Nicolas Puech, the heir of Hermès leaves his estate to the servant –

Nicolas Puech, the heir of Hermès leaves his estate to the servant –
Nicolas Puech, the heir of Hermès leaves his estate to the servant –

He is single, without children and is 80 years old. Nicolas Puech he is simply the largest individual shareholder of the famous French leather goods house Hermès, known for its silk bags and scarves. As reported by the ranking Challenges, the man is currently the 14th richest person in France. His assets, estimated at over 10 billion euros, was to be bequeathed to a foundation. But the billionaire has changed his mind: he wants to share it with his handyman, a former gardener 51 year old Moroccan, whom he considers a son. This is why Puech now wants to adopt him.

The Hermès heir wants to leave everything to his former gardener

“It is not easy to adopt an adult but it is possible. According to the inheritance agreement, the adoptee should receive 50% of the assets. The remaining 50% would go to the foundation,” explains Philippe Kennel, tax lawyer. “The inheritance agreement is a method that Switzerland provides for regulating inheritance. It is not a will, but a contract that is signed between heirs.” Nicolas has asked for his adoption to the authorities of the Canton of Valais. If the procedure is successful, the Moroccan will become Puech’s son and legitimate heir. As such, he could receive a significant share of Hermès’ capital.

However, the octogenarian did not wait to enrich his servant. As he reveals La Tribune de GeneveThe Moroccan recently became the owner of two villas (worth 5 million euros): one on the shores of Lake Geneva, the other in Marrakech. To protect his wealth from French taxes, Nicolas Puech settled in Switzerland in 1999. Today he divides his time between his house located in La Fouly (Canton of Valais) and a residence in southern Spain. “An extremely kind, calm and lovely gentleman,” those who know him well describe him. And quite lonely.

During the pandemic Coronavirus, Nicolas Puech isolated himself even more. According to several testimonies, he separated from his circle of friends and stopped socializing with many people. “He distanced himself from the people he knew before and remained close to the young people around him,” confirmed people close to Puech. These “young people” are above all his servant, born in 1972, whom he met in Spain, and his family members. He was first the billionaire’s gardener, then the administrator of his residences.

The Moroccan married a Spanish, who worked as a cleaner for the heiress Hermès, with whom he had two children. Gradually the couple became Nicolas’s only family. For several years, Puech has described the two collaborators as “sons”, “adopted son” and “daughter-in-law”. And now he intends to formalize this status.

Puech has appointed a lawyer from Valais to “resolve his hereditary situation” and thus manage the adoption procedure of the former gardener. Procedure which is still ongoing in the Canton of Valais. But, as already reiterated, Nicolas Puech decided not to wait too long to thank his servants. In addition to the two houses, they were also given to the former gardener and his wife about fifty agricultural lands between Spain and Portugal.

Who is Nicolas Puech, the heir to Hermès

Nicolas Puech is a fifth generation descendant of Thierry Hermès, founder in 1873 of one of the most famous luxury fashion brands in Paris (who doesn’t know the iconic Birkin bag or the Kelly?). He was born in 1943 in Neuilly-sur-Seine and is the son of Francis Puech and Yvonne Hermès. He is brother of Bertrand Puech and cousin of Jean-Louis Dumas (died in 2010 and president of the Hermès group from 1978 to 2006). He resigned from the supervisory board of Hermès in August 2014 but still owns 5% of the company; the other family members together hold a majority share.

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