Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#189 Johann Rupert $8.19B

Random fact: Took over brother Anthonij's winery after he died in a car accident.

Overview

Rupert controls the world's largest jewelry maker, Cie. Financiere Richemont, through a family trust. The Bellevue, Switzerland-based company's brands include Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget and Cartier. His other public holdings include Remgro, a Stellenbosch, South Africa-based investment vehicle with stakes in more than 30 companies.

As of Oct. 17, 2017:
Last change +$94.6M (+1.2%)
YTD change +$1.76B (+27.3%)
Industry Diversified
Biggest asset CFR VX Equity
Citizenship South Africa
Age 67
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Johann Rupert's net worth of $8.19B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

0%
of the GDP of the United States
0%
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
0%
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
0%
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
0%
of U.S. existing home sales
0
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Rupert's fortune is derived from his stake in Cie. Financiere Richemont, a publicly traded luxury goods manufacturer and retailer and the world's largest jewelry maker, according to Bloomberg Intelligence data in October 2016. Parties associated with Johann Rupert and his family investment vehicle, Cie. Financiere Rupert, own 0.5 percent of Cie. Financiere Richemont's Class A shares, which are publicly traded, according to its annual report for the year to March 31, 2017. 

Through Switzerland-based Compagnie Financiere Rupert, the family also owns all of the company's Class B shares, which do not trade and have one-tenth the economic value of the Class A shares, according to its annual report. Rupert is credited with the entire stake to reflect his status as chairman.

He also owns a stake in Remgro, a holding group with investments in more than 30 companies, including FirstRand, Unilever South Africa and RMB Holdings. The Rupert family beneficially owns 1.4 percent of Remgro's publicly traded ordinary shares and controls all of Remgro's Class B shares through Rembrandt Trust, a family trust of which Rupert is a director, according to the company's 2016 annual report. The two share classes carry equal economic value, according to analysts who cover the company and asked not to be identified because they weren't authorized to speak on the record.

The family's third public holding is Reinet Investments, a company founded in 2008 as a holding entity for Richemont's stake in British American Tobacco. The Rupert family owns almost 25 percent of the shares of Reinet Investments through their beneficial ownership of the South Africa-based Anton Rupert Trust, according to the company's fiscal 2016 annual report.

The value of his cash holdings is based on an analysis of dividends, taxes, insider transactions and market performance.

Alan Grieve, director of corporate affairs at CFR Richemont, declined to comment on Rupert's net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 6/1/1950
Family: Married, 3 children
Education:

Johann Peter Rupert was born June 1, 1950, in Stellenbosch, the oldest son of billionaire industrialist Anton Rupert and his wife, Huberte. A self-made businessman, his father had founded tobacco company Rembrandt Group in 1948. After attending school in Stellenbosch, the younger Rupert enrolled at University of Stellenbosch to study economics and corporate law. He didn’t graduate, choosing to move to New York, where he took a trainee position with Chase Manhattan.

After five years in New York -- working first for Chase, then for Lazard Freres -- he returned to South Africa where he founded Rand Merchant Bank. A few years later, the bank merged with Rand Consolidated Investments and Rupert joined the family business. Rembrandt diversified into wine and spirits and various South African sectors, including banking, mining, food and packaging. In the late 1980s, Rupert took over from his father as chairman of Rembrandt. One of his first big moves was spinning off Rembrandt’s European assets and forming the Swiss luxury goods conglomerate, Richemont. The company owns stakes in such well-known brands as Van Cleef & Arpels, Azzedine Alaia and Piaget.

Rupert serves as chairman of Richemont, Remgro -- which is a restructured iteration of Rembrandt Group created in 2000 -- and Reinet Investments, a holding company he founded in 2009 to control Rembrandt’s stake in British American Tobacco. An avid sportsman, he designed the course at his Leopard Creek Golf Club in Nelspruit, which he bought in 1995 with professional golfer Gary Player.

The billionaire is chairman of the South African PGA Tour, a lifelong member of the European Tour, and the founder of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which aims to help young people overcome poverty, homelessness, AIDS and violence through sports-related community projects. A conservation enthusiast, he chairs the Peace Parks Foundation, which protects biodiversity in South Africa's border regions.

He lives in Stellenbosch with his wife, Gaynor.

Milestones
  • 1948 Father, Anton, founds cigarette manufacturer Rembrandt.
  • 1950 Johann Rupert is born in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
  • 1974 Leaves college and moves to New York to work in banking.
  • 1979 Returns to South Africa, founds Rand Merchant Bank.
  • 1984 Joins Rembrandt, takes over as chairman within a few years.
  • 1988 Spins off Rembrandt's European assets into luxury group Richemont.
  • 2000 Establishes The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
  • 2012 Steps down as CEO of Richemont; remains chairman.