Family fortunes: Australia’s richest families increase their wealth by $5 billion

Australia’s richest families are getting richer, according to the annual BRW Rich Families list released today.

The combined wealth of the 50 families on this list grew by $5 billion in the past 12 months, from $35.6 billion to $40.1 billion.

The average wealth of the families on the list also increased, from $712 million in 2013 to $803 million, a rise of 12%.

Melbourne’s Smorgon family, whose fortune lies in property, cosmetics, horticulture and equities, topped the list with wealth of $2.767 billion.

The Smorgons, whose patriarch Victor Smorgon died in 2009 at the age of 96, are followed by the Liberman family, whose investments in tech success story Freelancer and investment fund Square Peg Capital are clearing paying off with the family now sitting on a nest egg of $2.448 billion

Third in line is the Wilson family, whose wealth is now estimated to be worth $2.337 billion.

When it comes to generating wealth, the nation’s richest families have found the most success with investments and property, with the two industries accounting for 28% and 24% of the families’ combined wealth respectively.

However, it appears traditional sources of wealth in Australia —manufacturing and rural holdings—continue to generate returns for the country’s rich, with both sectors each accounting for 10% of the wealth on the list.

While Sydney is the home to 20 Rich Lister families, beating Melbourne’s 15, those who do live in the Victorian capital have a bigger share of the list’s wealth, at 42% compared to Sydney’s 29%.

The 10 richest families in Australia

  1. Smorgan: $2.767 billion
  2. Liberman: $2.448 billion
  3. Wilson: $2.337 billion
  4. Besen: $2.287 billion
  5. Buckeridge: $2.1 billion
  6. Myer: $2.047 billion
  7. Roberts: $1.861 billion
  8. Wright: $1.579 billion
  9. Salteri: $1.255 billion
  10. Talbot: $1.18 billion

The full list is available on BRW.


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