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Gerald Ratner

One of Britain's best known businessmen and highly amusing speaker, Gerald Ratner is famous for being the head of the major 1980's jewellery business's Ratner's. His sudden and dramatic decline following his own tongue-in-cheek criticism is now legendary.


About Gerald Ratner

After turning around his fortunes, Gerald Ratner talks with typical candour and a great deal of humour about the rollercoaster 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!


Gerald Ratner took over the family jewellery chain in the mid 80s, becoming one of Britain’s best known businessmen. He transformed it from 130 stores with sales of £13m, to a public company with 2,500 stores and sales of over £1.2bn. By 1990, Ratner’s was the world’s largest jewellery retailer with profits in excess of £120m.

Gerald Ratner’s business gaffe

Following a widely reported gaffe in which he compared his products to M&S prawn sandwiches, Gerald was forced to sell the business. In an instance he was reduced to virtually nothing and shunned by banks and prospective employers.  However he eventually picked himself up and clawed his way back. First with a health club then with ‘geraldonline’. Furthermore, his Internet jewellery business became the largest in the sector.


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"Gerald Ratner was absolutely fantastic. Holding the audience from the moment he began speaking, he launched our annual conference with a bang. Although filled with humour, his speech still told the story of a painful fall followed by a jubilant rise. He inspired our delegates to believe they can achieve whatever they want. A great speaker and a great man."

CIMA Members in Practice Conference

"Hugely enjoyable speech which captivated the whole audience with interesting stories and humour. Everyone that attended went away with something and the tone and style in which it was presented set up the rest of the conference superbly. Highly recommended."

Denplan Ltd

"Probably one of the best speakers ever - Gerald Ratner was a charming and witty speaker who captivated us with his incredible story of success, failure and turning life around to become a multi million success story again."

Hennessy Marketing

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