Billionaires Down Under: Australia’s Richest

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Family Kahlbetzer – $740 Million

The leader of this particular clan is John Kahlbetzer Sr., who was born in Argentina, and still has land holdings there. His son Johnny Jr. is pictured here, and runs the Twynam Agricultural Group in Australia, known for selling Australia’s biggest water license. The company has also started development in Africa, mainly cotton and food crops. John Kahlbetzer also has another son, Markus, who works in property development.

John Kalbetzer Jr

Robert Ingham – $745 Million

Robert and his brother Jack inherited Inghams Enterprises from their late father, and the company is known as the biggest chicken producer in Australia. The business was sold in 2013, with proceeds reportedly being split between his four children. He also makes a lot of his money through horses, with thoroughbred interests which include horse-racing. He is also associated with the Ingham Institute, a medical research group which he often donates large sums of money to.

Robert Ingham

Tony and Ron Perich – $770 Million

Freedom Foods is the Perich family business, and it’s certainly going from strength to strength. The company is listed, and created allergen-free food and drinks, an industry which has blown up in the last decade. Some of the Freedom Foods brands include, Norganic, a2 milk and So Natural, as well as the popular Crunchola brand. The Perich family also own Greenfields Development Company, in Sydney which is working on a project of 5500 homes.

Tony Perich

Paul Little – $830 Million

The Chairman of Little Group and Little Projects, Paul Little used to be the MD of Toll Holdings, which is ranked in the top 50 of the ASX Top 150 Listed Companies. He still retains the largest amount of shares in the group, and is now focused on Melbourne apartment developments. He has a whole slew of awards and titles under his belt, including a Doctor of Business honorls causa by RMIT in 2008, and an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2010.

paul little

 

Beverly Barlow and Russ Withers – $1.1 Billion

This brother sister duo are the third generation retailers, and the family are responsible for giants 7eleven in Australia. Beverley and Russ also co-owned a local Starbucks chain. There are some scandals going on involving the business practices of these siblings however, with a $300 million class action suit being threatened by the franchise. Beverly died recently, and the rumors are that her fortune has been left to her son Chris Barlow, who remains on the 7eleven board.

russ withers

Solomon Lew – $1.22 Billion

You’ve probably heard of the Lew fashion house, Premier Investments. This is how Lew made his fortune, and a name for himself, being the first Australian to be inducted to the World Retail Hall of Fame, at the same time as Tommy Hilfiger and Jo Malone. He opened his first clothing business on his 18th birthday, after years of vacation and after school jobs. He is now working on his new company, Smiggle, which sells stationery in the UK, mainly aimed at kids and teens.

solomon lew

John Van Lieshout- $1.22 Billion

The Super Amart furniture empire is what made John Van Lieshout his fortune, and while it was sold in 2006for $500 million, he still holds the freehold to many of his stores. He has a stronghold in property, including shopping malls, corporate office buildings, and even housing developments under his new full time hobby, Unison Projects. The Lieshout family are known down under as the ‘Kings and Queens of Furniture’ with many other retailers between them.

john van lieshout

Len Ainsworth – $1.29 Billion

Len Ainsworth has told the media that he has worked the equivalent of two working lives, and at 94 years old, we think he’s right! More than 20 years ago, he handed over his lucrative business, Aristocrat Leisure to his wife and seven sons. The company was founded by him in 1953, and has grown into the second-largest gaming machine company in the world. Ainsworth opened another gaming tech company, Ainsworth Game Technology at age 72!

len ainsworth

 

Bob Ell – $1.35 Billion

Bob Ell made his money from his retail investments, namely three shopping malls in Queensland and another in Canberra. As well as shopping malls, he also owns residential land developments with around 15,000 housing lots, and growing making him quite the landlord, too! Altogether, Bob Eli has developed over $3 billion dollars’ worth of property, making him one of Australia’s most successful property moguls.

bob ell

 

Angela Bennett – $1.4 Billion

You won’t find many photos of this particular billionaire, as she is known to be somewhat of a recluse. This photo is a rare sighting indeed, with Angela on the left alongside Teri Ann McLarty. Angela inherited a large amount of mining interests from her late father, Peter Wright. By staying out of the line of fire of the media, Bennett has earned herself the nickname, The Night Parrot. She is also known for the biggest residential sale in Australian history, her Perth mansion went for $57.5 million in 2009.

angela bennett

David Teoh – $1.44 Billion

You’re looking at the face behind TPG Telecom, which is one of the largest internet service providers in Australia. He is known for making smart business and investment decisions, including the recent takeover of iiNet, which cost $1.2 Billion. His family are excellent at entrepreneurial spirit, launching start-ups which cover dozens of fields, from clothing and accessories to shoes and glasses. Teph is quite the recluse, and this is one of only a few photos online.

