Founder and compiler of the Hurun China Rich List
Travels from: Shanghai
Mention the name Rupert Hoogewerf in China and its likely to be met with a blank expression. But say the word “Hurun”, and it’s an all together different story. For the last ten years, Hurun, or as he’s known in his native England, Rupert Hoogewerf, has been responsible for compiling China’s annual rich list – the Hurun Report.
Back in 1999, whilst asking young Chinese university graduates about their role models, Shanghai-based accountant Rupert began to notice a pattern. Time after time, the graduates would talk about making money, but when it came to naming the Chinese business leaders who inspired them, they would draw a blank. Struck by this, and curious to know who was leading the explosive growth of China’s private sector, he teamed up with two Shanghai university students to compile the China Rich List.
Having painstakingly sifted through what public sources were available, Hoogewerf’s final list of 50 names marked the first serious attempt of its kind to identify China’s wealthiest individuals. Topped by the former vice-president ‘Red Capitalist’ Rong Yiren, the minimum threshold for inclusion was less than USD 10 million.
Since then, the size and scope of the China Rich List has grown at an exponential rate and has become an eagerly awaited annual event for China’s private sector. Released every October, the 2012 list includes 1000 names, with a minimum threshold of USD 300 million
The list is the flagship product of Hurun Report, a luxury publishing and events company founded by Hoogewerf in 1999, which produces 20 Chinese-language magazine issues a year aimed at China’s wealth creators. Hoogewerf’s close personal relationship with many of China’s leading entrepreneurs provides the basis for the company’s busy calendar of events.
Fluent in Mandarin, Hoogewerf graduated from Durham University with a degree in Chinese and Japanese language and history in 1993, and spent seven years as a qualified chartered accountant at Arthur Andersen. He lives with his wife and three young children in Shanghai, where he has lived since 1997. His contribution to the understanding of wealth in China has seen him gain a great deal of recognition in the Mainland, with Global Entrepreneur magazine naming him as one of the 100 Top Influencers in China’s Globalization in 2005, and Dragon TV nominating Hoogewerf as one of the thirty most influential people since the Open Door Policy in 1978. Rupert was also awarded the prestigious “2002 Person of the Year” by Neweekly magazine. Most recently, the Shanghai government presented Hoogewerf with the Magnolia Award in June 2009, the highest honour bestowed by the City on foreigners.
Rupert Hoogewerf discusses the 2012 Hurun rich list in the first segment of this Al Jazeera show.