Françoise Bettencourt Meyers joins billionaire elite as world’s richest woman

Meet Françoise Meyers, world's first woman to be worth over $100 billion

Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, at 70 years old, has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the world’s richest woman, joining the ranks of the traditionally male-dominated billionaire club, as per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

As of Thursday, Meyers saw her fortune surge past the $100 billion threshold, propelled by L’Oréal S.A.’s stock reaching record highs. While her net worth dipped slightly to $99.9 billion by the end of the trading day, she now stands in the league of billionaires like Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos.

Profile of Françoise Bettencourt Meyers

Inheriting a 35% controlling stake in L’Oréal, a company her grandfather founded in 1909, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers and her family have grown the brand into a globally renowned beauty empire, now valued at over $240 billion.

Born on July 10, 1953, Bettencourt Meyers became the principal heir of a vast fortune and diverse assets, including luxury properties worldwide, following her mother Liliane Bettencourt’s demise in 2017. This inheritance marked the end of a longstanding familial dispute over the assets.

Tumultuous Relationship with Liliane Bettencourt

Bettencourt Meyers’ relationship with her mother, Liliane, has been complex and often public. Notably, the release of recordings by her butler sparked an investigation involving former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and allegations of influence-peddling against ex-Labor Minister Eric Woerth.

The controversy escalated into a legal battle when Bettencourt Meyers questioned her mother’s competency in managing their wealth. Liliane faced accusations of misallocating about $1.3 billion in gifts to a friend. This family drama was later depicted in a Netflix documentary. “The Billionaire, The Butler, and The Boyfriend.”

Philanthropy and business ventures

Apart from her role as vice-chair of the L’Oréal board, overseeing subsidiaries like Maybelline, Kiehl’s, and NYX, Bettencourt Meyers is a prolific author. She has published works on Greek mythology and Jewish-Christian relationships. Engaging in philanthropy, she directs funds towards science and social development. Her two sons, Jean-Victor Meyers, 37, and Nicolas Meyers, 35, also serve as directors.

A glimpse into Bettencourt Meyers’ lifestyle

Described as a reclusive billionaire, Bettencourt Meyers devotes hours daily to playing the piano. Her vast wealth is evident in her real estate holdings, including million-dollar mansions worldwide. She possesses a collection of luxury automobiles, featuring a Bentley Continental GT, Jaguar F-Type, Ferrari, and Porsche 911 Cabriolet.

The inclusion of Françoise Bettencourt Meyers in the billionaire elite underscores her influential role in the beauty industry and her significant contributions to various fields.


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