david teoh

Lang Walker – $1.45 Billion

A recent inductee into Australia’s Property Council Hall of Fame, Lang Walker has lived and breathed the property business for over half a century. Past honourable mentions include Dick Dusseldorp and John Gandel. Lang made his fortune from selling his property development company not just once, but twice, in 1999 and then again in 2006 before the financial crisis. He has a playful side, naming his fleet of yachts Kokomo after his first boat, a rubber dinghy.

lang walker

Jack Cowin – $1.52 Billion

Imagine becoming a billionaire through fast food, all the favorites of burgers, pizza and fried chicken. That’s exactly what Jack Cowin has done, by being the founder and executive chairman of Competitive Foods Australia, which is based in Sydney but responsible for bringing Burger King and Hungry Jack’s to the whole of the country. He is the top shareholder in Domino’s Pizza Enterprises, as well as being responsible for the first ever KFC outlet, opened in 1969.

jack cowin

Gerry Harvey – $1.55 Billion

You’ve probably heard of Harvey Norman, the furniture and electrical goods brand which made Gerry Harvey his billions. His wife Katie Page runs the day to day operations, and Gerry refers to her as the mastermind of the operation! Gerry also owns the Magic Millions race-horse auction market, and has an extensive property portfolio as well. He is known to be outspoken on his vision of the future for Australia, forecasting it becoming an Asian country within a century.

gerry harvey

Family Wilson – $1.6 Billion

The Wilson siblings are majority shareholders in Reece, a plumbing and building supplies group, and are known affectionately as Australia’s most boring billionaires. They certainly like to keep themselves out of the spotlight, with very little being known about John, Leslie, Alan or Bruce. Pictured here is Alan, in a rare shot of any of the shareholder siblings. The chain is Australia’s most popular supplier of bathroom supplies, with 450 stores around the country.

alan wilson

Kerr Neilson – $1.83 Billion

The co-founder and managing director of Platinum Asset Management, Kerr shares his assets with his ex-wife, but still manages to hold onto his spot on the country’s wealthiest people. He holds 57% of the shares in PAM, which were valued at $2.9 Billion in 2007. The company specializes in international equities. Although Kerr was born in Johannesburg South Africa, he moved to Australia in 1983, entering a job with BT Australia.

kerr neilson

Maurice Alter – $1.94 Billion

The Pacific Group was founded by Alter in 1979, and is how he made his fortune, focusing mainly on regional shopping centres. His son Sam now runs the business, which invests mainly in South Australia and Victoria. The Pacific Group is known for their contributions to the renovations to Werribee Place and Pacific Epping, which are both in Melbourne. Alter and the rest of his family are known to be private, and keep out of the public eye for the most part.

maurice alter

Stanley Perron – $1.95 Billion

Stanley Perron has established his billionaire status through property, and has commercial and residential investments all over Australia. He owns varied property, from shopping malls and parking lots, to airports and commercial high-rises. He also has a Toyota dealership, which was personally awarded to him more than 50 years ago by the Toyoda family. Very much a self-made man, he started out carving boxes to gold handkerchiefs and selling them door to door.

stanley perron

Heloise Waislitz – $2 Billion

Heloise was married to Alex Waislitz, with whom she built up Thorney Investments. While the couple have separated, the company holds stakes in many listed companies, as many as twenty in total which range from mining and energy, to biotech and travel. But that’s not the only way that Heloise made her fortune. Along with her brother Anthony and sister Fiona, the siblings have stakes in Visy Asia-Pacific packaging business, founded by their late father, Richard Pratt.

Heloise Waislitz

 

Kerry Stokes – $2.4 Billion

Kerry Stokes has a love-hate relationship with most Australian rich lists, or certainly the billionaires club anyway. He had dropped off the radar before 2017, only to come bouncing back onto the Forbes list in 2017 as shares in his media group, Seven, more than doubled. Media isn’t the only pie that Stokes has his finger in, with assets in construction and mining, as well as cattle ranching and oil. He is also an art enthusiast, and even hires someone to manage his extensive collection.

