Johann Rupert is a South African businessman who grew up in Stellenbosch and immediately started his banking profession in New York City. He returned to South Africa in 1979 and set up the Rand Merchant Bank, which he ran until 1984. He soon left, leading the Rembrandt Company forward. He created the Compagnie Financière Richemont in 1988, a luxury Swiss company he currently presides over. He still held executive positions in several other firms.
Mr. Rupert has received numerous honors and achievements during his career. He is three times South Africa’s most powerful figure. He has also been named the Year’s Business Leader on numerous occasions and was honored as one of tomorrow’s Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum in 1992.
He holds doctorate degrees from the University of Stellenbosch, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, and University of St. Andrews. In 2009, he received the Management Achievement Award at the University of Witwatersrand and was chosen Chancellor of Stellenbosch University. The French President named him Officer of the French National Order of the Hon Legion in the same year
“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,” he said.
Mr. Rupert succeeded in fostering a healthy society and a better world, one of his many accomplishments in leadership and business, and he was responsible for building a number of organizations that reflect this dedication. He is a founding member of the Small Business Development Corporation, now known as Business Partners Ltd, which has created more than half a million jobs in South Africa since its formation. He is also a member of the advisory board of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and has been president of the Peace Parks Foundation since 2006.
Mr. Rupert has also made a tremendous dedication to upholding ideals and increasing the value of sport in society. He played a vital role in developing the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which greatly strengthens sport’s power to change the lives of underprivileged youth around the world, and co-founded the Sports Science Institute at the University of Cape Town.