The CRW (Crikey Revised Wealth) Rich List
For many years people have remarked how inaccurate the BRW Rich List is so we have instigated a Crikey Revised Wealth (CRW) Rich List to reveal the wealthy Australians BRW overlooked.
May 25, 2006
For many years people have remarked how inaccurate the BRW Rich List is so we have instigated a Crikey Revised Wealth (CRW) Rich List to reveal the wealthy Australians BRW overlooked.
Andrew Abercrombie: the founder and controlling shareholder of the recently listed financial provider Flexigroup controls a stake worth $177 million.
William Adams: Largest shareholder in Tattersall’s and direct descendant of founder George Adams’s brother. Stake worth more than $120 million, but has received at least $20 million in distributions since lucrative Victorian pokies licence issued in 1991.
Graham Acton: Controls the booming Acton Land & Cattle Company which shelled out $37 million to pick up the Carpentaria and Lyndhurst properties out of the Stanbroke Patoral empire break-up.
Ahrens family: With the steel industry booming, this 100-year-old Adelaide-based family company is thriving through its engineering and steel fabrication business that employs 200 staff.
Ray Allsop: Has developed dozens of townhouses and high rise residential buildings on the Gold Coast. Also married to a Smorgon.
Andrews family: Big players in the Sydney meat industry and now major exporters, as you can see from their website here. Also have a large but little known Sydney property portfolio.
David Archer: Formerly the major shareholder in Savage Resources, a stake left to him by his stepfather. Also made a pile in technology companies, not to mention the sale of his stepfather’s property at Point Piper for about $12 million. Divides his time between the town house in London, the magnificent chateau in France and the award-winning Archer House at Whale Beach.
David Baffsky: Westpac dropped plenty on his various hotel interests 15 years ago, but he has bounced back and is a big player in property and still chairs Accor Asia Pacific, the largest hotel manager in the Asia-Pacific. Was a profitable private property player with Wizard founder Mark Bouris in the early 1990s and a wizard tax lawyer with all sorts of interesting clients.
Tony Berg: Did 19 years with Macquarie Bank, the last nine as managing director before he took the top job at Boral, but failed to deliver. However, with an estimated $80 million with Grange Securities, the lad clearly made plenty from his Macquarie days and is still in the money with a portfolio of board interests, including a five-year stint with venture capital firm Gresham Partners.
Harry Barrett: Sydney bookie and car dealer who owns large tracts of Lennox Heads, just south of Byron Bay. Car dealerships have a big presence on Parramatta Road and got lots of cred when he took on Kerry Packer on the race track. His miserable demeanour belies a huge wealth.
Bill Barry-Cotter: Former owner of boat building company Riviera. The guy is even mentioned in boating magazines as follows: “Owner, Bill Barry-Cotter, 61, is one of Australia’s richest men and he believes that a business that invests in the right people at senior level is a business that will mature faster and return bigger dividends across the board. Becoming a boat building billionaire is within his sights, so Barry-Cotter himself has no intention of retiring from something he enjoys doing so much.”
Bishop family: Brisbane-based owners of the Hardy Bros and Wallace Bishop jewellers, plus owns property in spades and plenty of other assets.
Sam Bombardier: An Italian Australian who by the 1980s had amassed a property portfolio of 135 commercial buildings and about 150 residential homes in Melbourne and Sydney, all of which he owned outright. These days he owns a large part of Brookvale, one of the main secondary industrial areas of Sydney. He lives in Beacon Hill.
John Borshoff: The Paladin Resources CEO is one of the few uranium wannabes who actually produces yellow cake and his stake in the company is now worth about $200 million after the stock more than doubled over the past year.
Brown family: After the experience with Bob Oatley and Rosemount, you would have thought BRW would have paid closer attention to our wealthiest wine families. Many have been sold, but one of the biggest family-owned concern remains Brown Brothers in Victoria, which industry experts estimate is worth well north of $130 million.
Pat Buckler: Gold Coast resident with significant holdings in residential and industrial property in south-east Queensland, plus a sizable share portfolio.
Burnett family: Queensland cattle family which owned 5% of the original consortium which bought Stanbroke Pastoral from AMP on the cheap for just $490 million and then parlayed some of those profits back into the purchase of the Frankfield property for $40 million.
Michael Carapiet: Macquarie Bank’s joint head of investment banking who pocketed $23 million last year and $16 million in 2005. Also owns 525,934 shares worth $49 million and has a further 356,838 options which are well in the money.