Kerry Stokes

Scott Farquhar – $2.5 Billion

One of the youngest billionaires on our list, the co-founder of software company Atlassian is only 38 years old. He and his business partner Mike Cannon Brookes had one simple goal when they founded the company, to achieve the $48,000 starting salary which most grad schemes offered employees entering the workforce. As a result they are sometimes referred to as the accidental billionaires. He was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year award from 2006.

scott farquhar

Mike Cannon-Brookes – $2.5 Billion

Sharing his wealth, is Scott Farquhar’s business partner Mike, who is co-founder of Atlassian. The company has some seriously high profile clients, including NASA, and Tesla. They have no sales team to speak of, a unique point for most software companies. The next big thing for Atlassian appears to be their work with Elon Musk. In response to the power crisis in Australia, they hope to collaborate to bring Musk’s battery technology down under.

mike cannon-brookes

Fiona Germinder – $2.7 Billion

We’ve already met Fiona’s sister Heloise, and along with their brother Anthony, the family control Visy Asia-Pacific, one of the largest paper packaging and recycling businesses out there. But what makes Fiona even richer than her sister, is the 40% she owns of the Pact Group, the plastics packaging business she runs with her husband Raphael. Fiona is known for her secrecy, and this is one of only a few photos of her online.

Fiona-Geminder

James Packer – 3.1 Billion

Crown Resorts is where the Packer family made their fortune, with casinos in Australia and London too. He has split his interests into other areas too, including his film company Ratpac Entertainment, and some technology ventures in Israel. Believe it or not, his fortune has actually lessened over time, as he split the family businesses with his sister Gretel, left to them both by their late father Kerry Packer, one of Australia’s most influential media proprieters.

james packer

Lindsay Fox – $3.3 Billion

Lindsay Fox owns Linfox, which is Australia’s largest logistic company which is privately held. It has over 5,000 trucks which work across 10 countries. If you’d seen Fox as a kid, you might never have guessed that this was the future which was in store for him, as he quit school at 16 to become a truck driver. His sons take charge in the everyday management of his firm now that their dad is 80 years old. Fox also owns the Melbourne theme park, Luna Park.

lindsay fox

John Gandel – $4 Billion

If you’ve ever visited Chadstone, Australia’s largest shopping mall you can see how John Gandel made it this far up our list. He owns half of the 500-shop enterprise, as well as holding a stake in the listed property trust Vicinity Centres, which has the other half. He claims that his success is a lot to do with the deregulation of shopping opening hours, and the change in shopping from a necessity to a leisure activity. We’re pretty big fans of that change too.

john gandel

Andrew Forrest – $5.2 Billion

While most of us might look at this fortune as beyond our wildest dreams, Andrew Forrest probably sighs with disappointment at times when he remembers his time as Australia’s richest man in 2008. His fortune was once valued at $12.7 billion, when the shares of his company Fortescue Metals Group were at their highest peak. He has made his fortune in iron ore and mining interests, as well as farming which capitalizes on Chinese meat and dairy products.

andrew forrest

Frank Lowy – $5.4 Billion

Another retail giant, Frank Lowy was the chairman of Scentre until 2016, and remains in the top spot at Westfield Corp, which owns shopping malls across the US and the UK. His first shopping center was opened in 1959 in western Sydney. His sons Steven and Peter are in the family business, as joint CEO’S of Westfield, which has been its own company since 2014 when it split from the Australian mall company their father owned.

frank lowy

Harry Triguboff – $10 Billion

Harry wasn’t born in Australia, but he’s certainly made it his home. He was born in China, although his parents were Russian, and came down under as a teenager. He initially began working in textiles, before moving to real estate in the swinging sixties. His first apartment complex was in Gladesville and he has since put up over 65,000 apartments. To some he is known as High Rise Harry! His company is called Meriton, and it mainly focuses on Sydney and Queensland.

harry triguboff

Blair Parry-Okeden – $12.9 Billion

Blair is the granddaughter of James M Cox, the automotive expert behind media conglomerate Cox Enterprises. You might recognise James’s name as the governor of Ohio, and a failed democratic presidential candidate. Blair’s brother Jim manages the massive firm he left behind, while Blair herself stays out of the spotlight. She is famous for living in almost total anonymity, the same way her mother did until her death in 2007.

blair parry okeden

Anthony Pratt – $4.9 Billion

Most of us would be feeling pretty sorry for ourselves if a $75,000 bet saw us on the losing side. But Anthony Pratt bet just this that Donald Trump would not become President, but probably managed to laugh off the loss, in comparison to his massive fortune. With his sisters, Anthony runs the Visy packaging and recycling business, as well as Pratt Industries, the largest manufacturer of corrugated cardboard. His wealth has grown by over a billion dollars this year alone.

anthony pratt

Sam Tarascio – $735 million

Sam Tarascio made his millions through the real estate industry – and has since become one of the major players in the Australian business sector. However, the Tarascio family had pretty humble beginnings. In the 1950s, Sam emigrated from Italy and bagged his first job as a pharma salesman. Before long, he used his construction skills to build the firm a warehouse, and Salta Properties was born. Although he’s now handed the company over to his son, he’s still pretty big-time.

