[TOP 10] Australia's Billionaires
Gina Rinehart – mining, $17.7B
Number one is no surprise: Rinehart, 60, has been the wealthiest person in Australia for a few years, and is one of the richest women in the world. As the only woman on this list, Rinehart has recently finalized a $7.2B deal for funding to expand one of the world’s largest iron ore mines, Roy Hill. Rinehart is head of Hancock Prospecting, a company she inherited from her father.
Anthony Pratt – manufacturing, $7B
Like Rinehart, Pratt inherited his wealth from his father; also like Rinehart, he’s made several strategic moves to grow both his wealth and his businesses. Pratt, 54 runs the packaging business Visy with his sisters Heloise and Fiona. His sisters are also involved in their own lucrative businesses, including a packaging business in the US and well-run securities portfolios. Pratt is the Chairman and CEO of Pratt Industries.
James Packer – casinos, $6.6B
Packer’s family fortune was built on media assets. However in 2012, he effectively severed ties with the industry – and increased his wealth by $1B – by selling TV company Consolidated Media holdings to Newscorp. Now Packer, 46, focuses on his gaming empire, Crown Ltd. As one of Australia’s largest entertainment and integrated resort groups, Crown’s Australian resorts attract over 35 million visits every year.
Ivan Glasenberg – mining, $6.3B
Glasenberg, 57, started his career as a commodity trader in the mining industry, and has proven he is more interested in buying mining assets than exploring for them. As the current day chief executive of Glencore Xstrata, one of the world’s largest commodity trading and mining companies, Glasenberg has an 8.3 percent stake in the company. With this asset to his name, he is moving to work more deeply in the food and oil businesses.
Andrew Forrest – mining, $5B
Forrest’s first foray into mining was with Anaconda Nickel (now known as Minara Resources), but he is much better known for the foundation of Fortescue Metals Group. Before stepping into mining, Forrest, 52, was a stockbroker, and before then, an amateur boxer. He also holds over 7,000 square kilometres of pastoral land in the Pilbara region, and owns meat processing company Harvey Beef. Recently both Andrew and his wife Nicola have pledged half of their wealth to charity, making them the first Australians to do so while still living.
Frank Lowy - shopping malls, $4.6 B
Lowy, 83, is the first of two shopping mall magnates in our Top 10. His Westfield Group empire includes close to 100 malls all over the world. They are one of the world’s biggest listed retail property groups, with Lowy’s sons Peter and Steven at the helm. Sydney was the first site of a Westfield mall in 1959, and expansion throughout the globe quickly followed. In 2013, Lowy announced a restructuring of the company, separating the Australian/New Zealand business from the malls in the U.S and the U.K.
Harry Triguboff – property, $4.3B
Although not a native Australian (he was born in China to Russian parents and came to Australia as a teen), Triguboff, 81, began working in property in the early 1960s with the construction of an apartment block in the Sydney suburb of Gladesville. Currently he is known by his nickname “High Rise Harry,” attributed to him because of the more than 55,000 apartments he has had built in an impressive 50 years in the industry.
John Gandel – shopping malls, $3.2B
Gandel, 79, first found success by expanding the women’s clothing chain his Polish immigrant parents had established. The majority of his current wealth however can be attributed to the purchase of the Myer department stores in the 1980s. Now, he owns half of the southern hemisphere’s largest shopping mall, Chadstone. Gandel regularly donates money to health care, the arts and Jewish education.
Kerr Neilson – Investment, $2.9B
Neilson, 64, is one of the self-made billionaires on the list. His boutique fund manager, Platinum Asset Management has had a good year because of the weaker Australian dollar and the strong global start markets. Also though George Soros is the founding stakeholder of the company, Neilson owns 57 percent of the company. He bought his first stock at 13, and now delivers average annual returns of close to 13 percent for the flagship Platinum International Fund.
Lindsay Fox – Transport, $2.2B
Fox, 77, owns the country’s largest privately held logistics company, Linfox. His self-made billionaire story is impressive – at 16, Fox left a school for academically gifted children to become a truck driver like his father. He bought his first truck at 19, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The company has expanded to 10 countries and 5,000 vehicles, and is managed by Fox’s son Peter. Fox himself is on the board at Premier Investments and owns the 100-year old Melbourne amusement park, Luna Park.