You’re considered lucky if you’re born in a family that has established its own business and if that business is successful (whether locally or internationally), then one might say it has it all. It means that someday, you’ll probably inherit and manage the family business if you want to pursue the same path as your parents. Most children who are born in a family that has its own business are bound to become an heir and inherit luxurious business, fame, and fortune. And it seems that this legacy in the industry still continues to exist as another lucky woman was just bestowed with such fortune! Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers, inheriting L’Oreal, just became the richest woman in the world.
Meet the Heir of the Prestigious L’Oreal Company
Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers was the daughter of no one other than Liliane Bettencourt, who was the CEO of the prestigious Cosmetic Company which had a major influence in the world. After the death of her mother, she had to face her inevitable fate of inheriting the company. When she finally took her rightful place, Bloomberg reported that her wealth, assets, and net worth had blossomed to a whopping $42.3 billion, making the 64-year old woman the richest woman in the world! In fact, she even surpassed Walmart’s heiress Alice Walton who only had a net worth of $38.4 billion.
L’Oreal Success and Bettencourt’s Wealth
Cosmetic company L’Oreal was founded in 1907 by her father, Eugene Schueller. The company has been booming ever since, with its latest net worth of $107.5 billion since May 2017. They also own at least 33% stake and shares of the company. When Bettencourt’s father died, Francoise’ mother was the only heir who could take over his business. And since Bettencourt-Meyers is also her only child, according to the French law, she was also entitled to inherit at least half of her mother’s estates. In 2011, Bettencourt-Meyers already had her Classical style villa in Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine, a grand mansion off the Brittany Coast, as well as a secluded island in Seychelles.
It also seems that Bettencourt-Meyers was already rich, even before she inherited her mother’s fortune. According to WealthX, she also serves as the President for the Bettencourt-Schueller foundation, in which its assets had boomed up to $683 million in 2010. She was also an author of numerous books on Greek mythology and Jewish-Christian relations.
The Controversial Love life and Family History of Bettencourt-Meyers
Suffice to say that Bettencourt-Meyers’ love life was definitely wonderful and colorful one. She was married to Jean-Victor Meyers who turned out to be the grandson of a rabbi who was murdered in Auschwitz. The marriage became controversial as her grandfather was one of the victims of a Nazi regime. It turned out this was just the tip of the iceberg that surrounded Bettencourt-Meyers controversial love life and family ties.
The Infamous “Bettencourt Affair.”
In 2008, Bettencourt-Meyers filed a criminal complaint against a long-time friend of her mother and well-known French photographer François-Marie Banier. She accused the latter of taking advantage of her mother’s vulnerable mental state to defraud her mother for more than $1 billion in cash and gifts. She claimed that he tricked her mother into giving him cash, buying his expensive art, and providing him with life insurance policies. This case was infamously known as “The Bettencourt Affair.”
Because of what happened, this created a rift in the relationship of Bettencourt-Meyers and her mother for almost 2 years. The two had just mended their relationship after the lawsuit was dropped, last 2010. However, a development followed up last October 2011, when the judge declared that her mother was deemed mentally unfit to manage their family’s wealth. The judge placed Bettencourt-Meyers as the sole guardian to manage the family’s wealth and assets.
Later in 2012, Bettencourt-Meyers transferred her guardianship of the company to L’Oréal’s board, by Jean-Victor Meyers in 2012.
“In this painful moment for us, I would like to reiterate, on behalf of our family, our entire commitment and loyalty to L’Oreal and to renew my confidence in its President Jean-Paul Agon and his teams worldwide,” Bettencourt-Meyers said in an emailed statement.
The relationship between mother and daughter may have gone through so many trials, challenges, and strains, but we cannot deny the fact that blood is indeed thicker than water. In the end, the two rekindled their familial relationship and her mother died peacefully while seeing her beloved daughter during her last moments.
What would you do with such a fortune? Let us know your plans…