Australia’s Highest Earners
10. Kerr Neilson
$3.35 billion, Platinum Asset Management
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kerr Neilson moved to Australia in 1983 and quickly became the head of retail funds management for the Bankers Trust Australia, before co-founding Platinum Asset Management.
Part of Neilson’s success in investing is due to his refusal to invent in “fashionable stocks,” instead only investing in what he personally deems as “good companies.”
However, in 2012, the company resulted in a 16 percent fall in net profit, mostly due in part to a 14 percent reduction in investment income. Because of this, Neilson refused to take a bonus and did not increase his base salary, enduring him to his company and its shareholders.
9. John Gandel
$4.08 billion, Sussan
John Gandel, one of Australia’s most successful retailers, first began his passion while working for his parent’s store, Sussan after he dropped out of university at the age of 19.
He soon took over his parent’s business in the 1950s and grew it into a chain of over 200 stores. After purchasing the Chadstone Shopping Centre in 1983, Gandel sold Sussan to his brother-in-law to focus on his real estate business.
After Gandel acquired the Chadstone Shopping Centre for $37 million, he turned it into Australia’s biggest shopping mall valued at over $3 billion.
8. Harry Triguboff
$5.50 billion, Meriton
By the age of 30, Harry Triguboff became the founder and managing director of Meriton. Since the Rich 200 list’s inception in 1984, Triguboff has been included; that first year, he had a net worth of $25 million. The Chinese native first arrived in Australia in 1947, before he became involved in property. His previous occupations include being a milkman, taxi driver and real estate agent.
7. Andrew Forrest
$5.86 billion, Fortescue Metals Group (FMG)
Before becoming involved in the mining sector, Andrew Forrest was a stock broker until the late 1980s. After founding Fortescue Metals Group in 2003, the Western Australian native became the 4th largest iron ore producer in the world in less than a decade.
In 2008, Forrest was at the top of the Rich 200 list with a $9.4 billion fortune. In 2003, Forrest and his wife were the first Australians to pledge half of their wealth to charity whilst living. Forrest currently serves as a substantial supporter and official public ambassador of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation. In 2011, Forrest nominated and won the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
6. Hui Wing Mau
$6.35 billion, Shimao Property Holdings
After Hui Wing Mau moved to Australia in the 1990s, he became the executive director and major shareholder of Shimao Property Holdings in Hong Kong. Not long after, Mau was estimated to be one of the largest property developers in Shanghai.
Since investing in hotels was illegal at the time, Mau invested $1.2 million under the pretense that he was investing in a knitting factory in his hometown. Instead, Mau built a hotel, becoming the first owner of the first private three-star estate business in Beijing and Shanghai. More recently, Mau has expanded his business by acquiring listed companies.
5. Ivan Glasenberg
$6.63 billion, Glencore, Xstrata
After finishing his MBA at University of Southern California in 1984, Ivan Glasenberg became the chief executive for one of the world’s largest commodity training and mining companies.
The South African native gained triple citizenship, adding Australia and Israel to the list, and currently holds more than 15 percent of Glencore’s stock, making him the 20th richest mining billionaire.
One of Glasenberg’s biggest achievements was being involved in the Glencore and Xstrata merger, also known as the largest mining company mergers in history; this placed the company’s value at a total of $88 billion.
4. Frank Lowy
$7.16 billion, Westfield Group
After co-building a shopping mall with friend John Saunders in 1959, Frank Lowy began expanding his malls to countries like the UK, the US and New Zealand. Since the Business Review Rich 200 was first published in 1983, Lowy has made an appearance, even being named the richest person in Australia in 2010.
As of today, Lowy owns more than $65 billion worth of Westfield shopping malls around the world, but has recently stepped down to occupy a non-executive chairman position for the company. Currently, his two sons work together as joint chief executives the Westfield brand.
3. James Packer
$7.19 billion, Consolidated Press Holdings Limited
After inheriting a leadership role within Consolidated Press Holdings Limited, his family’s company, Packer gained control over investments in several entertainment and resort companies such as Crown Resorts, Ratpack Entertainment and Zhoapin Pty Ltd, among other companies.
The Sydney native was ranked the richest person in Australia from 2006 to 2007, earning Crown a market capitalization of over $11 billion. The Australian resort accumulates over 25 million visits annually.
2. Anthony Pratt
$7.64 billion, Visy, Pratt Industries
Since the death of his father, Richard Pratt, the founder of Visy, Anthony Pratt has acquired his business and in turn, doubled the wealth to a $2 billion empire, which is growing 20 percent annually. Currently, Visy is co-owned by Anthony and his sisters, Heloise Waislitz and Fiona Gaminder.
After graduating from Monash University with a Bachelors of Economics, Anthony took over as executive chairman, sending Visy’s corporate reputation index ranking from number 43 to number 3 from 2009 to 2011.
1. Gina Rinehart
$20.01 billion, Hancock Prospecting
By the age of 60, Rineheart has not only become the richest person in Australia, but also the richest woman in the world, with an estimated net worth just over $20 billion. As the executive chairman of Hancock Prospecting, Rinehart inherited the mining business from her father, Lang Hancock.
Among her biggest achievements are completing the debt financing of her $10 billion Roy Hill iron ore project in Western Australia in March 2014. The project was marked as the biggest financing deal in the world, with up to 19 banks involved.
Since 2011, Rineheart has held the position as the richest woman in Australia while recently focusing on developing Hancock’s Prospecting’s undeveloped deposits, raising capital through joint venture partnerships and turning leases into revenue producing mines.