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15 August, 2018 - 12:00 By Tony Quested

Gerald Ratner mines new diamond

Former City darling Gerald Ratner, who torpedoed his own sparkling career by labelling his jewellery “total crap,” has unearthed a new diamond with an online business turning over £25 million and is sharing his story with guests at the IoD dinner in Cambridge in October.

For Ratner the IoD appearance is poignant: it was at the IoD annual conference in 1991 where he labelled his own products ‘total crap’ and promptly lost his career as boss of the world’s largest retail jewellery chain.

As chief executive of Ratner’s Group he transformed the business from 130 stores with sales of £13m to a public company with 2,500 stores and sales of over £1.2 billion. By 1990, Ratner’s surpassed all competitors with profits in excess of £120m. 

After his anecdote at the 1991 IoD conference his fall from grace was dramatic. It was not until years later that through his own resilience Ratner began to rise again, establishing GeraldOnline, which today turns over £25m. 

His biography ‘Gerald Ratner: The Rise and Fall… and Rise Again’ has been described as “worth its weight in gold”. His story will be an inspiration to many who have experienced rejection, loss and humiliation.

The IoD Annual Dinner 2018 will be held at Madingley Hall on Friday October 12 and will be raising money for Magpas Air Ambulance, a charity that brings crucial lifesaving care by land and air to patients in life threatening emergencies across the East of England.

Table bookings can be made via

• Image Copyright: Gerald Ratner 

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