The combination of the words
“entrepreneur” and “prize” have seen many a business type mired in
controversy – and so it is with tax shammer and Dollar Sweetie mate
Robert Gerard.

The Reserve Bank board seat, an Order of
Australia and being named South Australian of the Year for 2000 aren’t
the only gongs Gerard has picked up. In May, he represented the nation
in Monte Carlo as Ernst & Young’s Australian Entrepreneur of the Year
in the firm’s World Entrepreneur of the Year awards. No, he didn’t win. (But here’s a video reliving
Bob’s big moment of winning the Australian award last year. Why not relive it with big Bob while he explains that the award is
all about electrical contractors loving him and getting pi*sed with
him. It’s worth a watch for the stirring background music alone.)

as Bob Gerard’s interesting tax history is hitting the fan, friends,
clients and would-be clients of Ernst & Young are receiving a
glossy magazine commemorating the 2005 Entrepreneur of the Year
competition – and all too easily the mag falls open on page 42 for
Robert Gerard AO, 2004 Australian Entrepreneur of the Year.

won for taking his dad’s $30 million-a-year Clipsal company in 1971,
turning it into an $800 million company 32 years later and selling it
to Schneider for “over $750 million.”

“An important complement
to Gerard’s business success has been his philosophy in giving back to
the community,” says theErnst & Young glossy, which notes that the
Clipsal sale hasn’t seen Gerard fade into retirement.

“On the
contrary, Robert Gerard’s entrepreneurial spirit continues in earnest
as he leads substantial and wide-ranging business ventures including
wine, logistics, timber and print production under his flagship company
Gerard Corporation.”

Funny, no mention of the Reserve Bank board.