For some people, getting onto the BRW Rich List is a disaster which brings unwanted attention from journalists, the tax office, promoters of good causes and potential extortionists. However, once your wealth has been revealed, the next worst thing that can happen is being dropped.
No one likes to fall from an A-list, but BRW only covers the 200 richest individuals and 50 richest families and with all this newfound wealth there is inevitable churn.
People that have been dropped over the years include Philip Adams, Looksmart founder turned Victorian Labor MP Evan Thornley, advertising behemoth Harold Mitchell, John Laws, Rodney Adler and Pan Pharmaceuticals founder Jim Selim.
Even Malcolm Turnbull was given the flick last year in a debatable decision, along with Makybe Diva owner Tony Santic, whose current divorce will probably ensure he doesn’t get back despite his burgeoning tuna empire.
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Some people get dropped and then come back, such as aspiring nuclear power developer Robert de Crespigny, Janet Holmes a Court, Nufarm CEO Doug Rathbone, Queensland property giant Kevin Seymour and former Billabong and Qantas chair Gary Pemberton. Most of these names should never have departed but at least BRW was prepared to admit the errors of their ways.
One strange departure last year was Australia’s richest lawyer, Allan Myers QC. The guy made a fortune from his polish brewing adventure and then hardly hid his light under a bushel by buying Warren Anderson’s Tipperary property in the Northern Territory. He even had a one third interest in the aquarium operator Oceanis which was sold to booming property developer MFS for $150 million last year.
The media will get their embargoed copies of the Rich List at 3pm this afternoon so stand by for plenty of coverage over the next 24 hours.
For the record, here is our Crikey Revised Wealth list which contains 115 names that we believe should be considered by BRW.
However, people have to be dumped to make way for any newcomers and this can be a tricky process. If this club really is restricted to just 250, then the cut-off must rise from $130 million to almost $200 million, otherwise you’ll have to open the door to a raft of Macquarie Bankers and funds management types, along with the lucky few who’ve had big equity positions in mining stocks during the China boom.