Expatriate Australian billionaire Michael Hintze tops the list of London’s wealthy who have strong Australian links, in the latest Sunday Times 1000 Rich List.
Hintze ranks 95th with an estimated worth of £900 million. He doesn’t have a home in Sydney but has been particularly active in his NSW and Queensland rural property acquisitions.
His rapidly expanded east coast farming portfolio has been deemed an investment not just looking for capital gain from the properties but seeking solid returns on production.
The London-based hedge fund founder has amassed one of Australia’s fastest-growing farm portfolios, with acquisitions totalling about 50,000 hectares since 2007.
His private pension fund, MHPF, spent about $142 million on the land and water purchases.
With an estimated worth of £850 million, Urs Schwarzenbach, the Swiss-born financier based in Britain, and his Australian wife, Francesca, rank the second highest when it comes to those with strong Austalian links in the latest Sunday Times 1000 Richest in Britain list.
They can both be called Australians as the Schwarzenbachs are occasional Balmoral clifftop house occupants. They first paid $3.9 million in 1988 for their property on Mosman’s millioniare’s row and then $11 million for the neighbouring sandstone cottage in 2010 taking their Burran Avenue residential compound in Mosman to 2300 square metres. The Schwarzenbachs then lodged a $2.3 million demolition works project designed by architect Ian Little. They have extensive southern NSW rural interests bought by the big-spending, international polo-playing tycoon since 1987. He has spent more than $35 million in rural property, mostly between Harden and Jugiong, which includes showpiece polo-playing estate Garangula, and Redbank, the homestead briefly owned by impresario Robert Stigwood. The couple maintain Redbank, the $5.1 million Jugiong property purchased in 1999, as the pastoral company’s headquarters.
Of course Redbank was held by the Osborne family for 145 years before being sold for $2.8 million in 1981 to the Stigwood, who bought the property on Rupert Murdoch’s recommendation while in Australia attending the premiere of the movie Gallipoli. It sold again in 1984, and again in 1988, for $4.69 million. Redbank hosted England’s Prince Harry as a jackaroo in 2003. The couple have lived at Thames Side Court at Lower Shiplake, near Henley-on-Thames outside London, for about two decades. They also own nearby Culham Court, a red-brick 1770 Georgian residence on 260 hectares, which was bought through Knight Frank in 2006 for £32.9 million via a British Virgin Islands-registered company. They also have a retreat in Marrakesh, the 19th-century Morocco palace Palais Layadi, which was built by Caid Layadi, a Northern African tribal lord. It was Schwarzenbach who called the intensive-care ambulance that saved Kerry Packer from his heart attack while playing polo in 1990. The son of a print shop owner, Schwarzenbach made his fortune from foreign exchange trading after founding his own company, Intex Exchange. Urs sat at 102 in this year’s Sunday Times list, down from the 87th place last year.
The next richest we will claim actually lives in Perth’s Peppermint Grove. With a £500 million net worth, Mark Creasy, the mining entrepenuer ranks 173rd on the list, rocketing up from 364th place last year. The British-born Creasy, 68, made his fortune prospecting for gold in Australia, selling a claim in the outback for £50 million in 1994. Sirius Resources, a mining company, that recently discovered nickel deposits on a site in Western Australia saw its share price more than double during two weeks in March. Creasy owns 20%. The veteran investor Mark Creasy has been climbing the ranks in Rich List as he was 680th richest person in 2006, with a then personal fortune of £85 million.
The Scottish-born engineer Bill Patterson – and co-founder of WorleyParsons who went off to run his own engineering consultancy in Sydney – ranks at 275 place, an improvement on the 327 place in last year’s list. His fortune jumped £73 million to £308 million.
That high flying hedge fund guru – who took early retirement last year – Greg Coffey sits at 313 compared to 300 last year, with an unchanged £260 worth. Some of his fortune was spent late last year when the high-flying Australian finally secured his Balmoral compound, Title Tattle reported. It was sealed with the acquisition of a $3.5 million Burran Avenue holding taking his property consolidation to a four-lot 4,400 square metres that cost $17.8 million. The latest purchase added a strategic 610-square-metre holding to the hillside compound, which began with the purchase of the Merdjayoun estate in 2005.
Danny Hill sits in 368th spot. Remember him? Monaco-based ?Hill, 70, ?left Belfast for Australia after school and built a £215 million fortu?ne in property, mining and investments. He was involved in Perth record setting house deals back in the very early 1980s. As Title Tattle once noted Swan River mansion mania is not new. It was the house that theatrical entrepreneur Michael Edgley sold in Dalkeith for $2.1 million in 1979 to Japanese buyers. The Jutland Parade house sold again in 1980 for about $4 million, setting another Australian record through estate agent Willy Porteous, when bought by the mining speculator Danny Hill who at the time operated the El Caballa Blanco in the hills behind Perth. Apparently much of his wealth comes from providing ??housing in Queensland?, the list which has been going since 1989 says.
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