Richard Chadwick: veteran global coal player who was deputy chairman of Excel Coal and owned 29 million shares which were sold into Peabody Energy’s $9.50-a-share offer last year for $275.5 million
George Cheihk: this developer has acquired $160 million worth of land in Ripley, the area near Ipswich that the Beattie Government has earmarked for massive new development. Check out the website for his Queensland and a photo of the missing Rich Lister here.
John Church: the long time director of the listed Milton Corporation has ridden the stockmarket boom to see his stake now worth more than $130 million.
David Clarke: Anyone who has been an executive director of Macquarie Bank for more than 15 years is likely to be worth tens of millions of dollars, and the bank’s founder and executive chairman is almost certain to be pushing $200 million, although BRW doesn’t rate him. Clarke was paid $18 million in 2006-07 and owns more than $60 million worth of Macquarie Bank shares and options. Then you have more than $10 million worth of winery shares and assets that are publicly known.
Andrew Clifford: Platinum portfolio manager who retained a 6.2% stake worth almost $300 million after the recent float.
William Clinton: Made a lot of money from coal mines in the Hunter region many many years ago. “Old Bill” Clinton (we’re not kidding) would be well into his late 80s by now – he has a son “Young Bill” who’s running the family farm up near Grafton. The Clinton family’s business interests also extend to the Clinton Toyota group based in Lakemba and his main interests were in the Burrangong area near Camden.
Chris Corrigan: the big price paid by Toll Holdings for Patrick Corp and subsequent surge in the Toll share price has seen the union-buster’s stake surge above $150 million.
Crawford family: Old Adelaide family who started the CMV group in 1934, which is now a successful truck and car retailer across several states with brands including Toyota, Volvo, Lexus and Chrysler Jeep in the stable. In recent years it has branched out on quite a large scale into various agricultural ventures. Annual turnover is more than $500 million.
Cripps family: Has the worldwide franchise for Velcro and is known to be exceedingly generous to Australian and international charities, donating most of its annual corporate earnings.
Russell Crowe: When you’re getting $20-$30 million per movie, it doesn’t take long to be worth $130 million.
Dahlsen family: Originally owned about 20% of Southern Cross Broadcasting and, unlike the other founders, have not sold any shares. The stake is spread across several family members and is worth more than $30 million, but chairman John Dahlsen is in the top 20 shareholders. Then you have the family’s growing hardware and roof truss business across Victoria and NSW.
Roger Davies: The richest man in the Australian music industry who has managed the likes of Cher, Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Sade and Pink. His first big earner was Sherbert but Cher’s never-ending farewell tour alone would have made him a wealthy man based on the usual 20% management fee.
Travers Duncan: deputy chairman of coal miner Felix Resources whose 27.69 million shares are worth about $140 million.
Dyer family : The decendents of Nick and Tony Dyer have collectively owned the licence to manufacturer Sealy mattresses and house brand bedding in Australia for more than 60 years. The family owns all Sealy manufacturing plant and equipment and buildings in most Australian states as well as extensive property holdings in Brisbane. The acquisition in the early 1980s of the licence to manufacture Sealy mattresses and bedding in China has added further to their wealth.
Steven Eckowitz: the founder of the Everest hedge fund group is now the largest shareholder in Everest Babcock & Brown whose 40% stake is worth more than $300 million. Steven’s son-in-law Jeremy Reid is the managing director.
George Falkiner: still owns about 60,000 acres of land, much carrying valuable cotton crops, in the Warren-Nyngan area of NSW as you can see here. George’s father was also George who owned Haddon Rig Merino Stud at Warren, NSW. Young George was born when his father was quite an old man, and a bit like young Warwick Fairfax he inherited Haddon Rig when he was still a very young child. They are related to the Falkiners who used to own Boonoke and Wanganella down around Jerilderie (which were later owned by Rupert Murdoch before he sold to the Bell brothers). Along with Haddon Rig those were, and still are, some of the most famous Merino studs in the country.
George Fernandes: Worth about $250 million thanks to a large portfolio of industrial land in Sydney’s western suburbs and a very expensive house overlooking the naval dockyards around Potts Point.
Mike Fitzpatrick: the Rhodes Scholar, AFL President and former Carlton Premiership captain collected about $75 million for the second half of his stake in infrastructure group Hastings Funds Management on 1 July, 2005. The first half was sold for $36 million in 2002. Staff and the taxman got a slice, but Mike was earning $600,000 a year at CS First Boston way back in 1992, plus there’s the $10 million profit on his Pacific Hydro shares and all those lucrative Hastings management fees.
Brian Flannery: managing director of coal miner Felix Resources who owns 27.2 million shares which are now worth about $140 million.
