Johann Rupert

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Johann Rupert
Rupert-Johann-2004.jpg
Johann Rupert
Born (1950-06-01) 1 June 1950 (age 66)
Stellenbosch
Residence Somerset West
Citizenship South African
Alma mater Stellenbosch University
Occupation Chairman of Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA[1]
Known for Luxury goods
Net worth Increase US$5.5 billion[1]
Spouse(s) Gaynor Rupert
Children 3[1]
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.[2]

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.[3]

In 2008, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in Commerce from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.[4] 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.[5]

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 named "Businessman of the Year" by the Sunday Times in the same year.
  • 1989: Appointed Vice Chairman of the Rembrandt Group.
  • 1990: Named business leader of the year by Die Burger newspaper and the Cape Town Chamber of Commerce . Formed the Vendôme Luxury Group SA.
  • 1991: Appointed Chairman of Rembrandt Group Limited and in 1992 he was named one of 200 "Global Leaders of Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland.
  • 1993: Received the M.S. Louw Award from the A.H.I. ("Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut").
  • 1996: Named 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 CEOs 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 CEOs 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.[6]
  • 2009: Appointed Chancellor of Stellenbosch University[7]
  • 2010 Made Honorary Vice President of the European Golf Tour[8]
Awarded Honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of St. Andrews, Scotland[9]

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[10] with his friends Morne du Plessis and Tim Noakes. Rupert also developed the Gary Player designed, Leopard Creek Golf Club in Mpumalanga, South Africa which is one of South Africa's top three golf courses, and rated number 25 outside the United States of America (Golf Digest). He has also played in the annual Gary Player Invitational golf tournament to assist fellow South African and friend Gary Player raise funds for various children's charities. He serves as Chairman of the South African PGA Tour and Chairman of the South African Golf Development Board. In 2007 he was elected into South African Sports Hall of Fame and in 2009 was inducted into South African Golf Hall of Fame.[11]

Following his younger brother Anthonij's death in a car accident in 2001 he took over the L'Ormarins wine estate. Anthonij, was head of Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons. Rupert initiated a project to enhance the farm in memory of his late brother.[citation needed]

He was council member of The South Africa Foundation and trustee of the Southern African Nature Foundation, The Institute of Directors in Southern Africa, Business South Africa and Die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns and Managing Trustee and member of the investment committee, Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. He served on the Daimler Chrysler International Advisory Board.[citation needed]

Following in the footsteps of his father, Anton, Johann Rupert is also a committed conservationist. In addition to personally conserving about 25,000 hectares in the Graaff Reinet area, he is also Chairman of the Peace Parks Foundation.[12]

Controversies[edit]

When the British design magazine Wallpaper* described the Afrikaans language as "one of the ugliest languages 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.[13]

In December 2016, it was reported that Rupert had dropped Bell Pottinger as the PR agency of Richemont, accusing Bell Pottinger of running a social media campaign against him, to divert attention away from persistent 'state capture' allegations levelled at the Gupta family.[14][15] In February 2017, Rupert alleged that Bell Pottinger had maliciously altered his Wikipedia page.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Johann Rupert". forbes.com. Retrieved 29 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "The Five Richest Africans", Forbes, page 118; 2 September 2013; accessed 3 May 2014.
  3. ^ "Chancellor". sun.ac.za. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "Synchronised Speakers | Johann Rupert". synchronisedspeakers.co.za. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  5. ^ Profile, watchtime.com; accessed 3 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Meininger Award 2006". Archived from the original on 25 March 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Chancellor - Profile of Dr Johan Rupert". Sun.ac.za. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Johann Rupert becomes Honorary Life Vice President". European Tour. 23 May 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "2010". St-andrews.ac.uk. 13 July 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  10. ^ "Home". Ssisa.com. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Class of 2009 inductees". Karlkoof Safari Spa Southern Africa Golf Hall of Fame. 17 February 2017. 
  12. ^ "Peace Parks Foundation Structure". Peace Parks Foundation. 17 February 2017. 
  13. ^ "Rupert snubs mag over Afrikaans slur". Business Africa. 5 December 2005. Archived from the original on 16 February 2006. Retrieved 31 December 2016. 
  14. ^ Hasenfuss, Marc (2 December 2016). "Johann Rupert vexed by 'spin campaign'". Business Day. Retrieved 7 April 2017. 
  15. ^ du Toit, Pieter (25 January 2017). "How Rupert Was Warned About Bell Pottinger: 'They're Behind It.'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 7 April 2017. 
  16. ^ Amato, Carlos; "The worst thing is to invest in SA and create jobs, and be criticised for it, says Johann Rupert", Financial Mail, 16 Feb 2017. Retrieved 16 Feb 2017.