Single and childless, a Hermès heir wants to leave his fortune to his household employee


Aged over 80, Nicolas Puech is the largest individual shareholder of the famous French leather goods house.

One of the descendants of the founder of Hermes, the famous French leather goods housewants to adopt his domestic worker in order to leave him part of his fortune of several billion Swiss francs, said Friday the Geneva Tribune. Based in Switzerland in the canton of Valais, in the south of the country, Nicolas Puech is “the largest individual shareholder of Hermès» with a participation of around 5%, explains the Swiss daily.

Single and without children, this octogenarian decided “to shake up his estate» to transmit part of his fortune to a “former gardener and handyman“, “aged 51” And “from a modest Moroccan family“, according to Geneva Tribune. According to the magazine Balance sheetwho each year establishes a ranking of the 300 richest people in Switzerland, his fortune is estimated at 9 to 10 billion Swiss francs (9.4 to 10.4 billion euros) thanks to his actions in the leather goods house known for its handbags and silk squares.

In a letter dating “from October 2022», this descendant of the founder of Hermès instructed a lawyer to “put your inheritance situation in order“, explains the daily which specifies that this lawyer would also have been mandated to carry out an adoption procedure, “ongoing”, according to his information. “In Switzerland, adopting an adult is not impossible, but unusual», details the daily, explaining that if the procedure is successful, he could inherit “at least half» of his fortune.

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Oppositions to take into account

When contacted, the Valais administration did not immediately provide a response to confirm or not this procedure. This project, however, faces opposition, continues the Swiss daily. In 2011, Nicolas Puech signed an inheritance pact – more binding than a will – in favor of a foundation based in Geneva, called Isocrate, which finances projects to combat disinformation through NGOs supporting journalism.

But in “a handwritten note” dated of “February 2023», consulted by the daily, the billionaire said “about-face“, explaining that he “the intention to make other testamentary arrangements“. Contacted, this foundation indicates that it has “recently learned of the desire of its founder to cancel the inheritance pact» but do not have on the other hand «not aware of any other provisions“.

This desire to unilaterally cancel the inheritance pact appears unfounded», considers this foundation, which “opposed it while leaving the door open for discussion“, she insists. The foundation says it regrets that “its public utility activities” see themselves “threatened in their sustainability» by circumstances «which completely escape him“, on the bottom of “interpersonal conflict and desires of all kinds“.



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