Tab Fried: First leapt into the public eye after losing money on lippy queen Poppy King, but has a large property portfolio including a one third interest in the giant Eureka Tower at Southgate in Melbourne, arguably the largest residential tower in the world.
Fitzgibbon family: Sold two Brisbane hotels in January 2006 for $65 million to Tom Hedley, suggesting the remaining stable would put them over the $110 million cut-off, although you never can be sure with debt and taxes.
Fysh family: Another Tattersall’s estate with $72 million worth of shares at listing that, if retained, are now worth more than $120 million. Also received tens of millions in distributions over the past decade.
Peter Gammell: The long-time private CEO for the Kerry Stokes empire is himself a quiet, effective, tough Scottish bean counter. With impeccable breeding and super connections, the only personal bauble visible to the human eye is a winery in Margaret River called Wildwood. Our man reckons he’s worth more than $200 million, having spearheaded the booming Stokes empire, especially those Caterpillar franchises, for a decade.
Jack Gance: Originally owner of Le Tan sunscreen, which he sold in 1991, has more recently developed the My Chemist pharmacy chain which has 59 stores and plans to go to 200. Apparently threatened legal action against BRW a few years back to keep his name out of the magazine. No such luck with the CRW List.
Gange family: Astoria Taxis and then Embassy Cabs, quickly became several hundred cab licences, hotels and other property. Alf Gange and his brother Kevin, known as Oil Can, are the principals. Forbears first got into the taxi business in the 1890s, but retain a very low profile empire.
David Gonski: Similar to Graeme Samuel in that he made millions from investment banking and then moved his focus to community affairs such as chairing the Australia Council, NIDA and the Art Gallery of NSW. However, he owns several businesses in his own right, still sits on a powerhouse of boards such as Coca-Cola Amatil, ANZ and Westfield and also made tens of million through Investec, the investment bank he has chaired since 2002.
Malcolm Halstead: Finance director of Platinum Asset Management since it was launched in 1994. Collected more than $15 million in the float and still own 24.3 million shares worth about $200 million.
Harvey family: Various arms of the family control assets worth more than $110 million thanks to their Tattersall’s shareholdings. It was this family that even delivered Martin Bryant an asset that would have handed him about $5 million in capital and distributions by now if he hadn’t done the massacre at Port Arthur.
Jon Hasler: The QM Properties website claims it is “one of Australia’s premier property developers,” and our spy in Queensland claims the owner is worth more than $200 million. Apart from the visibly apparent racehorses, most of it sits in discreet companies and trusts.
Garrick Hawkins: Was managing partner at Bain & Co (now Deutsche Bank) at a very early age and by the mid-1980s was just 35 and reportedly worth $50 million. Left Bain under difficult circumstances due to personality clashes and established his own firm called Matrix, which won a few deals worth billions which made him serious money with fees of 2-4% on each deal. He secured one of Australia’s largest-ever tax deals for the West Australian government and made an additional $40-60 million out of that over ten years. His known assets include a $20 million house in Vaucluse, several farms including a $10 million horse stud and one near Oberon boasting Australia’s largest private garden. Garrick also scored millions from his London investment bank last year, and he owns 51% of Orlani group which has around $250m in industrial and commercial office parks around Sydney. He’s also building a $120 million hotel in London. The ex-wife let him off lightly when she settled for the Mosman mansion in the 1990s divorce.
Heck family: Owns or leases about 700 hectares of caneland between Brisbane and the Gold Coast (about 10% of the annual cane crush). It owns the only private mill in Queensland, plus the Windaroo Golf Club. The real money will eventually come from residential development and this family has already started down this path in the Beenleigh area.
Sean Howard: BRW dumped the Ozemail in 2005, claiming some of his investments have struggled but we don’t buy this, especially given the success of ventures such as Webcentral, which was taken over by Melbourne IT in 2006.
Inglis family: Have run the thoroughbred auctions in Sydney and Melbourne for years. Their headquarters in Sydney at Randwick is itself on real estate worth more $100 million.
Bill Ireland: His pile of Challenger shares is worth more than $100 million and his Mariner holding is good for another $25 million. Then there are the trappings of wealth, from the $10 million floating gin palace on Sydney harbour with a full-time staff of more than half a dozen, to the dark blue Porsche and the big property in the Southern Highlands.
