Gerry Harvey Solomon Lew
Gerry Harvey (left) and Solomon Lew (right) (Images: Harvey Norman; AAP)

Compared to the UK and the US, Australia has an unusually large number of billionaires who hold the majority of their wealth in public companies listed on the ASX.

After 50 years of wheeling and dealing, Kerry Stokes is near the top of the pile given that his 58.5% stake in Seven Group Holdings is now worth $4.59 billion. The Australian’s Rich List valued him at $7.26 billion earlier this year.

Stokes is unique in many respects, particularly given that he was an orphan whose wealth is entirely self made. He’s also the only Australian billionaire who has a $1 billion-plus personal investment in more than one public company, courtesy of the $1.7 billion stake that Seven Group Holdings owns in Boral.