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BY Abu Mubarik, 4:22pm June 19, 2023,

6 things to know about Johann Rupert, the South African billionaire who just dethroned Aliko Dangote as Africa’s richest man

Aliko Dangote and Johnann Rupert. Photos credit: Daily Post Nigeria

For over a decade, Nigerian billionaire, Aliko Dangote, has maintained the top spot as Africa’s richest man. However, the Nigerian business mogul has lost the top spot to South Africa’s Johann Rupert, according to Forbes’ real-time estimates of their net worth.

With a current real-time net worth of $10.8 billion, the Nigerian billionaire is now second to Rupert, who has a real-time net worth of $11.8 billion. Here are six things to know about Rupert:

Primary source of wealth

Rupert’s main source of wealth comes from luxury goods; he is the chairman of Swiss luxury goods firm, Compagnie Financiere Richemont – known for the two top brands, Cartier and Montblanc. The company was formed in 1998 through a spinoff of assets from his father’s company, Rembrandt Group Limited.

Comes from a family of businessmen

Born on June 1, 1950, the 73-year-old comes from a lineage of businessmen, and is the eldest son of renowned business tycoon, Anton Rupert, and his wife, Hurberte. His father launched Rembrandt Group Limited in the 1940s. In 1998, the company split into two entities called Remgro, with interests in banking, financial services, glass, medical services, mining, petroleum, packaging, beverage, food, and personal care products, and Richemont, with a group of Swiss Luxury companies.

Other investments

He owns a 7% diversified interest in Remgro and a 25% stake in Reinet, another investment company in Luxembourg. 

Wall Street background

Prior to returning to South Africa, Johann Rupert spent time on Wall Street and established the Rand Merchant Bank in 1976. He also took over the family’s wine interests and his brother’s L’Ormarins wine estate following his demise. He also assumed chairmanship of both Remgro and Richemont following the death of his father. Today, the Rupert family is worth $11.8 billion, as per Forbes. 

Educational background

He first studied economics and company law at the University of Stellenbosch but abandoned his academic pursuits to embark on a business career. However, in 2004, the university awarded him with an honorary degree in Economics. He subsequently received an honorary doctorate from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

Hobbies and philanthropic work

Besides business, Rupert has other interests and engages in several philanthropic work. He is a golf enthusiast and also founded the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in 1990, aiming to address social issues through sports. He serves as Chairman of the South African PGA Tour and Golf Development Board and has been a council member in esteemed institutions such as the South Africa Foundation, the Southern African Nature Foundation, the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa, Business South Africa, and the Die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: June 19, 2023


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