Mark Johnson: Co-founded Macquarie Bank with chairman David Clarke, and 36 years later still pulls in more than $2 million a year as an executive director. Owns $45 million worth of Macquarie Bank shares and would be even richer if he hadn’t sold about 800,000 shares for an estimated $30 million over the past five years. Also has more than $5 million locked away in restricted profit share and has large investments totalling more than $10 million in 16 other Macquarie bank vehicles. Chairs tollroad giant Macquarie Infrastructure Group and energy company AGL, but has just announced his retirement from most corporate gigs.
Nonda Katsalidis: Melbourne architect in vogue and also has a one-third interest in the giant Eureka Tower. However, a recent divorce did take a chunk out of his fortune.
John Kearney QC AM: Owns four city commercial properties in Sydney, including the Block Arcade and adjoining outlets. However, these are dwarfed by his largely rural property holdings near the Gold Coast.
David Kingston: The former Rothschilds investment banker is estimated by colleagues to be worth about $150 million in his new life as a publican, media investor and professional director. Sadly, none of that wealth came from the failed Byron Bay newspaper that he once owned with current Fin Review editor Glenn Burge.
John Laws: Making $5 million a year through shock jockery and endorsements for a decade is handy, but the Golden Tonsils is also a very smart property investor who has amassed a large, growing and valuable portfolio over the years.
Lyons family: The assets are tied up in an estate but the direct shareholding in Tattersall’s is worth more than $100 million and tens of millions have been distributed from poker machine profits over the past decade.
Sherman Ma: The litigious founder of Liberty Financial is the biggest players in the low-doc loans market in Australia. With annual profits of more than $15 million, he easily qualifies and will confirm his wealth if a float proceeds as expected.
Ray Manassen: Another food king, his Manassen Foods Australia is one of Australia’s biggest food importers and wholesalers distributing 85 brands nationally including iconic brands such as Twinings Tea, Carrs Crackers, Trident Sauces etc. Owns a $15 million house in Mosman.
Roger Massey-Greene: the former chairman of Excel Coal owned 13.1 million shares which fetched $124.5 million when US firm Peabody Energy offered $9.50-a-share last year.
David Merson: Ex-CEO and recently retired director of Mincom, which he founded in 1979 and helped run until its $315 million sale in early 2007. Under his watch, it grew into Australia’s largest software developer and exporter with 1,200 staff, annual revenues of $200 million, and global leadership in various IT sector systems. He owns a significant property portfolio and has financial interests in a host of software plays.
Harold Mitchell: the $100 million purchase of Mitchell & Partners by emitch has confirmed the media buying colossus should be returned to the BRW Rich List after being booted off in 2001. Nicholas Moore: Anyone who’s paid $33 million in one year is seriously rich, and Macquarie Bank’s investment banking boss has been raking in the huge dollars for well over a decade. The lad has made more than $50 million on his Macquarie Bank options and shares and even satellite investments such as his 600,000 units in Hills Motorway delivered a profit of $8 million.
Nick Moraitis: Claims to run Australia’s leading fresh produce company and is also a major shareholder in Sydney’s markets by virtue of large operations he has there. Also owns many race horses and sits on the Sydney Turf Club board.
Gary Morgan: the colourful pollster’s research business is thought to be worth close to $100 million, although he’s dropped plenty on Haoma Mining. Peter Morgan: Controlling shareholder in boutique fund manager 452 Capital which is growing strongly with more than $6 billion in funds under management and has a key distribution deal with the Commonwealth Bank’s Colonial First State.
Allan Moss: Replaced Tony Berg as CEO of Macquarie a decade ago and is doing equally well, having pocketed $33 million in salary last year alone. Has made at least $50 million out of his shares and options over the years and currently holds more than $10 million worth of equity in Macquarie’s listed associates. Throw in almost $20 million in his restricted profit share account and Moss, who is notoriously tight-fisted, would be worth almost $200 million.
Bill Moss: Macquarie Bank’s out-going property boss was paid more than $20 million in the year to 30 March and has made more than $40 million out of his shares and options over the years. More than a decade of big salaries running the burgeoning property business suggests he’ll have at least $150 million to his name by now, especially given his own considerable property holdings acquired over the years.
Wes Moxley: CEO and part owner of Gold Coast boat building business Riviera is busily building 80 boats at any point in time and is looking to double in size over the next five years, as you can see from boat magazine profile. Major shareholder Gresham is looking to float what could be the Gold Coast’s next Billabong out of its venture capital fund some time in the next three to five years.
Euan Murdoch: After outbidding John Howard’s former industry minister John Moore in paying $8.55 million for an historic homestead near Beaudesert in south-east Queensland in 2005, questions should be asked as to why the lad is not on the Rich List given that he sold his Herron pharmaceutical business for $123 million in 2004.
