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Meet the First and Only Woman With a $100B Fortune

By Orgesta Tolaj


5 January 2024

first woman with $100B fortune

© franoisebetten4 / X & Behrouz Alimardani / Pexels

Seems like rewriting history is becoming easy for women of this century. And this specific woman is proving that! While the first thing that came to mind when we thought of billionaires was men, this is the only woman to break that belief. Meet the first woman with a $100B fortune. She is breaking barriers and showing that even women can achieve a huge feat like this. But, how did she do it?

Who Is the First Woman With a $100B Fortune?

Françoise Bettencourt Meyers is a board member and heiress of L’Oréal. She has become the first woman to accumulate a fortune of $100 billion. As the granddaughter of the company’s founder, she experienced a wealth increase of $28.6 billion.

Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, a French businesswoman, and L’Oréal heiress, has become the first woman to accumulate a $100 billion fortune. This accomplishment was attributed to a surge in the share price of the cosmetics empire inherited from her mother. She was formerly the world’s richest woman until her passing in 2017. Bettencourt Meyers’ wealth increased by $28.6 billion, marking a historic financial achievement.

Shareholder Turned Into First Woman With $100B Fortune

Françoise Bettencourt Meyers is known for her privacy. She is 70 years old and, along with her family, holds the largest stake of nearly 35% in L’Oréal. The surge in the value of this stake has led to her wealth increasing by $28.6 billion in the current year, reaching a total of $100 billion, as reported by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Despite a global cost of living crisis, she is among many billionaires whose fortunes have notably grown during the year.

History of L’Oréal Paris

L’Oréal, established in 1909 by Eugène Schueller, the grandfather of Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, originated as a company manufacturing and marketing a hair dye invented by Schueller. Headquartered in Clichy, a suburb of Paris, L’Oréal has evolved into a global giant with a market value of €241 billion (£209 billion) on the Paris stock exchange. Renowned celebrities and supermodels, including Cindy Crawford, Beyoncé, and Pénelope Cruz, have contributed to the brand’s promotion, often featuring its well-known slogan: “Because I’m worth it.

first woman with $100B fortune
© Arya . / Unsplash

Who Else Is on the List?

In the financial landscape of 2023, notable dynamics unfolded among the world’s wealthiest individuals. Among the top 50, a dozen experienced financial setbacks, while the majority observed their fortunes grow, though these figures were not adjusted for inflation. A striking 77% of the top 500 billionaires witnessed an increase in their wealth, with some accumulating staggering sums.

Within this elite group, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, known for her privacy, maintained the 12th position. Topping the list was Elon Musk, the visionary founder of Tesla and SpaceX, whose net worth soared to $232 billion. This surge was primarily fueled by the rising share price of his electric car empire, compensating for a decline in the value of X since its acquisition.

She Is Not the Highest Rank

While Bettencourt Meyers held a prominent position, she was not the highest-ranked French individual on the list. Luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault surpassed her, amassing a fortune of $179 billion. Notably, Arnault’s wealth experienced a robust growth of $16.9 billion in 2023, attributed to the stellar performance of his LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) group.

The financial scenario highlighted a broader pattern of wealth fluctuations within the global elite, where a combination of gains and losses shaped the fortunes of the wealthiest people worldwide. In this case, Bettencourt Meyers was on the receiving end, becoming the first woman with a $100B fortune.

You might also want to read: These Are the World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities

Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!