Sam Tarascio emigrated from Italy in the 1950s and built Salta Properties, and is now worth $735 million

Judith Neilson – $720 million

As the ex-wife of Kerr Neilson (who is also on this list), it’s no surprise that Judith Neilson is a millionaire in her own right. She still holds a major stake in her ex-husband’s incredibly successful business, Platinum Asset Management, and has also expanded her own brand and business skills. She is now working herself up to be the next real estate property mogul and has even found a new passion – art. Judith Neilson has since opened her own art gallery.

Judith Neilson is the ex-wife of Judith Neilson and is now a millionaire in her own right

Con Makris – $700 million

Although Con Makris is an Australian citizen, he has a Greek background. In fact, he is the richest person of Greek heritage in Australia with a $700m net worth! He moved to Australia when he was just 16-years-old and embarked on his mission to dominate the realm of real estate. He started off by buying fast food restaurants, and slowly branched out into property. Now, the Makris Group is the proud owner of shopping malls, football clubs, and luxury real estate.

Con Makris is of Greek heritage and is a leading figure in real estate. He is worth $700 million

Reg Rowe – $675 million

After a short break to rebuild his empire, Reg Rowe has returned to the Australia’s Richest list, with a net worth of $675 million. Rowe created the Super Retail Group way back when in 1972, and began to build his brand from the comfort of his home. He started selling car batteries and mailing them out to his customers, and soon expanded into sports equipment, camping gear, and even fishing products. Now, the company is one of Australasia’s leading retail groups.

Reg Rowe founded the Super Retail Group in 1972 and is now worth $675 million

Ralph Sarich – $660 million

When it comes down to it, Ralph Sarich is one of the most popular inventors, engineers, and businessmen in Australia. The 78-year-old is famous for developing the orbital combustion process engine and the orbital engine – which then led to the creation of the Orbital Engine Company. Sarich has now retired from the company but has continued his career in business as the Executive Chairman for an investment company. He is now worth a whopping $660 million.

Ralph Sarich developed the orbital engine and founded the Orbital Engine Company

Maha Sinnathamby – $650 million

Maha Sinnathamby was born in Malaysia and grew up on a rubber estate. As he grew older, Maha wanted more from life and attended university in Australia. In 1971, he founded his first property business. Nowadays, he is one of the biggest property developers and civil engineers in Australia and is the brains behind the Greater Springfield Development. If you’re not sure what that is – it’s the biggest planned community in the country! So it’s no surprise he’s worth $650 million.

Maha Sinnathamby is the brains behind the Greater Springfield Development and is worth $650 million

Brett Blundy – $645 million

Brett Blundy is a man of many talents and is largely known as an ‘entrepreneur’ as he has his fingers in many different pies. In 1980, he founded the BB Retail Capital company, which subsequently owns numerous media and property companies, including Aventus Property, Sanity Entertainment, and Bras N Things. As if that wasn’t enough, Blundy also owns the Diva and Lovisa – two international fashion jewelry brands – and is the co-owner of the Australian tourist attraction, BridgeClimb. He’s worth $645 million.

Brett Blundy founded the BB Retail Company in 1980, which now owns numerous media and property companies

Bruce Mathieson – $640 million

With a net worth of $640 million, many people wonder where Bruce Mathieson’s money lies. Well, the Australian business tycoon is famous in the hospitality industry. His career started in the casino business and has since branched out into the world of hotels and pharmaceuticals. In fact, he is a key player in the Mayne Pharma brand and is a part-owner of the hotel and pub company, Australian Leisure & Hospitality Group. Mathieson is also a part-owner of the retail giant, Woolworths.

Bruce Mathieson is the co-owner of the Australian Leisure & Hospitality Group and is worth $640 million

Richard Smith – $615 million

Richard Smith and Bruce Mathieson are pretty close friends. We can imagine it doesn’t hurt to have a friend in the hospitality business when you own a major food services company. However, he didn’t always own PFD Food Services. Smith actually started working for the company in 1959 as a delivery driver and has since risen to the top of the food chain to become the full owner of the multi-million-dollar business. Smith’s daughters are now helping to run the business.

Richard Smith rose through the ranks to become the owner of PFD Food Services and is now worth $615 million

Graham Turner – $575 million

Graham Turner has certainly made a name for himself in the travel industry. Turner studied as a veterinarian but then decided to sack off that career path, and enter the world of business. In 1973, he founded Topdeck, an international travel agency. The business mogul then co-founded the largest travel agency network in the Australia, Flight Centre Travel. He also owns the hotel chain, Spicers Retreats, and the popular cycling brand, 99 Bikes. He is now worth $575 million.

