Bernard Arnault, LVMH
Bernard Arnault, billionaire and chairman of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, at the Viva Tech fair in Paris, France, on Thursday, June 15, 2023. Viva Tech gathers startups, investors and executives from several countries and has become France’s leading event in technology and innovation. Photographer: Nathan Laine/Bloomberg via Getty Images

French billionaire Bernard Arnault has solidified a remarkable 30-year plan for the future of his family within the LVMH empire. While succession was traditionally tethered to his passing, the game-changer emerged in the form of his youngest child, Jean Arnault, who recently celebrated his 25th birthday. According to reports from Italy’s ll Sole 24 Ore newspaper via Fashion United, the transition now moves to a limited partnership called Financière Agache.

Within this new limited partnership structure, there are both general partners with authoritative roles and limited partners possessing economic rights. Notably, Ludovic and Stéphanie Watine, offspring of Bernard’s late sister, are vested with the economic prerogative. Yet it’s the Agache Commandité, functioning as the general partner, that wields ultimate control.

Louis Vuitton is but one of the brands within the LVMH mega portfolio. Getty Images

The capital of Agache Commandité is equally distributed among Bernard Arnault’s five children. What makes this transition even more significant is the stringent prohibition against any share sales for three decades, guaranteeing prolonged family stewardship. Furthermore, Bernard Arnault, the 74-year-old visionary, maintains his directorial role within the company, equipped with unlimited powers until he reaches the age of 95.

The third quarter of this year showcased a nine per cent growth for LVMH, a commendable performance although slightly under initial expectations. This variance is attributed to factors such as the Chinese economic slowdown and reduced U.S. demand. Yet, the luxury conglomerate continues to thrive, boasting a robust 10% surge in revenue over the past nine months.

Bernard Arnault, LVMH
Jean Arnault, Frédéric Arnault, Bernard Arnault and Antoine Arnault at the Christian Dior Fall 2023 Couture Collection Runway Show on July 3, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Swan Gallet/WWD via Getty Images)

Within the realm of family-founded luxury brands and groups, the tradition of entrusting leadership roles to family members has endured. These individuals are often perceived as being deeply committed to the long-term prosperity and legacy of the business. Their presence ensures stability, a shared vision, trust, and control. It’s their emotional connection to the company’s history and values that upholds stability and continuity. However, the challenge of integrating professional management, with fresh perspectives and expertise, should not be overlooked.

Bernard Arnault’s deliberate planning secures LVMH’s trajectory for decades to come, marking a new chapter in the legacy of this esteemed empire.