Richest Woman in Europe: Heres How Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers Made Her $75.3 Billion Dollar Fortune

Europe, as we know is a buzzing continent with different personalities and businesses from all walks of life. Becoming the richest woman in such a place is definitely no small feat or a walk in the park but Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers has proven that this is quite attainable. Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers may have been a billionaire heiress before, but her reputation prior to her inheritance being handed to her sure helped her in managing such wealth and prestige, growing it into a massive fortune such that it has placed her as the richest woman in the world is truly remarkable. What did Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers do differently? How did she attain this feat? Let’s find out!

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Who Is Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers?

Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers is a philanthropist, French businesswoman, writer, pianist, and billionaire heiress but wait, there’s an icing on the cake here; she’s also the richest woman in Europe. She is of French origin and was born on July 10 1953 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris, France. Francoise, just like her mother, was born as an only child to French Socialite Liliane Bettencourt and Andre Bettencourt, not forgetting to mention, her grandfather was Eugene Schuller, L’Oreal founder, one of the biggest beauty and cosmetic companies in the world today. Her father, Andre Bettencourt was a decorated French war hero who also served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs in France for 20 years, while her mother, Liliane Bettencourt inherited L’Oreal from her father, Eugene Schullers. Liliane Bettencourt was a businesswoman, she also owned about 21% of Nestle shares and was once the richest woman in Europe as well.

A Rising Star: Francoise And L’Oreal

In 1997, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers made her way into the L’Oreal board as a director. This was easy seeing that her grandfather owned L’Oreal and her mother was a major shareholder already. In 2007, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers filed a lawsuit insinuating that her mother was mentally impaired due to the “The Bettencourt Affairs”. This was after she believed Francois Marie Bannier took advantage of her mother’s dementia and was trying to take over her inheritance. This made the court place the family’s assets under her guidance and that of her two sons. However, on the death of her mother in September 2017, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers began to play much larger roles in L’Oreal as her mother’s fortune was passed down to her, and then she also became the chairwoman of Tethys Invest, the family company that owns L’Oreal. In September 2017, Liliane Bettencourt her mother, the sole heiress of L’Oreal and one of the major shareholders in Nestle died at the age of 94, leaving behind her massive fortune of about $46 billion to her daughter Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers. According to French law, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers must have also inherited a minimum of 50% of her mother’s real estate assets. This skyrocketed Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers’s net worth and increased her assets as part of the real estate assets she inherited including a state-of-the-art decor-styling mansion in the wealthy suburbs of Neuilly-sur-Seine in Paris, France, and another mansion she grew up in which is close to the Brittany Coast.

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Shares And Investments

Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers currently holds the largest amount of shares in L’Oreal which owns Lancôme and Garnier brands. Her shares in L’Oreal are estimated to be about 33.1%, this amounts to a whooping value of $107.5 billion and despite the 2020 pandemic, still raked in at least $38.2 billion in revenue in 2021. There have been speculations of her family company, Tethys Invest investing in hospital groups later but currently, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers is the chairwoman of Tethys Investments which she founded alongside her family in 2016.

Books: The Greek Gods And Other Ventures

Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers didn’t only have a successful business career but she also became a successful writer and a published author. She is known to own several Bible commentaries, The Greek Gods, A look at the Bible, and other Jewish-Christian relations. Her book The Greek Gods won the Prix Des Lauriers Verts. Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers runs a philanthropic organization that was founded by her family. The organization caters to initiatives in science and art within France and in 2019, in conjunction with L’Oreal, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers and her family decided to give out $229 million for renovations of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after it was ravaged by a fire that same year. During the 2020 pandemic, her family and L’Oreal donated about $25 million and also helped produce free hand sanitizers for the pandemic.

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Sources: Forbes and Celebrity Net Worth.

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