In 1991 Gerald Ratner was booked to make what should have been an everyday
speech at the Institute of Directors. Should have been. When the words "total
crap" come out of his mouth in connection with a decanter and glasses set sold by
his company, H. Samuel, it all turned out slightly different. The Rise and Fall...And
Rise Again tells the full story, in Gerald Ratner's own words, of what lead him to
that point at the IoD, the horror of what happened in the immediate aftermath,
the fallout and the comeback. This is the fi rst time Gerald Ratner has given his side
of the story. And what a story it is. You'll fi nd out:
* How he wiped £500m off the value of his own company virtually overnight
* All the details about the initial gaffe and how he compounded it by remarking
that some of the earrings were "cheaper than an M&S prawn sandwich but
probably wouldn't last as long"
* How "doing a Ratner" has entered into the vocabulary of British business
* The wilderness years sitting glued to the sofa in front of Countdown
* How he has bounced back, rediscovering his entrepreneurial spark by building
up a health club business and, more recently, the immensely successful online
jewellery retailer Geraldonline.com
* The story's not over yet...
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"In 2006, a book was published called History's Worst Decisions. Alongside Nero burning Rome to the ground, Eve eating the apple, and the choice not to install a Tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean, was a speech that I mad in 1991. Despite the fact that I didn't kill anybody, I didn't do anything illegal, and I didn't even say anything that I hadn't said before, that speech caused me to lose my business, my reputation and my fortune."
We've all told a joke that we instantly regretted; life normally goes on regardless. But what happens when it doesn't? What happens when your 'joke' costs you £500m and destroys your family business? A single joke that causes you to your reputation, your home and your self-respect; a moment that makes you forever known as "...the guy who destroyed his business"?
And what does it take to get up off the floor and get it all back again- the respect, the money, the will to carry on?
Set against the high-rolling excesses of business in '80s Britain, The rise and Fall.. and Rise Again is a barnstorming tale of personal redemption through sheer grit, as told by one of Britain's sharpest and most successful businessmen: Gerald Ratner. Yes, you read that right - Gerald Ratner.
"Like Alan Sugar and Laurie Barratt, Ratner is one of that band of Businessmen who made their names by providing ordinary people with items they thought only the rich could afford" - Richard Northedge, City A.M.From the Inside Flap:
In 1991, Gerald Ratner made a landmark speech to the Institute of Directors.
After over 25 years in the jewellery trade, Gerald Ratner was one of the most well-known and successful retailers of his generation. He had built up a highly profitable, multi-million pound international business, including household names like Ratners, H. Samuel, Ernest Jones and Watches of Switzerland, as well as over one thousand stores in the US. Being asked to give the keynote address at the Institute of Director's annual conference at The Royal Albert Hall was a great honour and should have been the crowning glory of two decades of empire building.
But his speech was seized upon by the media after he included jokes about the quality of some of his shops' products. No one could have predicted the far-reaching impact these jokes would have.
"Even though I had once had my name above hundreds of shops up and down the country, it had become more famous as a byword for crap. It took several years to realise just what an impact the speech had had on every aspect of my life."
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