Hélène Mercier-Arnault: the richest wife in the world is a Mercier from Quebec

Hélène Mercier had a very good marriage, my grandmother would have said, when she married Bernard Arnault in 1991. The director of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE already owned one of the largest fortunes in France. But she certainly couldn’t have imagined that one day he would make her the richest wife in the world.

The feat occurred last year, when Bloomberg crowned the French luxury magnate “the richest man in the world”, with a net worth estimated at $162 billion, ahead of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, with whom he shares the podium. of extremely rich people for some time. . (Earlier this year, he lost his top position to the tweeting enthusiast and e-commerce mogul, whose fortunes constantly fluctuated with the ups and downs of his stock market shares.)

Despite her status as a wealthy first lady, Mme Mercier-Arnault is far from a holdover. Her career as a concert pianist has taken her from Prague to Shanghai, playing with the best orchestras on the planet. She is enough to feed her three children well without having to constantly wait for her husband’s salary to arrive.

Hélène Mercier-Arnault was born in Montreal on March 5, 1960. She is the daughter of Mmy François Mercier (1923-2010), founding member of the Stikeman Elliott law firm, and Lucile Rouleau (1921-2021), real estate agent. His family history is as impressive as his fortune.

THE ANCESTOR

The ancestor Charles Mercier known as Lajoie (1735-1817), a soldier in the Berry regiment, arrived in New France in 1757 to save the colony, more threatened than ever. He participated in at least two important battles: that of Fort Carillon (1758), where Montcalm’s 4,000 soldiers defeated 16,000 British, and that of Sainte-Foy (1760), won by the troops of Vaudreuil and Lévis.

The following year, he married the young Marie-Anne Lahaise (1746-1825), aged 14, a fourth-generation Canadian, with whom he had 15 children. The couple settled in the manor of Lachenaie.

During the rebellions of 1837-1838, three of his grandsons, including François Mercier (1805-1886), were part of committees 38 and 75 of the patriots of Saint-Roch-de-Lachenaie.

The latter’s son, Joseph Mercier (1833-1899), was a coach manufacturer. His brother, François-Xavier (1837-1906), a strong man of 6 feet 3 inches and a great traveler, co-founded Fort Reliance in the Yukon. He traded furs all the way to Siberia.

Joseph’s son, Oscar-Félix Mercier (1866-1929), was a surgeon, as was his son Oscar (1898-1945). Trained in Paris, the latter was the first French-Canadian urologist. Professor and vice-dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Montreal, he died tragically, drowned in the chalet of Saint-Hippolyte-de-Kilkenny, in front of his wife and his defenseless son.

He was the grandfather of the woman who would one day become the richest wife on the planet.

The Merciers of America weren’t really born for bread.




More details “P. Mercier, famous Canadian traveler » engraving taken from L’opinion Pública, vol. 2, no. 43, p. 517 (October 26, 1871), from a photograph by William Notman (1826-1891).

Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

PATERNAL LINE OF HÉLÈNE MERCIER-ARNAULT

I. MERCIER, François (1923-2010)
ROULEAU, Lucilla (1921-2021)
Married May 25, 1946, Saint-Jacques, Montreal
II. MERCIER, Oscar (1898-1945)
BRUNEAU, Juana (1900-1987)
Sir. July 12, 1922, Notre-Dame de Montreal
III. MERCIER, Oscar-Félix (1866-1929)
ROLLAND, Alexina (1875?-1933)
Sir. June 4, 1895, Notre-Dame de Montreal
IV. MERCIER, Joseph (1833-1899)
GAUTHIER, Zoe (1831-1908)
Sir. April 5, 1855, Varennes
V. MERCIER, François (1805-1886)
THERRIEN, Victoria (1807-1871)
Sir. November 3, 1829, Repentance
SAW. MERCIER, Joseph (1777-1821)
LACHAPELLE, Maria-Catherine (1781-1854)
Sir. November 17, 1800, Repentance
VII. MERCIER, Charles (1735-1817)
LAHAISE, Mariane (1746-1825)
Sir. June 22, 1761, La Asunción

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