Rupert Murdoch: If Florida-based Greg Norman, Bermuda-based Reg Grundy and Monaco-based Ric Stowe are on the BRW Rich List, then we can’t understand why The Sun King is still not included as Australia’s richest man with a net worth of about $11 billion. News Corp may now be domiciled in Delaware and Rupert is an American citizen, but his shareholding in News Corp is housed within Australian-based vehicles and the majority of his extended family still lives in Australia.
David Murray: Has received more than $30 million in salary from his years running the Commonwealth Bank and also made more than $30 million from his shares and options over the years. With some smart investments on the side he could be approaching $100 million, although the first wife did take a chunk of his wealth when they divorced a few years back.
Jac Nasser: The former Ford CEO was sacked in 2001 with a final payout of almost $35 million after many years of multi-million dollar salary packages. The guy jokes about moving the Toorak property market if he ever started looking, so he acts like a seriously wealthy individual. A turnaround story at Polaroid, which he chairs, has also delivered a profit of about $20 million.
Peter “Talky” Newton: Was a mining broker for County NatWest in the 1980s. After that, he put pre-float seed money into Hill 50 Gold in the 1990s and made a small fortune when South Africa’s Harmony Gold took it over. Then put pre-float seed money into Abelle Ltd which was also profitably sold to Harmony. Last year his big profitable play was Bluestone Tin and in the 1990s he also made a big gain investing in a funds management outfit. Also had a large stake in Sydney Gas and a horse stud as you can see here.
Chris Norman: one of the founders of Perth-based ship builder Austal who is still a non-executive director and retains 26.6 million shares which are now worth $95 million after a recent surge.
Kevin O’Connor: The owner of G&K O’Connor Abattoirs in Pakenham, which is easily the largest beef abattoir in Victoria. All product is exported to Japan, the Middle East and Europe. The plant slaughters 1000 animals a day five days a week, bones them and also renders the by-product (margarine, fertiliser and the like). However, O’Connor had a rough fight with Victoria’s notorious meat unions in recent years as you can see here.
Denis O’Neil: With roots back to Hymix concrete, this Sydney fortune has continued to grow. Denis O’Neil has a vast property portfolio including a Cairns hotel, numerous Sydney apartments in his completed developments, including Observatory Tower, The Rex in Kings Cross and Sydney Park. Has recently purchased the Point Piper and Rose Bay Marina. When you consider that the $300 million sale of Hymix to Pioneer was widely reported in 1999, his exclusion from BRW is quite extraordinary.
Richard Pegum: former Macquarie Bank trading guru who left in 1998 and now runs his own lucrative hedge fund, Bennelong Asset Management, out of London. Bennelong has grown quickly to become a $1 billion multi-strategy hedge fund focused on Asia Pacific. Very prominent in thoroughbred circles, Pegum was a part owner of Melbourne Cup winner Brew and even pops up with a testimonial for a luxury cruiser based out of Port Douglas.
Pickard family: Adelaide-based owners of Fairmont Homes, Pickard Development Group, Adelaide City Soccer Club, Land SA, Lifestyle SA, Realty SA and The Pickard Foundation, which has donated many millions to the Royal Adelaide Hospital and other charities.
Pidgeon family: Brisbane-based family which has built shopping centres and huge developments around the city since since the Joh days and is currently in the frame to build the proposed Woolworths supermarket in Maleny.
Rob Pitterino: The former County Natwest stockbroker, now based in Monaco, has invested in most of the profitable ventures that his close mate Peter Newton has enjoyed, including Hill 50 Gold, Abelle Ltd, Bluestone Tin and Sydney Gas.
Julien Playoust: Sydney establishment figure who owns more than $100 million worth of Tattersall’s shares and has received at least $20 million in distributions since the lucrative Victorian pokies licence issued in 1991. Voted onto the board against the wishes of the incumbents in November 2005.
Andrew Plummer: investment banker and mining engineer who was an executive director of Excel Coal and sold his nine million shares into Peabody Energy’s takeover for $85.5 million last year.
Brett Pointon: Debuts with $135 million. The founder of Brisbane-based Oaks Hotels & Resorts Group cracks BRW this year with a one-page feature which says his company is one of the best performing floats on the ASX so far this year.
John Potter: Ex CEO of Villa World Ltd who is still a director and the largest shareholder with a $40 million-plus stake. Also has significant private real estate development works underway on the Gold Coast and owns a triple block on Hedges Avenue and large amounts of industrial land towards Ipswich and Yatala.
