Johann Peter Rupert (born 1 June 1950) is a South African billionaire businessman, who is the eldest son of business tycoon Anton Rupert and his wife Huberte.
He is the chairman of the Swiss-based luxury-goods company Richemont and the South Africa-based company Remgro. Since April 2010, he has been the CEO of Compagnie Financiere Richemont. Rupert and family were ranked the richest in South Africa on the 2023 Forbes list, with an estimated net worth of US$10.7 billion.
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.
In 2008, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Described as “reclusive” by the Financial Times and Barron’s, Rupert rarely gives interviews and shuns public events. He’s nicknamed “Rupert the Bear”.
Rupert has declared his sympathy for and belief in the idea of a universal basic income.
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, forming RMB Holdings,1 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 Richemont subsidiary 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.
- 2009: Appointed Chancellor of Stellenbosch University
- 2010 Made Honorary Vice President of the European Golf Tour
- Awarded honorary doctorate by the University of St Andrews, Scotla