Net Worth: $545 Million, Source: Retailing
Citizenship: South Africa , Age: 80
aymond Ackerman (born 10 March 1931) is a South African businessman, who purchased the Pick 'n Pay supermarket group from its founder Mr Jack Goldin (subsequent founder of the Clicks Group). Raymond Ackerman was chairman until he stepped down in 2010. He is also well known for his philanthropic activities. He purchased four stores from Jack Goldin in the sixties.
After graduating from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Commerce, he joined the Greatermans group in the Ackermans division in 1951 at the age of 20 as a trainee manager. Ackermans had been founded just after World War I by his father Gus, but was sold to the Greatermans group in 1940.
Ackerman was eventually offered a position at Greatermans head office in Johannesburg. In the early 1950s, food retailing supermarkets first began to appear on the scene in South Africa. Norman Herber, chairman of Greatermans decided to start a food retailer called Checkers. Ackerman was eventually put in charge of Checkers, making a resounding success out the business.
Ackerman won the Outstanding Young South African award in 1965, along with Gary Player and by 1966, at the age of 35, he was the managing director of 85 Checkers stores; however, he was fired in the same year. In response, using his severance pay and a bank loan, Ackerman bought four stores in Cape Town trading under the name Pick 'n Pay. Under his leadership, Pick 'n Pay eventually grew into one of Africa's largest supermarket chains, with a thirty seven billion Rand turnover (2006 figure) and more than 124 supermarkets, 14 hypermarkets and 179 franchised outlets. The Pick 'n Pay Group employs more than 30 000 people in several Southern African countries and Australia.
Ackerman has fought many battles with the South African government (both pre- and post-1994) in his attempts to free up the highly regulated South African fuel industry.
Ackerman is married and has four children, all of whom are involved in the business in various capacities. He received an honorary Doctorate in Law from Rhodes University in 1986 and an honorary Doctorate in Commerce from the University of Cape Town in 2001.
He was voted 79th in the Top 100 Great South Africans in 2004.
Ackerman, together with his wife Wendy were awarded the 2010 David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership in Africa Award by The Synergos Institute Southern Africa office.