Head of France's Pinault family investments to go solo

Patricia Barbizet, who managed the investments of one of France's richest families and helped the Pinaults turn Kering into one of the world's biggest luxury groups, is set to leave their holding company Artemis after nearly 30 years.

Barbizet at the Women's Forum in Deauville, France, 2011 - Photo: Kering

Barbizet, who was CEO at Artemis and previously held senior positions at carmaker Renault and was a former head of art auctioneers Christie's, will pursue her own projects, Artemis said in a statement.

Artemis, set up by billionaire businessman Francois Pinault, has a stake of just over 40 percent in Kering - a group that spans labels such as Gucci and Alexander McQueen, and also owns Christie's and wines such as Chateau Latour.

Its consolidated assets are worth more than 30 billion euros ($36 billion), according to its website.

Kering has evolved over the years from a consumer group that owned French retailers such as the Fnac and department store chain Printemps into a pure luxury firm, through a merry-go-round of acquisitions and disposals.

Pinault first made his fortune as a timber merchant.

His son Francois-Henri Pinault, now the chairman and CEO of Kering, will take on Barbizet's role at Artemis, according to Le Figaro newspaper.

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