Johann Rupert is a businessman from South Africa who grew up in Stellenbosch and began his New York City banking career. Returning to South Africa in 1979, he established the Rand Merchant Bank, which he headed up to 1984. He then resigned, going on to head the Rembrandt Company. In 1988 he formed a Swiss luxury company, the Compagnie Financière Richemont, of which he is currently chairman. In a number of other firms, he also held executive positions.
During his career, Mr. Rupert has received multiple honors and achievements He is a three-time most powerful figure in South Africas. He has also been called Business Leader of the Year on many occasions and was honored by the World Economic Forum in 1992 as one of its Global Leaders of Tomorrow.
“We are living on the cusp of tremendous systemic change, and while many things may be in flux, one thing is clear: it’s time to give back and to put the human being back in the center of our systems,” Rupert said.
He holds honorary degrees from Stellenbosch University, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and St. Andrews University. In 2009, he received the University of Witwatersrand’s Management Achievement Award and was elected Chancellor of Stellenbosch University. In the same year, he was named officer of the French National Order of the Legion of Honour by the President of France.
Mr. Rupert has worked effectively to promote a positive community and a better world, one of his many achievements in leadership and business, and has been responsible for developing a number of organizations that reflect this dedication. He is also a founding member of the Small Business Development Corporation, now known as Business Partners Ltd, which since its creation has generated over half a million jobs in South Africa. He is also a part of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund Advisory Board and since 2006 has been Chairman of the Peace Parks Foundation.