Johann Rupert is a South African business magnate and the chairman of Rich Goods Company located in Switzerland and also Remgro, a company based in South Africa. Read on to learn more about the billionaire.
Johann Rupert Bio
Born to Anton Rupert, a South African tycoon and Huberte Rupert; Johann Peter Rupert grew up in Stellenbosch. He schooled at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch. He furthered in the University of Stellenbosch to obtain a degree in economics and company law but had to drop out of school to venture into business. In 2004, however, the school gave him an honorary doctorate in Economics. Also in 2008, the business tycoon received another honorary doctorate in commerce from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
Given his background, Johann started out his business career in New York when he served his apprenticeship at Chase Manhattan. He stayed with the company for two years then moved to Lizard Feres and worked for three years. In 1976, he returned to South Africa and started a bank called Rand Merchant Bank of which he served as the CEO.
The same year, Rupert started a corporation that to this day has created over 600,000 jobs. This is the Small Business Development Corporation. His passion for finance is shown in his business. He has received many awards over the course of his business career.
He also joined his family business empire which his father, elder Anton Rupert turned into a billion-dollar conglomerate after starting with just £10 in his garage. The empire was started in 1941 and his father operated a dry cleaning business for a while and then decided to try his hands in the tobacco industry a year later. The firm’s first cigarette brand was named Rembrandt and it was famous among South African smokers. Later on, the company was split into two, Remgro and Richemont. Remgro deals in Mining, Finance, and industrial areas. Richemont, on the other hand, works as Swiss Luxury Goods Group. Now, the company has been expanded in six continents over more than 30 countries. He died in 2006, making Johann Rupert (his eldest son) get more involved in the business. He currently chairs the two companies which are among the leading firms in the world.
Away from Johann Rupert’s work in finance, his other interests have also brought him to the limelight especially his endeavors in golf. Johann Rupert founded the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation which really helps underprivileged children and the Sports Science Institute with the help of his friends.
He also took over the L’Ormarins wine estate after the death of his younger brother and he initiated a project on the farm to enhance it as a tribute to him. Rupert just like his father is a conservationist and has personally conserved 25,000 hectares of the Graaf Reinet area.
Johann Rupert plays golf twice a month but when his friend Ernie (Els) is in town, they play four times a week. He recommends playing regularly because no matter how good you are if you go for long stints without playing you just forget your stuff. He has a handicap of 11 which he attributes to his friend and a club-fitting with Callaway. His best gross round is 70 when he played at Santa Ponsa in Majorca. He encourages kids to play golf because of the values it teaches them outside the game which is why he started a development program in South Africa to get more kids to play the game.
He is outspoken about things he is passionate about. For example, he made a famous speech at the annual dinner of the European Tour suggesting to the players that they were not everything they thought they were and as such they should give back to the game as a gratitude for the good fortune. Also in 2005, when Wallpaper, a British design magazine described Afrikaans language, John Rupert’s native language as the ugliest in the world, he responded by withdrawing advertisement from the magazine for his company’s brands. Sometime before his retirement, an analyst asked during the release of Richemont results whether Cartier’s poor performance was as a result of lack of innovation. Johann Rupert answered that analysts did not take risks and that if they wished to get to the bottom of things they had to put in the work. Rupert is widely known as being reclusive for rarely giving interviews and staying away from public events. In 2006, newspapers gave him the nickname ‘the bear’ for predicting an economic crisis in the world. This is despite the billions he has to his name.
Johann Rupert is a clear example of the fact that hard work pays off as he has grown his family business significantly. For being able to make the business go global, Johann Rupert has been appearing on Forbes list of richest people in Africa although his position keeps changing. In 2017, he was on the fourth on the list with a net worth of $5.5 billion. The previous year, he was worth $7.9 billion and ranked the second on the list. However, in 2018, Johann Rupert is named the third with a net worth of $7.2 billion.
Wife, Daughter, Son
His wife is Gaynor Rupert. She breeds race-horses because he talked her into it for the same reason he loves seeing his golfers win. He loves the feeling she gets when her prized horse wins a coveted race. Safe to say he is proud of the accomplishments of his mentees. Besides breeding of horses, Gaynor looks after Drakenstein Farm. Johann and his wife Gaynor are blessed with one son Anton Rupert Jr. and two daughters Hanneli and Caroline. There is no much information about their children.
Johanne Rupert Car Collection
Rupert owns Franschhoek Motor Museum that is home to his personal collection of over 200 antique cars including his very own 63 Ferrari Lusso GT. Years back, his son had a minor accident with his Ferrari F50 on the Franschhoek Motor Museum.
Rupert has a big mansion in Cape Town South Africa said to worth over 2 million Euros. But he likes keeping his private life private. Thus we couldn’t get many details on the house and other property he owns. In 2013, Johann Rupert paid R40m for a bull at the Thabo Tholo game (a 36000-hectare game farm located in the Limpopo province of South Africa) auction held annually. He says he was just part of a group of investors who wanted to buy the bull.