Stephen Rubin

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Stephen Rubin
BornRobert Stephen Rubin
December 1937 (age 80)
EducationCanford School
Alma materUniversity College, London
OccupationChairman of Pentland Group
Net worthGB£1.23 billion (2015)[1]
US$2.1 billion (April 2018)[2]
Spouse(s)Angela Rubin
Parent(s)Berko and Minnie Rubin

Robert Stephen Rubin OBE (born December 1937), is a British businessman. He is the chairman, and co-owner (alongside members of his family) of Pentland Group, the holding company for a number of sporting goods companies.

Early life[edit]

Robert Stephen Rubin was born in December 1937.[3] After attending Canford School in Dorset, Rubin graduated from University College, London in 1958 with a degree in law, with the intention of becoming a barrister.[4]


After he unsuccessfully stood for the House of Commons at Streatham as a Liberal Party parliamentary candidate in 1959, aged 21,[4][5] he joined the Liverpool Shoe Company, founded by his parents, Berko and Minnie Rubin.[4][6] He was joint managing director with his father for 10 years until his father's death in 1969, when he took the role of chairman.[4]

Rubin transformed the company, renamed Pentland Group in 1973,[4] into the UK's largest sports apparel and footwear company,[7] owning a number of brands including Berghaus, Brasher, Ellesse, Hunter, Mitre and Speedo, amongst others. It is also the majority owner of JD Sports Fashion plc.[8] Its success largely came from an investment in August 1981, acquiring 55% of Reebok for US$77,500. By 1983/84, Reebok accounted for 70% of Pentland's turnover. Pentland's shares rose from 55p at the start of 1984 to GB£3 at the end of the year and up to GB£10 in 1985, while profits rose from GB£1 million in 1983 to GB£12.9 million in 1985.[9] Rubin then sold off Pentland's stake in Reebok for US$770m in 1991.[4][5][8]

Rubin was chairman and chief executive of Pentland until 1998 when he split his role and appointed his son, Andrew, chief executive, retaining the post of chairman.[6]

Rubin took Pentland private in 1999 to focus on longer-term investments.[7] However, it appears that City institutions were unhappy with the way Rubin was running the company, which had underperformed the market by 40% since it floated in 1989.[6]

Rubin served as World Chairman of the Textile Institute from 1994 to 2006. From 1995 to 1998 and again from 1999 to 2001, he was president of the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry.[10] He is also a Board Member of the Brussels-based organization CEJI - A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe.[citation needed]

Honours and awards[edit]

Rubin was appointed OBE in the 2003 New Year's Honours List for services to business and human rights.[11] The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame honoured him with the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award.[12] On 21 July 2010, Rubin was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Art (DArt) by Nottingham Trent University[13]

Personal life[edit]

According to the Sunday Times Rich List 2013, Rubin and his family have an estimated fortune of GB£1.12bn.[14]


  1. ^ "Sunday Times Rich List". The Sunday Times (page 32). 26 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Stephen Rubin". Forbes. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Pentland Group plc". Companies House. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Neel, Julia (26 November 2012). "Hall of Fame: Stephen Rubin". Footwear News. Retrieved 18 December 2013. (subscription required)
  5. ^ a b "Sportswear veteran swoops again". Financial Times. 3 February 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2013. (subscription required)
  6. ^ a b c Ahmad, Sameena (4 September 1997). "Concern as sportswear boss gives son top job". Independent. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  7. ^ a b Tyler, Richard (16 October 2003). "Pentland's private route to 'best UK workplace'". Telegraph. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  8. ^ a b "About Us". Pentland Group plc. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  9. ^ Blakey, George G. (2010). A History of the London Stock Market 1945–2009. Harriman House. ISBN 1906659621.
  10. ^ "Stephen Rubin Net Worth". TheRichest. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  11. ^ "No. 56797". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2002. p. 12.
  12. ^ "R. Stephen Rubin". International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  13. ^ Stephen Rubin OBE - NTU Honorary Graduate - 21st July 2010. YouTube. 21 July 2010.
  14. ^ "Digest: Pentland stuck in the mud". Sunday Times. 7 July 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013.