Johann Rupert

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Johann Rupert
Johann Rupert
Born (1950-06-01) June 1, 1950 (age 65)
Residence Somerset West
Citizenship South African
Education Stellenbosch University
Occupation Chairman of Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA[1]
Known for Luxury goods
Net worth Increase US$7.9 billion[2]
Spouse(s) Gaynor Rupert; 3 children
Parent(s) Anton and Huberte Rupert

Johann Peter Rupert (born 1 June 1950) is the eldest son of South African business tycoon Anton Rupert and his wife Huberte. He is the chairman of the Swiss-based luxury-goods company Richemont as well as of the South Africa-based company Remgro. It was announced on 13 November 2009 that as of 1 April 2010, he would assume the position of Chief Executive Officer of Compagnie Financiere Richemont. Together with his family he was estimated to be worth $7.7 billion as of September 2013 and Forbes ranked him as one of the five richest Africans.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Rupert grew up in Stellenbosch, where he attended Paul Roos Gymnasium and the University of Stellenbosch, studying economics and company law. He dropped out of the university to pursue a career in business, however, in 2004, the university awarded him an honorary doctorate in Economics.[4]

In 2008, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in Commerce from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.[5] Described as "reclusive" by the Financial Times and Barron's, Rupert rarely gives interviews and shuns public events. In 2006 the same newspaper also called him "Rupert the Bear" for predicting a world economic crisis. As of 2013, Rupert is currently on a one-year sabbatical.[6]

Business career[edit]

Rupert served his business apprenticeship in New York City, where he worked for Chase Manhattan for two years and for Lazard Freres for three years. He then returned to South Africa in 1979 and founded Rand Merchant Bank of which he was CEO.

  • 1984: Merged RMB and Rand Consolidated Investments, and left to join his father's company, the Rembrandt Group.
  • 1988 Founded Compagnie Financiere Richemont in 1988 and was appointed Non-Executive Director of Rothmans International plc in 1988. He was elected "Businessman of the Year" by the Sunday Times in the same year.
  • 1989: Appointed Vice Chairman of the Rembrandt Group.
  • 1990: Elected by Die Burger newspaper and the Cape Town Chamber of Commerce as the business leader of the year. He also formed the Vendôme Luxury Group SA.
  • 1991: Appointed Chairman of Rembrandt Group Limited and in 1992 he was elected one of 200 "Global Leaders of Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland.
  • 1993: Received the M.S. Louw Award by the A.H.I. ("Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut").
  • 1996: Elected Sunday Times Business Times's Businessman of the Year for second time.
  • 1997: Appointed Non-Executive Chairman of Gold Fields South Africa Ltd.
  • 1999: Awarded the 1999 Free Market Award by The Free Market Foundation of South Africa.
  • 2000: Restructured Rembrandt Group Limited and formed Remgro Limited and VenFin Limited. Appointed Chairman and Chief Executive of Compagnie Financière Richemont SA. Voted "Most influential Business Leader" in South Africa by CEO’s of top 100 Listed Companies
  • 2004: Awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Economics by the University of Stellenbosch.
  • 2008 Voted South Africa's Business Leader of the Year by the CEO's of the Top 100 Companies, for the third time.
  • 2009 Appointed "Officier" of the French "Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur" by the President of the French Republic
Selected as the 2009 International Wine Entrepreneur of the Year at the Meininger "Excellence in Wine and Spirit" awards ceremony in Düsseldorf, Germany.[7]
  • 2009: Elected Chancellor of Stellenbosch University[8]
  • 2010 Made Honorary Vice President of the European Golf Tour[9]
Awarded Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws by The university of St. Andrews, Scotland[10]

Other Interests[edit]

Rupert is a former cricketer and founded the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in 1990. Laureus funds 65 projects globally, with the goal of using sport to tackle social issues, having a particular emphasis on underprivileged children. He co-founded the Sports Science Institute[11] with his friends Morne du Plessis and Tim Noakes.


When the British design magazine Wallpaper* described the Afrikaans language as "the ugliest language in the world" in its September 2005 edition (in reference to the Afrikaans Language Monument), Rupert responded by withdrawing advertising for his companies' brands such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Montblanc and Alfred Dunhill from the magazine.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Forbes Welcome". Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "Forbes Welcome". Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  3. ^ "The Five Richest Africans", Forbes, page 118; 2 September 2013; accessed 3 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Chancellor". Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  5. ^ "Synchronised Speakers | Johann Rupert". Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  6. ^ Profile,; accessed 3 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Meininger Award 2006". Archived from the original on 25 March 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Chancellor - Profile of Dr Johan Rupert". Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "Johann Rupert becomes Honorary Life Vice President". European Tour. 23 May 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  10. ^ "2010". 13 July 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Home". Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  12. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". 16 February 2006. Retrieved 27 July 2012.