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Hermès heir wants to give his $11 billion fortune to his gardener

The 51-year-old former gardener stands to inherit a significant portion of Nicolas Puech's fortune.
  • Nicolas Puech is a fifth-generation descendant of Thierry Hermès, who laid the foundation for the luxury fashion house in 1837
  • Despite retiring form the company’s board in 2014, the 80-year-old still commands a considerable share in the now $220 billion-valued company
  • The billionaire is allegedly orchestrating a staggering succession sage that involves adopting his 51-year-old gardener

Published on Dec 12, 2023 at 3:21PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Dec 12, 2023 at 7:19PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones
Hermès heir wants to give his $11 billion fortune to his gardener

Nicolas Puech, the estranged heir of the Hermès fashion empire, has announced he intends to award his $11 billion fortune and $5.9 million in properties to his former gardener.

While you’re probably wondering why the 80-year-old’s not leaving it to family, the fact of the matter is he’s not married and doesn’t have any children.

So, he plans to legally adopt his 51-year-old former gardener and handyman, making him a beneficiary of his vast wealth.

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It’s an unorthodox move, passing on his immense wealth and real-estate portfolio, and one that’s sparked intense speculation.

Puech is a fifth-generation descendant of Thierry Hermès, who laid the foundation of the luxury fashion house in 1837.

As well as producing leather goods and beautiful timepieces, Hermès has even teamed up with hypercar manufacturer Pagani to create a one-of-a-kind Huayra Hermès Edition.

Despite retiring from the board of Hermès in 2014, Puech still holds a siginifcant stake in the company.

The company is valued at $220 billion, ranking Puech among Switzerland’s wealthiest individuals, with an estimated worth of around $11 billion.

Apparently, Puech has already initiated legal proceedings to formalize the gardener’s adoption, which forms a crucial part of his revised estate arrangements.

The gardener, who reportedly comes from a “modest Moroccan family”, is married to a woman from Spain and they have two children of their own.

The man stands to inherit a significant portion of Peuch’s fortune, including acquiring substantial properties in Marrakesh, Morocco and Montreux, Switzerland valued at $5.9 million.

Puech faces formidable challenges, though, with adult adoption an exceedingly rare occurrence in Switzerland.

He will have to navigate complex legal hurdles, with reports suggesting requirements for such adoptions demanding a prior relationship during the adoptee’s minor years.

What’s more, he faces conflicting commitments, too.

Allegedly, Puech had previously committed his fortune to the Isocrates foundation, established by himself to combat misinformation.

If he is to retract this pledge, it might trigger a fierce legal battle.

In a statement shared with Fortune, the foundation said it opposes any unilateral cancellation of the inheritance contract, signaling a potential shutdown.

Reports suggest the adoption maneuver may serve as a legal tactic to preempt any interference from the foundation in Puech’s will.

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