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The Foundation / Our Founders Johann Rupert Johann Rupert is a South African business luminary who grew up in Stellenbosch and began his career in banking in New York.

In 1979 he returned to South Africa and founded the Rand Merchant Bank which he led until 1984. He then joined and went on to head the Rembrandt Group. In 1988, he established Compagnie Financière Richemont, a Swiss-based luxury group of which he is currently Chairman. He also holds senior positions in a number of other businesses.

Throughout his career, Mr Rupert has earned numerous awards and distinctions. Voted three times Most Influential Leader in South Africa, he has also been named Business Leader of the Year on a number of occasions and was singled out by the World Economic Forum in 1992 as one of its Global Leaders of Tomorrow.

He holds honorary degrees from Stellenbosch University, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, and the University of St. Andrews. In 2009, he received the University of Witwatersrand’s Management Excellence Award and was named Chancellor of Stellenbosch University. The same year, the President of France appointed him an Officer in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor.

"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 centre of our systems."

Beyond his many leadership and business accomplishments, Mr Rupert has consistently worked to promote a healthy society and a better world, and has been instrumental in the creation of a number of organisations that reflect this commitment. Most notably, he is a founding member of the Small Business Development Corporation, now called Business Partners Ltd, which has created over half a million jobs in South Africa since its inception. He was also an advisory board member of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and, since 2006, is Chairman of the Peace Parks Foundation.

In addition, Mr Rupert has done much to advance the values and wider potential of sports in society. He played a pivotal role in founding the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which harnesses the power of sports to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people around the world, and co-founded the Sports Science Institute at University of Cape Town. A former cricketer and accomplished golfer himself, he was inducted in 2007 into the South African Sports Hall of Fame and in 2009 into the South African Golf Hall of Fame.

The Foundation / Our Founders

Johann Rupert

Johann Rupert is a South African business luminary who grew up in Stellenbosch and began his career in banking in New York.

In 1979 he returned to South Africa and founded the Rand Merchant Bank which he led until 1984. He then joined and went on to head the Rembrandt Group. In 1988, he established Compagnie Financière Richemont, a Swiss-based luxury group of which he is currently Chairman. He also holds senior positions in a number of other businesses.

Throughout his career, Mr Rupert has earned numerous awards and distinctions. Voted three times Most Influential Leader in South Africa, he has also been named Business Leader of the Year on a number of occasions and was singled out by the World Economic Forum in 1992 as one of its Global Leaders of Tomorrow.

He holds honorary degrees from Stellenbosch University, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, and the University of St. Andrews. In 2009, he received the University of Witwatersrand’s Management Excellence Award and was named Chancellor of Stellenbosch University. The same year, the President of France appointed him an Officer in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor.

"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 centre of our systems."

Beyond his many leadership and business accomplishments, Mr Rupert has consistently worked to promote a healthy society and a better world, and has been instrumental in the creation of a number of organisations that reflect this commitment. Most notably, he is a founding member of the Small Business Development Corporation, now called Business Partners Ltd, which has created over half a million jobs in South Africa since its inception. He was also an advisory board member of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and, since 2006, is Chairman of the Peace Parks Foundation.

In addition, Mr Rupert has done much to advance the values and wider potential of sports in society. He played a pivotal role in founding the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which harnesses the power of sports to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people around the world, and co-founded the Sports Science Institute at University of Cape Town. A former cricketer and accomplished golfer himself, he was inducted in 2007 into the South African Sports Hall of Fame and in 2009 into the South African Golf Hall of Fame.