Robert Herjavec is a businessman, investor, and celebrity. He’s been through the lowest of lows as well as some of the highest highs a man could achieve in his life. His business career has been filled with success throughout the decades. Robert’s approximate net worth is $200 million at the age of 57.
A Difficult Beginning
Robert was born in 1962 in Croatia and grew up in Zbjeg. In 1970, when Robert was 8, his family fled the country. Previously, Croatia had incarcerated Herjavec’s father for speaking out against the regime.
His father, Vladimir, was known to drink too much and start talking bad about Communism. This resulted in him being sent to jail 22 times for being an anti-Communist. The family arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia with one suitcase and a 20 dollar bill.
Robert had a difficult time transitioning from Croatia and looked to his father as his guide. He describes his father as a “really tough guy” and states his father told him to never complain. He took that advice to heart and used it to carry himself through his struggles.
Starting From the Bottom
Robert graduated from New College at the University of Toronto. His degree was in English literature and political science. However, this would be a completely different field than where he would eventually find himself in.
He had to work several different kinds of minimum wage jobs after his graduation to make ends meet and support his family, who was also struggling. Robert has waited tables, delivered newspapers, been in retail sales and even worked in debt collection.
Here’s a profile video by Shark Tank on Robert’s upbringing
Branching Out Into Film
Many know Robert because of his celebrity status as a Shark on Shark Tank. However, Robert had been involved in film many years before his appearance on the now-popular investing show.
In the mid-1980s, Herjavec worked in several productions as a third assistant director. Some of his films that he worked on included ‘Cain and Abel’ and ‘The Return of Billy Jack.’ He also was a field producer for Global TV during the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. These all were Robert’s first experiences in the entertainment and media industry. However, these accomplishments were done while he was still in school.
He faced many hardships, as far as his career goes, for several years before finally finding his place in entrepreneurship.
The Start of Everything
Robert began looking for work to fill the gaps between his time spent working in productions. While he was not qualified, Robert applied for a position at Logiquest anyway. His position would be to sell IBM mainframe emulation boards. He convinced the company to give him a shot by offering to work for free for six months – one of his boldest moves to date.
During this time, Robert waited tables during this period to sustain himself. Through his dedication and hard work, Robert was able to climb the ladder of Logiquest and land himself as the General Manager.
However, he was fired in 1990. This was truly the beginning of Robert’s greatness as he then went on to found BRAK Systems.
BRAK Systems and Beyond
After being fired from Logiquest, Robert went on to start the company that would define him for the rest of his life. He started BRAK Systems, a Canadian integrator of Internet security software.
BRAK Systems is now known as Allstream and they provide managed IP services, unified communications and voices servers through some 30,000 kilometers of the national fiber network. While they were not as large as they are now, Robert still managed to sell BRAK Systems to AT&T Canada in 2000 for $30.2 million.
After achieving his millionaire status, he moved on to become the Vice President of Sales at Ramp Network. Ramp Network was then eventually sold to Nokia for a whopping $225 million.
The Herjavec Group
The Herjavec Group is where Robert solidified his name in business history. Robert founded the group in 2003. They’re a security solution integrator, reseller, and managed service provider.
The group is one of Canada’s fastest-growing technology companies. They’re even Canada’s largest information technology security provider. They’ve managed to grow from three employees and $400,000 in sales in 2003 to a whopping $200 million in annual revenue.
This is where Robert flourished and defined himself as one of the most prominent Canadian businessmen on the scene.
Going Back to the Roots of it all
After finding so much success in the business world, Herjavec decided to expand and take his ventures back to where he began – television.
He was a regular on the Canadian CBC television series Dragon’s Den and was seen in seasons one to six.
He’s also a prominent figure in Shark Tank, ABC’s version of the series but based in the U.S. In both shows, aspiring entrepreneurs are presented to a panel of potential investors where they present business pitches in the hopes of receiving financial support to start their business idea.
Robert has managed to make quite a bit of money from successfully investing in several pitches throughout the years. His most successful venture was an investment of $100,000 for a 10 percent stake in the sweater company Tipsy Elves.
Business Success Wasn’t Enough
By now, you’ve realized that Robert isn’t a person that can be kept away from success. He seeks it, finds it, and puts his twist on it to make it even better. Even after finding so much success in his business ventures, he still decided to become a published author.
He’s authored three books. The first is Driven: How to Succeed in Business and Life. The book is inspired by the work and life principles that have made Robert both wealthy and successful. It’s more of a guide on the values Robert had instilled in himself and how to use those to benefit you in your professional and personal life.
His second book, The Will to Win: Leading, Competing, Succeeding, was written in 2013. It’s also the name of public presentations that Robert gives. Both the book and the talks both feature advice to businesspeople based on his own life experiences.