Mick Power: Owner of Brisbane-based BMD Constructions which turns over $300 million a year in civil and land development. A quick look at the website makes it pretty clear that this is a big family-owned business, but it has never cut the mustard with BRW.
Ceasar Pradella: Brisbane-based property development company which he founded in the 1950s. Ceasar is now retired, but his empire would appear to have assets close to $500 million. Check out the website here which talks about annual revenues of $130 million.
Stan Quinlivan: The owner of the Ocean Beach Hotel claimed it was worth in excess of $60 million when the nearby Cottesloe Hotel in Perth’s swanky beachside suburbs was acquired by Multiplex in 2005. Has diverse interests including Skippers Transport, a major logistics operator in Perth and WA airline Skippers Aviation. Took a strategic stake in Hazelton Airlines in 1997, became Chairman with about 35%, then sold out in a bidding war between Qantas and Ansett for terminal rights at Sydney airport. Also owns about $20 million worth of prime grazing and cropping land at Esperance – including “The Beef Machine.” Then there is Gibsons & Patterson, a hospitality industry supplier, distributor and agent. Racehorses are often a sure sign of wealth and Stan is one of the biggest owners in WA, which is not surprising given that he was a leading bookie and trainer in the 1970s.
Max Raine: The man behind Raine & Horne who own heaps of real estate himself and has a great franchise.
Rea family: Ralph, Wally and Beverley Rea together owned 10% of the consortium which bought Stanbroke Pastoral from AMP on the cheap for just $490 million and parlayed some of these profits into the purchase of properties to expand their Queensland cattle empire when Stanbroke was subsequently broken up.
Kim Robinson: executive chairman of the $1.5 billion Kagara Zinc whose 16.78 million shares are now worth $117.5 million after a recent surge.
Rockman family: Irvin Rockman is the former Melbourne Lord Mayor who got out of the hotel business in the 1990s and together with son Matt Rockman has made more than $150 million from the 2005 float of online classified advertising business Seek.com.
John Rothwell: not all Rothwells in Perth go bad. The executive chairman of ship builder Austal has had a stellar year and now holds a stake worth more than $100 million. Dr Joseph Ross: A major provider of joint-venture funds for the Gold Coast property industry, this Sydney-based investor owned 50% of the Chevron Renaissance building in Surfers Paradise, which we understand was sold for $60m-plus in 2005. Owns 8.9 million shares in CVC Ltd (which had the other 50% of the Renaissance – and they booked a $10m profit on their share of the sale). Also uses a company called LJK Nominees to hold shares, and has been or is a top 20 shareholder in Computershare, Commander Communications, Prime Infastructure, Macquarie Leisure, Gazal and Powerlan. Through LJK Nominees he was one of the Babcock & Brown “foundation” shareholders, with some 2.8 million shares now worth $70 million.
Graham Rowley: former Rio Tinto executive who is now the operations director of Fortescue Metals and owns 2.15 million shares worth $72.5 million based on last night’s close of $33.75.
Richard Rubin: A member of Australia’s spectacularly successful South African Jewish community who has a business called Panache World based in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. In South Africa 20 years ago he invented the in-built hairdryers and mini clothes dryers that are now in hotels around the world. He was a millionaire by 21, first Rolls Royce at 22, first jet by 25, a 737 by 30, followed by three heart attacks by 32. Wow, he really packs it in, and there seems to be a different luxury car parked outside his company headquarters every time you drive past.
Graeme Samuel: Made plenty as an investment banker with Macquarie Bank in the 1980s but then devoted himself to community causes while retaining an interest in Grant Samuel and also making heaps in the Austexx property joint venture with his two best friends and Rich Listers, Liberty Oil co-owners David Wieland and David Goldberger.
Clive Savage: Sold out of Clive Peters for a zillion some years ago. Now trading in Queensland as Clive Anthony and has some four stores would be giving Harvey Norman a run for his money, particularly on the Gold Coast. Duncan Saville: a UK-born Australian citizen who runs a funds management and corporate raiding business valued at more than $500 million from his Vaucluse mansion. Is the largest shareholder in ERG and controls HRL Morrison, the manager of infrastructure investor Infratil.
Frank Seeley: Adelaide’s “Mr Cool” invented and developed the world’s first all plastic, non-corrosive evaporative cooler in the 1970s. Today, his privately-owned company has an annual turnover of $100 million, directly employs 450 people, exports to 75 countries and owns subsidiaries in the US, France, Spain, and Asia.
Les Schirato: Owns food and beverage company Cantarella Bros, which in turn owns Vittoria Coffee (the largest coffee company in Australia). Cantarella is debt free and has turnover of more than $100 million (which is mostly Vittoria). Coffee has huge margins, so this business is an absolute cash cow and would be worth way in excess of $110m.
