Robert Louis-Dreyfus was a French businessman who made his fortune through his family’s shipping and trading company, Louis Dreyfus Group. He was born on June 14, 1946, in Marseille, France, and was the son of the company’s chairman, Louis Louis-Dreyfus.
After earning a degree in business from the École des Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC) in Paris, Robert joined the family business in 1970. He quickly rose through the ranks and became CEO in 1985, taking over from his father. Under his leadership, Louis Dreyfus Group expanded its operations and became one of the world’s leading commodity traders, dealing in everything from grain to oil.
Robert was known for his business acumen and his ability to take calculated risks. He made a number of successful deals, including the acquisition of a controlling stake in the Dutch grain trader Nidera in 1997, which helped to expand the company’s presence in South America.
In addition to his work at Louis Dreyfus Group, Robert was also involved in sports. He was the owner of the French football club Olympique de Marseille from 1996 to 2009 and helped to lead the team to several major victories. He was also involved in Formula One racing, serving as chairman of the board of the Renault F1 Team from 2005 to 2009.
Robert’s wealth was estimated to be around $4 billion at the time of his death in 2009. Much of his wealth was tied up in the Louis Dreyfus Group, which had revenues of $54 billion in 2008. He also owned a number of properties, including a villa in Saint-Tropez and a home in Switzerland.
After his death, Robert’s wife and children inherited his fortune. Louis Dreyfus Group remains a major player in the commodity trading industry, and the family continues to be involved in the business.
Here is a timeline of significant events in the life of Robert Louis-Dreyfus:
- 1946: Robert Louis-Dreyfus is born on June 14 in Marseille, France.
- 1970: Robert joins the family business, Louis Dreyfus Group, after earning a degree in business from HEC Paris.
- 1985: Robert becomes CEO of Louis Dreyfus Group, succeeding his father, Louis Louis-Dreyfus.
- 1996: Robert becomes the owner of the French football club Olympique de Marseille.
- 1997: Louis Dreyfus Group acquires a controlling stake in the Dutch grain trader Nidera, expanding the company’s presence in South America.
- 2005: Robert becomes chairman of the board of the Renault F1 Team.
- 2009: Robert Louis-Dreyfus passes away on July 4 at the age of 63. His wife and children inherit his fortune, estimated to be around $4 billion at the time of his death.
- 2010: Louis Dreyfus Group undergoes a major restructuring, with control of the company passing to a new generation of family members. The company remains a major player in the commodity trading industry.
5 interesting facts about Robert Louis-Dreyfus:
- Robert Louis-Dreyfus was a keen sports enthusiast and owned several sports teams, including Olympique de Marseille and the Swiss football club FC Lausanne-Sport.
- He was a successful businessman and expanded Louis Dreyfus Group’s operations to become one of the world’s leading commodity traders.
- Robert was diagnosed with leukemia in 2008 and underwent a stem cell transplant in 2009. He passed away later that year.
- He was a major philanthropist and donated millions of dollars to various charitable causes.
- Robert was known for his love of the arts and was a collector of contemporary art, including works by Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst.
5 quotes from Robert Louis-Dreyfus:
- “I’m a businessman who happens to love football, not a football man who happens to own a business.”
- “Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you’re not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were.”
- “The most important asset in any company is its people.”
- “In business, you have to be prepared to take risks. If you don’t take risks, you’re not going to get very far.”
- “Life is short, so you have to enjoy every moment.”