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Margarita L. Dreyfus  Chairman of L. Dreyfus Group 

posted onJune 19, 2017

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus is  a Russian-born Swiss billionaire businesswoman, chairman of  the  Louis Dreyfus Group,  a global merchant company that is involved in agriculture, food processing, international shipping, and finance. The company also develops and operates telecommunications infrastructures and is involved in real estate.

Margarita was born in 1962 in Saint Petersburg.  According to Business Insider her parents died in a train accident when she was seven and she was raised mainly by her grandfather. According to Wikipedia she grew up in an orphanage.   She studied law at Moscow State University and  economics at the Leningrad Institute of Soviet Trade. After her studies, she worked as  a computer equipment salesperson.

In 1988, on a Zurich to London flight, she met Robert Louis-Dreyfus, the French businessman whose great-grandfather founded  the Louis-Dreyfus Group in 1851. Robert  was also know as a successful  CEO of Adidas-Salomon and Saatchi & Saatchi and he was a majority shareholder of the French football team Olympique de Marseille. Robert rejoined the family-owned commodities company in 2000.

Margarita and Robert married in 1992. WhenRobert died in 2009 of leukemia, left her control of the  Louis-Dreyfus Group. She has been chairman of the company since 2011, and owns a 69.6% stake.The change of management has led a shakeup of the 165-year-old family firm, reshuffling top management and raising the possibility of opening the group's capital to outside investors.

In 2012, Ms Louis-Dreyfus told Bloomberg that her goal is to preserve Louis Dreyfus Commodities for Robert's heirs, which was her husband's dying wish.

'It was about protecting his children, his grandchildren, his great-grandchildren,' she said. 'It's also protecting the company. What he was telling me every day were his dreams.'  

In 2016, she had a net worth of $9.5 billion. She is a Swiss citizen living in Zurich with her three sons, according to Forbes. She gave birth to twin girls on March 21, 2016.


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