Principals: Alain and Gerard Wertheimer
Birthdate: Alain: 1949, Gerard: 1950
Residence(s): Alain in New York City and Connecticut; Gerard in Geneva, Switzerland
Family: Gerard: wife, Valerie, and two children; Alain: wife, Brigitte, and three children
2011 marked 100 years of the family’s racing stable and breeding operation, with such notable achievements as the 1956 Epsom Derby with Lavandin, the 1975 One Thousand Guineas and 1976 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with Ivanjica, and three Breeders’ Cup Mile victories by Goldikova, the result of five generations of Wertheimer breeding.
The family, from patriarch Pierre and his widow, Germaine, to son Jacques, and now grandsons Alain and Gerard, has never shrunk from running females against males and winning big prizes doing so. They long have been associated with the Head family as their trainers and bloodstock advisers, first with Alec until 1983, then daughter Criquette until 2006, and currently with son Freddie.
The Wertheimers developed top stallions Lyphard, Green Dancer, and Riverman. They bred and own Goldikova, a champion mare that won a record three consecutive Breeders' Cup Miles from 2008 to 2010.
Pierre the “Perfume King” built his empire by investing his wife’s Lazard banking money in Coco Chanel’s perfume business in 1924 after meeting her at the races, developing the marketing and distribution of Chanel No. 5 to the world.
Wertheimer owned 70% of the business, and his son Jacques continued to grow the brand until the Wertheimers ranked 65th on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people, with assets estimated in excess of $7.5 billion. The House of Chanel passed on to Gerard and Alain in 1996. The family owns eight homes, an extensive art collection and several vineyards.