Gerald Ratner is a British household name.
Born in 1949 and educated at Hendon County Grammar School, he joined the family firm Ratners in 1965.
He took over his family's jewellery business in 1984 which had at that time 130 stores. By 1990 it had 2,500 stores, 25,000 employees, annual sales of 1.2 billion and profits of 121 million.
Unfortunately he went down in history (he was then Chairman-Chief Executive of Ratners Group, the world's largest jewellery retail company which included H Samuel and Ernest Jones), when at a corporate speaking engagement in 1991 at the Albert Hall for the Institute of Directors, he described a sherry decanter (one of their products), as total crap.
Gerald Ratner is very much in demand as a business speaker and has also built an American business from scratch, building it to over 1000 shops in the USA becoming one of the few uk retailers to succeed on the other side of the atlantic. He now runs, the UK’s largest online jewellery business Gerald Online.
Its a wild, up and down roller coaster ride which Gerald Ratner talks about and he is not doing too badly now with his house, swimming pool and Bentley Continental GT in the drive and not forgetting his bicycle which he rides every day when he can.
After turning around his fortunes, Gerald talks with typical candour and a great deal of humour about the roller coaster journey. He even raises a smile when he produces The Sun's list of the '50 biggest mistakes of all time' - in which his is ranked top!