Johann Rupert; South African billionaire and second richest man in Africa now worth $11.5 billion

South African billionaire and the second richest man in Africa, Johann Rupert saw his wealth grow to $11.5 billion, placing him at 183 on the elite list of the richest billionaires in the world.

The luxury watchmaker, who was ranked 358th in the world in 2021 has moved up the ladder quickly in 2022, recovering from the downturn last year, when his net worth dropped to $5.4 billion from $7.3 billion.

The billionaire and his family together currently have a fortune worth $11.5 billion. He made the bulk of his fortune from Compagnie Financiere Richemont, a company that he founded in 1988. The company produces Swiss Luxury goods and is best known for the brands Cartier and Montblanc. He controls the world’s largest luxury watchmaker, Cie Financiere Richemont, through a family trust.

According to Bloomberg, Johann Rupert and his family’s net worth is the relative value of 124 million barrels of oil, 6.3 million ounces of gold, 0.0050% GDP of the United States of America, 0.496% of existing homes in the United States, $170,240 times the median U.S household income, and  182% of the top 200 U.S executives total awarded compensation.

Aside from these, for which he is well known, he and his family have other holdings including Remgro, a ellenbosch, South Africa-based investment vehicle with stakes in more than 30 companies, including FirstRand, Unilever South Africa and RMB Holdings.

They also own almost 25% of Reinet Investments, a company founded in 2008 as a holding entity for Richemont’s stake in British American Tobacco, through beneficial ownership of the South Africa-based Anton Rupert Trust, according to the company’s 2020 annual report.

Johann Rupert’s road to wealth

His Father Anton Rupert was a billionaire industrialist who founded the tobacco company Rembrandt Group in 1948. Johann Rupert enrolled at the University of Stellenbosch to study economics and corporate law but did not finish, instead used the money to move to New York instead, where he got a job with Chase Manhattan.
After working for five years in New York, he returned to South Africa and founded Rand Merchant Bank. After running the bank for a few years, he merged it with Rand Consolidated Investments and joined the family business.
After taking over from his father, he made one of his big moves by spinning off Rembrandt’s European assets and forming the Swiss luxury goods conglomerate, Richemont, a company which now owns stakes in such well-known brands as Van Cleef & Arpels, Azzedine Alaia and Piaget.

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