Nicolas Puech is reportedly looking to leave his billion-dollar fortune to one of the men who served his house for several years. The descendant of the founder of Hermés is the individual shareholder of the luxury company with the largest stake, around 5%. The beneficiary would be a 51-year-old man who did gardening and maintenance work in his house and who comes from a "modest Moroccan family", according to Tribune de Genevè.
Unmarried and childless, the octogenarian multimillionaire intends to turn his idea of an inheritance - originally intended for an NGO - on its head. He is one of the 300 richest people in Switzerland thanks to a fortune amounting to ten billion euros, of which he intends to leave at least half. And according to the information just revealed, Puech would have commissioned his lawyer in October 2022 to "order his succession situation", in which he asked to begin a process of adoption of his employee; a process that is still in progress.
While adopting an adult is not an illegal process in Switzerland, it is an "unusual process". If successful, it could leave her "at least half" of his entire fortune, a figure of around five billion euros. However, the idea of a shareholder in Hermés is not so simple, as it involves a change in his wishes, which he had already set down years ago in an inheritance pact - a more binding document than the will itself. This is where a conflict arises, the resolution of which will not be simple.
In 2011, Nicolas Puech signed the aforementioned document in which he left his fortune to a foundation called Isocrate, based in Geneva, whose work focuses on developing projects to combat disinformation. The foundation is supported by a number of NGOs that support journalism, although Puech's intention is that his fortune should not go there. He made this clear in a handwritten note in February this year in which he speaks of a "change of direction".
But this process looks very complicated indeed. The foundation has been quick to issue a communiqué in which it states that "this desire to unilaterally annul the succession pact seems unfounded". It also speaks of "interpersonal conflicts and desires of all kinds". It also leaves the door open to "a discussion", and says it regrets that its activities are threatened by "circumstances that are completely beyond its control".