Hermès Billionaire Trying to Adopt His 51-Year-Old Gardener as His Only Heir

Nicolas Puech, an heir to the legendary Hermès fashion house, recently stunned the world by announcing his intention to legally adopt his former gardener and leave him his $11 billion fortune.

81-year-old Puech, who is unmarried and without children, ranks among Switzerland’s wealthiest individuals with a net worth estimated between $10.3 billion and 11.4 billion. Despite a fallout with his famous family following the 2014 takeover of a substantial stake in Hermès by rival luxury conglomerate LVMH, Puech still owns a considerable share in the $220 billion company, and his move to leave it all to his former gardener and family man has sparked controversy. The unnamed gardener, who comes from a “modest Moroccan family”, is reportedly married to a woman from Spain and has two children of his own.

Photo: Olena Kamenetska/Unsplash

Swiss newspaper Tribune de Geneve recently reported that Nicolas Puech has initiated legal proceedings to adopt his former gardener, noting that adopting an adult, a very rare occurrence in Switzerland, is considerably harder than adopting a minor. Apparently, such adoptions demand a prior relationship during the adoptee’s minor years, which in this case may prove challenging to prove.

Interestingly, Puech previously pledged his fortune to the Isocrates Foundation, an organization established by him to combat misinformation, so any attempts to back out of the inheritance contract may trigger legal action from the would-be beneficiary. The foundation has already put out a statement opposing any unilateral cancellation of the deal.


If the 51-year-old gardener ends up becoming Puech sole heir, he stands to inherit “at least half” of the scion’s fortune, which includes 5.7 percent of Hermès, as well as substantial properties in Marrakesh, Morocco, and Montreux, Switzerland valued at several millions of dollars. According to data published by the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, he will be able to collect about €40 million ($43,048,200,000) a year in dividends alone.

Posted in News        Tags: , , , , ,