Graham Turner founded Topdeck travel in 1973 and has since expanded into the travel business

Bruce Gordon – $570 million

Bruce Gordon is one of the biggest names in the world of entertainment and media in Australia. He started off his career juggling fruit on his father’s fruit stall, before becoming a full-time performer and theater manager. He later worked for Paramount Television, before buying WIN Corporation from Rupert Murdoch in 1979. His company now owns WIN Television – one of the most popular TV networks in Australia. Gordon is also a major shareholder in numerous entertainment holdings.

Bruce Gordon is a major player in the entertainment industry and is worth $570 million

Nigel Austin – $565 million

Like many businessmen and women, Nigel Austin started off his business from nothing. In 1991, Austin began making and selling homemade acid-wash denim jackets from his car. Soon enough, he had cracked the world of business and had expanded his company, Cotton On, to become one of the largest clothing and stationery retailers in Australia. Over the past few years, Austin has also expanded his brand across the pond – so it’s no surprise he’s worth $565 million.

Nigel Austin started selling denim jackets from his car in 1991 and is now the owner of a major clothing and stationery brand

Chris Morris – $550 million

It’s a family affair in the Morris family, as the Australian millionaire, Chris Morris, founded his company with his sister, Penelope Maclagan. The pair founded Computershare, but Morris has since stepped down from his role. He now focuses on the Colonial Leisure Group, a major hospitality business that owns pubs, casinos, breweries, restaurants – and even an island! Morris is taking a major step in the direction of hospitality and real estate and is worth $550 million.

Chris Morris founded Computershare with his sister but is now a leading figure in hospitality and real estate

Gretel Packer – $510 million

We already know the Packer family are pretty loaded – as Kerry Packer left James and Gretel Packer half of his business. Much of her wealth comes from her share in the family business, but Gretel has been working hard away from the prying eyes of the press. She is a major player within the National Philanthropic Fund and has continued her role as the chair of the Packer Family Foundation. Gretel also contributes to the Packer’s Crown Resorts hospitality business.

Gretel Packer is part of the Packer fortune and is now worth an incredible $510 million

Marcus Blackmore – $500 million

It’s a well-known fact that there’s a heck load of money in medicine and vitamins, and Marcus Blackmore knows the vitamin business like the back of his hand. From a young age, Marcus used to help out in his father’s naturopathic clinic and got a keen eye for vitamin supplements and natural remedies. He soon took over his father’s company and expanded Blackmore’s to become one of Australia’s leading health supplements company. He is now worth $500 million.

Marcus Blackmore owns Blackmore's, a leading health supplements brand

David Hains – $2.1 Billion

The Hains family are very diverse in their interests, with David’s children spreading themselves across many industries. Three of his sons run the Portland House Group, which was David’s hedge fund. He also has a daughter, Cathy, who breeds and races horses, and a son Paul who is the owner of online magazine Aeon, popular in London. David made his fortune restructuring companies, and famously took a seven year career gap to work on his golf!

david hains

Michael Hintze – $2.1 Billion

Michael Hintze is actually based in the UK, but he was raised by his mother in Sydney. He was a captain in the Australian Army, before moving to New York to train in the world of finance, landing a job with Goldman Sachs, where he stayed until 1995. His own Hedge fund was launched in 1999, and CQS was where he made his millions. He is also known for his philanthropy, establishing the Hintze Family Charitable Foundation which supports health, education, religion and the arts.

michael hintze

Alan Rydge – $1.03 Billion

Event Hospitality and Entertainment Ltd was previously known as Amalgamated Holdings, and Alan Rydge is their chairman as well as the lead shareholder. The company is headquartered in Sydney, and is a cinema, hotel and ski-resort group. Rydge’s father gave him the Greater Union cinema chain on his death in 1980. As well as this, Rydge is involved in equities investment company Carlton Investments, as their major shareholder and chairman.

alan rydge

Gina Rinehart – $15.5 Billion

Consistently topping the list of Australia’s richest people, Gina Rinehart owes her fortune to iron ore. Her father was iron ore explorer Lang Hancock, but Rinehart managed to make something far larger out of his legacy to her, as he left a bankrupted estate to her when he died. Her most famous enterprise is Hope Downs, a mine which she holds in joint venture with Rio Tinto. She also owns a portion of the Ten television network, as well as owning the most prime wagyu cattle in the country.

gina reinhart richest australian

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