranked is Axel Dumas, CEO of Hermès ( €17 billion), followed, in fifth place, by Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, the owners of Chanel Group ($ 14.5 billion) – who had previously been on the eight spot
Serge Dassault (Dassault Aviation) and the François Pinault (Kering Group) are both ranked on the sixth place with € 13.5 billion, followed by Vincent Bolloré (Bolloré, €10 billion), Xavier Niel (Iliad Free € 8,5billion) and Pierre Castel (Castel Frères €7.5 billion).
This year’s ranking includes 61 billionaires, against 55 last year