His third and most recent publication is titled, You Don’t Have to Be a Shark: Creating Your Success.
Becoming a Star
Robert’s television appearances and celebrity status both grew as he was announced as one of the contestants for season 20 of the reality TV series ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ His partner was Australian dancer Kym Herjavec, who, as their last name gives away, would eventually become his wife.
While they found love on the dancefloor, they didn’t find the success that Robert is so used to. On May 5, 2015, during a double elimination, the couple was eliminated from the competition. They placed sixth overall.
Personal Life Troubles
Robert’s professional success hasn’t always found its way into his personal life. Robert has been through one divorce, an affair, and has had several children.
His first marriage was to Diane Plese in 1990. However, they separated in July 2014 after finding out that Robert had been seeing another woman since 2013. They divorced in early 2016. Robert has said that he had suicidal ideation in the aftermath of his failed marriage.
He had three children with Diane. Two of them are his daughters, Caprice and Skye. He also has a son named Brendan. In June of 2019, a judge ruled that Robert owed Diane additional sums of money to compensate her from their divorce. In total, his divorce cost him $25 million.
A Dip Into Hot Water
Robert’s divorce with his ex-wife was not the only issue that would cause him trouble in recent years. In 2017, Robert’s ex-girlfriend, Danielle Vasinova, sued him for rape after he sued her for attempting to extort him over false claims of sexual assault. He had dated Danielle from 2013 to 2015, while he was still married to his ex-wife.
However, Robert continued to find success as both suits were dismissed in mid-2018. The allegations against Robert were also withdrawn without a financial settlement. Danielle eventually did apologize to both Robert as well as his family.
Thankfully, the false allegations did not affect his professional life as he continues to be successful to this day.
Finding Personal Success
Even though all the ups and downs, Robert managed to find success in his personal life with Kym Herjavec, his former dance partner on ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ Shortly after finalizing his divorce with his ex-wife, Robert proposed to Kym and they were engaged in early 2016.
They’ve been happily arrived since then and announced they were expecting twins in late 2017. The twins were born in April of 2018 and are named Hudson and Haven.
A Passion For Living Fast
It’s no surprise to learn that Robert also has a passion and love for competitive car racing. He regularly competes in the Ferrari Challenge as well. Becoming such a large and successful businessman requires a busy and fast-paced lifestyle, so it only makes sense that Robert would gravitate toward doing that on a racetrack as well.
He competed in as #007 for The Herjavec Group Racing Team in the North America Ferrari Challenge Series, where he won the Rookie of the Year title in 2011. He won both races at the season-opener in St. Petersburg, Florida a win in Laguna Seca Raceway, and another win in Lime Rock, Connecticut. He was also selected to be the Grand Marshal for the 2012 Honda Indy Toronto.
It’s also no surprise that he is an avid car collector and owns several rare cars to add to his portfolio of interests.
Recognition and Achievements
With so much success in his life, it’s a no brainer that Robert has also been awarded several different high-profile awards throughout his career. In 2012, he received the Ernst & Young Ontario Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Technology, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Governor-General of Canada for Outstanding Service to Canada.
He’s also won three Gemini Awards for his part in the ‘Dragon’s Den’ for Outstanding Reality Show in Canada. Finally, he also presented awards at the 2013 Creative Arts Emmy Awards as well as the 2013 Mr. Olympia contest.
What’s Happening Now?
To no one’s surprise, Robert continues to find success even in the present. He’s still a prominent member of ‘Shark Tank’ and continues to invest in opportunities he finds could be successful. His most recent investment was to a Texas startup that sells aerospace-grade engineered razors. He invested $300,000 for a five percent stake within the company.
Outside of business, he recently commented on why it’s a privilege to live in America, where he speaks openly about how Americans have so much opportunity for success. His comments were picked p by major news outlets, including Fox News. He’s known to provide commentary that stirs up the news headlines from time to time. He’s previously spoken about the opportunity, small towns, business, and even immigrants working to become business leaders.
He’s also recently celebrated his third wedding anniversary to his wife Kym.
Robert Herjavec’s Net Worth
Studies into Robert’s net worth have indicated an approximate value of around $200 million. That’s even including his recent investments as well as the loss of money due to divorces and child support.
Throughout the years, Robert has found the continued success that doesn’t seem like it will end any time soon. He has a knack for finding talent and an even better knack for being able to utilize it in a way to profit from it as best as he can.
He’s open about his struggles and is always willing to provide feedback and advice to help others reach their goals. It’s safe to say that even if Robert had never found the success that he has, he would have always been a well-liked person.
As his net worth continues to grow, I’m sure this won’t be the last time you hear about Robert Herjavec.