Schumann family: Big players in the resort business who have spent $40 million upgrading the Silver Star Mountain Resort in Canada since buying it in 2001 and a further $128 million upgrading the Big White resort in Canada in recent months.
Richard Sheppard: Long-time deputy managing director of Macquarie Bank whose pay is now pushing $10 million a year. Has long been a profitable participant in various Macquarie equity and option schemes and also has valuable property holdings in places like Kangaroo Valley. Andrew Sisson: the controlling shareholder in Balanced Equity Management invests about $12 billion on behalf of big superannuation funds, which suggests he’s worth about $300 million.
Vernon Spencer: The Chairman of Interstar Securities, one of the largest non-bank finance originators in the country. He sold out to Challenger three years ago for a rumoured $85 million. Before that, he was easily making $10 million a year. He has one of the biggest boats moored in Melbourne and when he sold Interstar and started spending time up north, he had a similar huge gin palace built in Queensland. His boats alone would be worth close to $40 million.
Roy Travers: The former tax lawyer for the likes of Alan Bond, Abe Saffron and Abe Goldberg, NSW chess champion and bigwig at Accor Asia-Pacific, who our reliable snout estimates is worth more than $150 million. Former partner with fellow CRW member David Baffsky.
Tony and Maureen Wheeler: Controlling shareholders in Melbourne-based Lonely Planet, which has grown to be the world’s largest independent travel publishing company. Expanding aggressively into new languages, formats and markets and these comments by minority shareholder John Singleton on Inside Business suggest it’s a goldmine.
Brian White: The owner of the Ray White franchise model. Surely skimming the top in franchise fees from every Ray White sale must get him somewhere with BRW !
Geoff Wilson: the fund manager has a direct equity interest in WAM, WLS, WIL and CAM to name a few, plus whatever the funds management business must be worth.
Ross Wilson: The former Tabcorp CEO was paid about $15 million to run the privatised gaming company for its first eight years as a public company and left with about $70 million worth of shares which were debt free. With Tabcorp paying him fully franked dividends of almost $3 million a year, the net worth is rising at a solid rate.
Craig Winkler: The co-founder and largest shareholder in MYOB is another who has been unfairly dumped by BRW. Has other investments outside his major technology play.
James Wolfensohn: The out-going World Bank president may not be an Australian citizen any more, but he’s an Australian who started his stockbroking and investment banking career here so his $400 million net worth should be included on any Rich List.
Graeme Wood: the founder of internet accommodation company Wotif Holdings collected $40 million from last year’s $142 million float and still holds 51 million shares worth an additional $250 million.
Carla Zampatti: The fashion guru and SBS chair lives in a $15-20 million Darling Point mansion and owns a string of residential properties in Sydney. Her Sydney CBD retail properties would be worth about $30 million, including one on George Street opposite the Strand Arcade. She also owns property in New York which, although apparently run down, is a strategic piece that will pay handsomely when she divests. Then you have the firmly entrenched retail distribution through DJs and her own chain of stores. Our snout estimates she has no debt and $10 million of spare cash in managed funds.
THE NINE CRW NAMES THAT MADE THE 2006 BRW RICH LIST
David Barro: Chairman of Barro Group, the 60-year-old family company that’s considered one of Australia’s largest quarry owners, makes his debut in BRW with a fortune of $450 million. And BRW gives the formerly absent 84-year-old Italian-born building tsar a two-page spread.
What we said: Owns the Barro Group , a family company that has been around since 1946 and has extensive interests in building materials. Barro Group is considered one of Australia’s largest quarry owners, and includes Pronto cement. Barro is a director of Adelaide Brighton, and owns more than $300 million worth of shares. Word in the Italian community puts his net worth up around $700 million. Kerr Nielson: Debuting with $443 million, it turns out the Platinum Asset Management CEO and principal shareholder is worth even more than we thought. Platinum now manages $22 billion and the float values Neilson at about $2.5 billion.
What we said: The Platinum Asset Management CEO and principal shareholder is estimated to be worth around $300 million but BRW continues to ignore him even though Platinum now has $14 billion under management.
Inge Family: With a fortune of $215 million, the family business which owns almost 2000 units spread across 15 retirement villages and which sold 49% of its Zig Inge retirement village group to Macquarie for $100 million last August – has finally made the $110 million+ BRW cut-off.
What we said: Macquarie Bank has recently bought 49% of the Zig Inge retirement village group for $100 million which would suggest they do pass the $110 million cut-off that BRW imposes.
