Australia’s young rich are getting richer. Thanks to buoyant economic conditions you now need more than $18 million to qualify for the BRW rich list for the 40-and-unders. That’s up from $12 million last year. And their combined wealth in 2007 has surged 20% to $4.8 billion.
The richest under-40 in Australian is Sydney property developer Shaun Bonnett with a fortune of $300 million. Bonnet owns Precision Group, which has acquired $300 million in commercial property in the past year.
He’s followed by superstar actress Nicole Kidman with a fortune of $237 million. Other more entrepreneurial women to crack the list include ex-Billabong’s Nicole Perrin ($132m), Cotton On’s Tania Austin ($100m), Sass & Bide’s Sarah Jane Clarkson ($35m) and Heidi Middleton ($35m), Bloom cosmetic’s Natalie Bloom ($28m), Mimco’s Amanda Briskin ($27m) and marketing whiz Suzi Dafnis ($20m).
SmartCompany’s millionaire entrepreneur winners Atlassian founders Mike Cannon-Brooks and Scott Farquar make the list with a fortune of $30 million. And the winners of the SmartCompany overall Award 2007, Robert Phillpot and Leigh Jasper of Aconex, made the list with a fortune of $21 million.
The richest debutant is Richard Bell, founder of listed telco Reverse Corp. With a fortune of $183 million, he debuts at number 7. BRW rich editor James Thomson says Bell was a finance employee for many years before striking out on his own.
He started his career as a stockbroker in Brisbane and ran Wilson HTM operations in the US. He returned to Australia to start Reverse Corp in 1998. “Reverse calling is not a new idea but he put a different slant on it. He’s marketed it better and aimed it an Australians overseas calling back to Australia,” says Thomson.
Retail and technology sectors dominate the list of entrepreneurs, with 40% of the members of the list rising from these industries.