Johann Peter Rupert Biography, Personal Life, Business Career, Interest and Controversies

Johann Peter Rupert

Born: 1 June 1950 (age 73)

Place of Birth: Stellenbosch, Cape Province, Union of South Africa

Alma mater: Stellenbosch University

Occupation: Chairman of Compagnie Financiere Richemont SA

Spouse: Gaynor Rupert

Children: 3

Parent: Anton and Huberte Rupert

Johann Peter Rupert is a South African wealthy businessman who was born on June 1, 1950. He is the oldest son of Anton Rupert, a business mogul, and Huberte, his wife. He is the head of both the Swiss luxury goods company Richemont and the South African company Remgro. Since April 2010, he has been the CEO of Richemont Financial Group.

According to the 2023 Forbes list, Rupert and his family are the richest people in South Africa. They are thought to be worth up to US$10.7 billion.

Personal Life

Rupert grew up in Stellenbosch and went to Paul Roos Gymnasium and the University of Stellenbosch to study business law and economics. Although he dropped out of college to go into business, the school did honour him by giving him an honorary doctorate in Economics in 2004.

He was given an honorary doctorate by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in 2008. Both the Financial Times and Barron’s have called Rupert reclusive because he doesn’t like public events or talks. “Rupert the Bear” is his name.

Rupert has said that he agrees with the idea of a national basic income and supports it.

Business Career

Rupert learned how to run a business in New York City. He worked for Chase Manhattan for two years and for Lazard Freres for three years. After that, he went back to South Africa in 1979 and started Rand Merchant Bank, where he was the CEO.

1984: RMB and Rand Consolidated Investments merged to form RMB Holdings. He then left to work for his father’s business, the Rembrandt Group.

In 1988, he started the Richemont Financial Company and was named a non-executive director of Rothmans International plc. The Sunday Times named him “Businessman of the Year” that same year.
He was made Vice Chairman of the Rembrandt Group in 1989.

Die Burger newspaper and the Cape Town Chamber of Commerce named him business star of the year in 1990. Set up Vendôme Luxury Group SA as a Richemont company.

The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, named him one of 200 “Global Leaders of Tomorrow” in 1992. In 1991, he was named Chairman of Rembrandt Group Limited.

1993: The A.H.I. (Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut) gave him the M.S. Louw Award.
He was named Sunday Times Business Times’ Businessman of the Year for the second time in 1996.

In 1997, he was named Chairman of Gold Fields South Africa Ltd. without any executive power.
1999: The Free Market Foundation of South Africa gave them the 1999 Free Market Award.

Changed the structure of Rembrandt Group Limited in 2000 and made Remgro Limited and VenFin Limited. Assigned as Chairman and CEO of Compagnie Financière Richemont SA. “Most influential business leader” in South Africa, according to the CEOs of the top 100 listed companies

2004: The University of Stellenbosch gave him an honorary doctorate in economics.

2008: For the third time, the CEOs of the Top 100 Companies in South Africa chose him as their Business Leader of the Year.

The President of the French Republic made him a “Officier” of the French “Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur” in 2009.

At the Meininger “Excellence in Wine and Spirit” awards event in Düsseldorf, Germany, he was named the 2009 International Wine Entrepreneur of the Year.

He was named Chancellor of Stellenbosch University in 2009.

Since 2010, he has been an honorary vice president of the European Golf Tour.

The University of St. Andrews in Scotland gave him an honours doctorate.

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Rupert started the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in 1990. He used to play cricket. Laureus funds 65 projects around the world that use sports to address social problems, with a focus on helping kids from poor families.

He helped his friends Morne du Plessis and Tim Noakes start the Sports Science Institute. Rupert also built the Leopard Creek Golf Club in Mpumalanga, South Africa, which was planned by Gary Player and is one of the top three golf courses in South Africa and ranked number 25 outside of the United States by Golf Digest.

He has also played in the Gary Player Invitational golf event every year to help his friend and fellow South African Gary Player raise money for children’s charities. He is the head of both the South African PGA Tour and the South African Golf Development Board. He became a member of the South African Sports Hall of Fame in 2007 and the South African Golf Hall of Fame in 2009.

He took over the L’Ormarins wine estate after his younger brother Anthonij died in a car accident in 2001. Anthony was in charge of Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons. In honour of his late brother, Rupert started a project to make the farm better.

He served on the board of directors for the Southern African Nature Foundation, The Institute of Directors in Southern Africa, Business South Africa, and Die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns. He also managed the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and was on its investment committee. He was a member of the Advisory Board for Daimler Chrysler International.

Conservationists are very important to Johann Rupert, just like they were to his father, Anton. He also leads the Peace Parks Foundation and protects about 25,000 hectares of land in the Graaff Reinet area.


In its September 2005 issue, the British design magazine Wallpaper* called the Afrikaans language one of the ugliest languages in the world in reference to the Afrikaans Language Monument. In response, Rupert took out ads for his companies’ brands like Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Montblanc, and Alfred Dunhill from the magazine.

In December 2016, it was said that Rupert had fired Bell Pottinger as Richemont’s PR firm. He said that Bell Pottinger was running a social media campaign against him to take attention away from the state capture claims against the Gupta family.

Interpol has sent red notices to Atul and Rajesh Gupta, two of the three Gupta brothers who are from India. They left South Africa with their families while probes were going on because they were suspected of stealing billions of rands from state-owned businesses.

In September 2017, Rupert spoke at Richemont’s annual general meeting in Geneva. He said that Bell Pottinger’s use of the term Radical Economic Transformation was just a code word for theft to hide the State Capture by their customers, the notorious Gupta family. Radical Economic Transformation is a plan that President Jacob Zuma wants to use to make South Africa less unequal between races.

In 2018, Rupert said some things in an interview with PowerFM that caused a stir in South Africa. He got in trouble for denying the presence of white monopoly capital, for what he said about how Afrikaners improved their economic situation, and for what he said about how black South Africans saved their money.

After what happened, Rupert said sorry for what he said. Andile Mngxitama, the controversial head of the Black First Land First party, said afterward that Rupert’s comments were a reason to hurt white South Africans.

Net Worth

Johann Peter Rupert is an entrepreneur. He is the oldest son of Anton Rupert, a business mogul, and Huberte, his wife. Johann Rupert has a net worth of $10.7 billion.

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