Tom Hedley: the richest new rich lister – “Barramundi” Tom is a plumber turned property magnate who recently sold his Hedley Hotels Group to Coles Myer for $306 million and who debuts in BRW with a cool fortune of $515 million. Apart from this recent sale, and the extensive work of Hedley Constructions in Queensland (his name is linked to half the construction activity and pubs in Cairns) and the work of Hedley Group’s property management, plumbing, sheet metal and joinery divisions, Hedley has “an extremely low profile”, says BRW , in its one-page feature on Barramundi Tom. Riiight.
What we said: Was poised to sell the leasehold of all of his Queensland pubs south of Innisfail to Coles Myer for a rumoured $140 million but has just walked away from the deal. In 2004 he spent $42 million buying hotels in Queensland, as you can see here. Also has significant development interests in FNQ and in 2006 spent $65 million buying two more hotels in Brisbane.
Barry Lambert: Debuts with $198 million. The founder and managing director of Count Financial Limited – the third biggest group distributing financial products (after AMP and PIS) in Australia – “Barry Lambert seems to have come from nowhere”, says the mag. Hmmm.
What we said: founder and managing director of Count Financial Limited. Count has an AFSL and is the third biggest group distributing financial products (after AMP and PIS) in Australia. This is done predominately through accountants. Barry and his wife own 89 million shares, which at today’s market price of $1.75, gives them a stake worth $155 million. The three children and mother own nearly 20 million shares independently of Barry. Last year’s dividend was 4.5 cents a share and the guidance for this year is 5.5 cents. Count are the masters of commissions and is effectively the biggest client of BT and Colonial so it tends to be able get deals that other financial planning/advice organisations can’t even attempt.
Neville Crichton: BRW attributes Crichton’s return to the Rich List – with a wealth of $195 million – to Korean car company Kia, whose cars he started distributing in 2000, only to see Kia become a top-10 car company in Australia in 2005. Funny, that’s a lot like what we said last year.
What we said: Owns 100% of an empire that turns over more than $1 billion a year. Has made a motza through his company Ateco Automotive, which imports Citroen, Alfa Romeo and Kia , although the Koreans are taking the lucrative franchise back in house from next March after Ateco got the brand into the top ten. Ateco recently signed the rights to import Ferrari and Maseratis, relieving the Sutton family of that gig. Also owns a number of hotels in Queensland and various other properties in Queensland and NSW. Crichton has recently finished building his new Wynulla Road waterfront next door to John Symonds’ monstrosity in Point Piper. His 1990 Sydney Hobart winner Alfa Romeo is currently in Europe with a ‘for sale’ tag on it because a new 98-footer is nearly complete.
Peter Hofbauer: Debuts with $165 million. The manager of Babcock & Brown’s Australian infrastructure and project finance team makes his debut thanks mainly to his holdings in the company and its related specialist funds, says BRW . Last year, we put this at 7.4 million shares worth about $130 million, as well as being $3.5 million in front on the 400,000 options he was issued at just $5 a pop last year.
What we said: The head of Babcock & Brown’s Australian infrastructure business is the proud owner of 7.4 million shares which are worth about $130 million. He’s also $3.5 million in front on the 400,000 options he was issued at just $5 a pop last year. Then you have a tasty $4.65 million salary package last year and the fact he’s been pulling big bucks from B&B ever since he joined way back in 1989. Guys likes this are potentially worth $200 million if they’ve wisely invested their money over the years.
Michael Maxwell: Debuts with $149 million. Another BRW “overnight success” debutant from Babcock & Brown, the manager of the Australian and European real estate business also owns a few shares. Last year, we had it at 6.94 million worth $120 million and $3 million in front on the 2004 options issue, as well as being paid $2.3 million in 2004.
What we said: Manages the Australian and European real estate business for Babcock & Brown and holds 6.94 million shares worth $120 million. Also $3 million in front on the 2004 options issue and was paid $2.3 million in 2004. After 13 years at B&B, it is hard to believe the former Mallesons lawyer is not worth more than $110 million as people like him have been known to personally fund deals under $20 million which are regarded as too small for B&B.
Brett Pointon: Debuts with $135 million after floating his Queensland-based hotel business.
What we said: the founder of Brisbane-based serviced apartments manager Oaks Hotels & Resorts has just raised $30 million in a public float but retained a controlling stake in a business which is capitalised at $180 million after the $1 shares quickly shot up to almost $1.40.
Send suggestions into firstname.lastname@example.org so we can give BRW a hand for this year’s Rich List.
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