BRW claimed Australia had 27 families or individuals worth more than $1 billion last year, so one of the most interesting aspects of this year’s Rich List will be whether Australia can push this to 40.
We’ve never seen a year like it in terms of commodity prices, stockmarket wealth, property markets and company profits all simultaneously booming.
If 13 newcomers is the target, here is my punt on who they would be and how much they’ve stacked on over the past 12 months:
- Andrew Forrest, Fortescue: $810 million to $3.5 billion
- Kerr Neilson, Platinum: $443m to about $3.3 billion
- Michael Wright/Angela Bennett, iron ore: $900 million to $1.5 billion
- Solomon Lew, Coles etc: $950 million to $1.3 billion
- John Grill, Worley Parsons: $640 million to $1.2 billion
- Tieck family, Franklins and investment: $900 million to $1.3 billion
- Rowsthorn family, Toll: $606 million to $1.2 billion
- Maurie Alter, Melbourne property: $820 million to $1.2 billion
- Paul Little, Toll: $531 million to $1.1 billion
- Roberts family, Multiplex: $740 million to $1.1 billion
- Paul Ramsay, Ramsay Healthcare: $810 million to $1.1 billion
- Bruce Mathieson, Woolies pokies: $830 million to $1.1 billion
- Peter Gunn, Toll and Mayne: $605 million to $1 billion
Others that may go close include Babcock & Brown CEO Phil Green ($328 million), the Ingham chicken family ($880 million), the Millner investment family in Sydney ($730 million), $20 billion fund manager Robert Maple-Brown ($230 million) and the family of Transfield founder Franco Belgiorno-Nettis ($650 million).
The big three will remain James Packer ($7.1 billion), Frank Lowy ($5.4 billion) and Dick Pratt ($5.2 billion) who will probably see their collective value crack $20 billion.
There might even be a case for declaring that James Packer is closing in on Rupert Murdoch’s $11 billion fortune given the booming performance of his various investments over the past year, most notably Challenger, PBL and Seek.
All will be revealed on Thursday, but it is important to remember that many Rich Listers claim BRW haven’t got a clue.