Property prominent on the BRW Rich List


Despite all the attention the mining billionaires get, property still retains its status as the major source of wealth for BRW Rich listers.

Some 54 of the wealthiest 200 have property as the source of their wealth.

Next follow those who made money from services (28) and then resources (22), investment (21), retail (20), then rural, technology, manufacturing, entertainment and construction.

Frank Lowy’s $6.47 billion wealth holds third place behind Gina Rinehart and Ivan Glasenberg.

Then Harry Triguboff sits in seventh place, with an estimated $4.85 million wealth.

John Gandel is ranked 10th with a $3.45 million worth.

Their presence highlights that membership of the BRW Rich List is rapidly getting older, and lacking new younger names making their fortunes.

Frank Lowy is 81 with three sons, Harry Triguboff is 79 and two children, and Gandel is 77 years old with four children.

Property developer Lang Walker is a spritely 66 – worth $2.1 billion in 13th place with three children – at 89 Stan Perron is in 15th place at $2.05 billion with three children; in 20th place the 87-year old Maurice Alter has a $1.5 billion net worth with two children.

All up there are 17 octogenarians on the rich 200 list – the oldest is Sydney publican and property developer Cyril Maloney at 92, with an estimated $360 million worth and four children.

Just 15 members on the Rich 200 List are younger than 50, partly because a generation of entrepreneurs came unstuck during the GFC. The 41 year old Melbourne property developer Ashley Williams – from Evolve Development – made his debut onto the list this year with a $215 million estimate worth.

A further 38 are aged between 50 and 59, which puts 145 Rich listers aged 60 or older.

Succession planning will provide plenty of headlines in future years.

Somewhat conservative for the current chastened times is how AFR reporter John Stensholt describes the rich at the moment.

Though the Financial Times did report of the weekend that James Packer’s Ellerston polo team is set to return to UK high-goal season this year.

More than £20 million has been spent on the new polo centre in the West Sussex countryside by Packer, the FT noted.

“Fears that Packer’s polo-playing son James could lose interest in the game following his father’s death a few years ago proved unfounded,” the FT polo supplement advised.

It was two years ago that planning permission was given for the Packer polo run at Manor Farm, at the tiny village of Selham, near Midhurst.

The local paper the West Sussex Gazette then reported the farm had been given a change of use permission by Chichester District Council despite protests from villagers at the Cowdray estate-owned 134-hectare holding.

It’s is not far from Great House Farm, the 38-hectare polo complex at Stedham, owned by his late father, Kerry during the 1980s. Kerry Packer sold the house to Roman Abramovich, the Russian oligarch, and his polo fields to Filipino banker Bobby Aguirre.

Manor Farm now comes with two polo playing areas, a horse walkway and all-weather exercise track with the existing dairy buildings converted to stabling and seasonal accommodation for grooms and a clubhouse for the famous Ellerston team. The farm is opposite the Ambersham polo grounds.

Last year the Argentine for­mer 10-goaler Gonzalo Pieres, who played with Kerry throughout the 1990s, suggested Selham will be the new Stedham.

“They have done everything right, and the grounds are amazing,” Pieres said. report that the Ellerston team "will have a very interesting change."

"Patron Jamie Packer will only play the Gold Cup, and his place in the Queen’s Cup will be taken by Spain’s Iñigo Zobel, the patron of Ayala Polo Team in Sotogrande," the leading polo website reported last month.

The Veuve Cliquot Gold Cup team is given as "Ellerston: Jamie Packer (1) (Iñigo Zobel juega la Queen’s Cup), John-Paul Clarkin (8), Gonzalo Pieres Jr. (10), Tomás Garbarini (3)"

James Packer, who apparently last played English high-goal polo in 2008, could whack the ball a good 150 yards.

The latest arrivals on the polo circuit, the FT reports, are wealthy Chinese polo clubs.

First played by the Persians 2,500 years ago, polo was adopted by the Tang Dynasty, who ruled China from 618-907 AD, even becoming the game of choice for the Chinese elite.

Apparently four big-spending Chinese polo clubs have opened in the past eight years.

Tang Polo Club near Beijing and Tianjin’s Goldin Metropolitan, backed by Goldin Group, the investment company owned by Pan Sutong, the Hong Kong property magnate, host international tournaments having imported more than 100 ponies from Australasia and Europe, the FT noted.

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By Jonathan Chancellor
Monday, 28 May 2012

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