Well, 2020 might not have been our year, but that didn’t stop the richest people in Australia from turning their fortunes from massive to monstrous. Across the board, the richest Australians managed to survive the pandemic-related issues relatively unharmed, despite the ongoing retail and property downturn that impacted the country. In fact, 2020 was a bumper year to be involved in mining. The Australian recently released its Australia’s Richest 250 List, revealing the familiar mining magnates of the past are still digging up outrageous profits here in the new decade.
Australia’s Richest 250 List
Compiled by media publication The Australian, the Richest 250 list shines a light on how the other half lives. Delving deep into property portfolios, share prices and investments, the report profiles the influential movers and shakers in Australia that shape our economic landscape. According to The Australian, the list is the biggest annual study of Australia’s 250 wealthiest individuals undertaken in the country. Here’s how it works:
While much of the wealth accumulated by Australia’s richest people is subject to anonymity, The Australian‘s list takes into account net worth calculations based on public records. The final results are based on wealth figures calculated in late February 2021, marking one of the first wealth listings to come post-lockdown era. And there were some surprising results.
Richest Australians 2021
Of the 250 people who made the list, the average wealth sat around AUD$1.88 billion, with the report also suggesting there are now 122 billionaires in Australia. The average age of Australia’s richest people remains unsurprisingly high at 65 years of age, while among the 250 members of the rich list, there were only 27 women. But perhaps, most ironic of all, was knowing that one of those 27 had pipped every man to the post. The richest Australian in 2021 is none-other than mining magnate Gina Rinehart.
1. Gina Rinehart (AUD$36.28 Billion)
An incredible year from Rinehart saw the mining magnate growth her personal wealth by an astonishing 123 per cent. Where her wealth sat around AUD$16 billion this time last year, the Hancock Prospecting chairman benefitted from a major boost in iron ore prices. The move drastically increased the profit from her majority-owned Roy Hill mine. Back in October, IBISWorld estimates revenue at Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting to have surged more than 23 per cent to almost $11 billion, making it the nation’s biggest private company.
Business: Hancock Prospecting
Wealth in 2020: AUD$16.25 billion
2. Andrew Forrest (AUD$29.61 Billion)
Another mining giant to benefit from the iron ore prices in 2020 was Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest. The proud Aussie saw his personal wealth swell by 126 per cent over the last 12 months, coinciding with some high-profile acquisitions, such as R.M. Williams. While his work underground certainly made him the most money this year, Forrest’s decision to revitalise the iconic Aussie shoemaker is doing his reputation no harm.
Business: Fortescue Metals Group
Wealth in 2020: AUD$13.06 billion
3. Mike Cannon-Brookes (AUD$21.99 Billion)
As the co-chief executive of one of the most impressive companies in the world, it makes sense that Mike Cannon-Brookes would make the richest Australians list this year. The Atlassian boss is one of the youngest people to secure a spot on The Australian‘s list, after swelling his net worth by around 70 per cent over the last 12 months. As reported back in October, the biggest contributor to his personal fortune was Tyro, which did much of the heavy lifting in his wealth stakes.
Role: Co-Chief Executive
Wealth in 2020: AUD$12.73 billion
4. Scott Farquhar (AUD$21.95 Billion)
Similar to previous years, Scott Farquhar was pipped at the post by his Atlassian counterpart. Rivalry aside, Farquhar had an impressive year, swelling his AUD$12.54 billion net worth in this time last year to a solid AUD$21.95 billion today. With new projects set to headline the second half of this year, you can expect to see Farquhar make his way back on the list 12 months from now.
Role: Co-Chief Executive
Wealth in 2020: AUD$12.54 billion
5. Anthony Pratt & Family (AUD$21.27 Billion)
While the pandemic certainly wreaked havoc for many businesses, Visy chief Anthony Pratt managed to secure his biggest deal ever in 2020. Back in October, the Australian Financial Review reported that a AUD$1 billion transaction saw him add $2 billion to Visy’s $9 billion valuation once synergies were realised. But perhaps the biggest winner over the year came through the change in consumer behaviour. A boom in e-commerce sent revenue up in Visy’s corrugated box divisions, while the rise in home dining saw demand for plastic and aluminium packaging increase.
Business: Visy, Pratt Industries
Role: Executive Chairman
Wealth in 2020: AUD$16.95 billion
6. Harry Triguboff (AUD$17.2 Billion)
Property giant Harry Triguboff is no stranger to rich lists. The Meriton managing director has featured prominently on the list of Australia’s wealthiest people for years and in 2021, he’s made it back. Despite a difficult year for the property market, particularly in the apartment development space, The Australian estimates that Triguboff has managed to swell his wealth by around 10 per cent, bringing him up to AUD$17.2 billion.
Role: Managing Director
Wealth in 2020: AUD$15.5 billion
7. Hui Wing Mau (AUD$10.15 Billion)
It’s no surprise that 2020 was a big year for Hui Wing Mau’s Hong Kong-listed Shimao Property Holdings. A massive surge in share price helped lift the company’s profile on a global stage and more importantly, helped the businessman secure seventh spot on the richest Australians list for 2021. A number of strong deals in China helped the property magnate to swell his wealth by around 11 per cent this year.
Business: Shimao Group
Wealth in 2020: AUD$9.07 billion
8. Clive Palmer (AUD$9.76 Billion)
Former politician and mining magnate Clive Palmer followed in the footsteps of his counterparts Rinehart and Forrest this year, benefitting massively from the surge in mineral price. Palmer’s Mineralogy business had a huge year, swelling his personal fortune by a whopping 116 per cent. While his involvement in politics is undecided, Palmer’s ability to rake in cash remains as lively as ever.
Wealth in 2020: AUD$4.5 billion
9. Frank Lowy (AUD$8.82 Billion)
While the AFR‘s October projections claimed former chairman of Westfield Corporation, Frank Lowy’s personal wealth had slipped this year, The Australian‘s report suggests otherwise. The property giant has born the brunt of changing consumer behaviour and the lingering impact of COVID on the retail sector. Irrespective, The Australian has still placed the perennial rich lister as one of Australia’s wealthiest people for 2021.
Business: Westfield Corporation
Role: Former Chairman
Wealth in 2020: AUD$8.7 billion
10. Kerry Stokes (AUD$7.26 Billion)
Never one to shy away from a deal, Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes has secured a massive amount of wealth in 2021. While free-to-air television saw an increase during the lockdown, Stokes’ major boost came from investments made outside media, in particular, his company’s 20 per cent stake in Boral. Stokes also owns 10 per cent of aged care group Estia Health.
Industry: Property, Medi, Resources
Business: Seven West Media
Wealth in 2020: AUD$6.56 billion
Who is the richest person in Australia?
According to The Australian’s Rich List for 2021, mining magnate Gina Rinehart is the richest person in Australia. The businesswoman swelled her personal wealth to AUD$36.28 billion, up from AUD$16.25 billion last year.
How much is Andrew Forrest worth?
Iron ore magnate Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forest is well-know for his extreme wealth. According to The Australian’s 2021 Rich List, Forrest is worth an estimated AUD$29.61 billion.
Who is the richest woman in the world?
According to the latest reports from Forbes, Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton is the richest woman in the world. With a net worth of around USD$54.1 billion, Walton just beats out L'Oréal heiress and former world’s richest woman Francoise Bettencourt Meyers for the title.