Richest 250: NSW’s wealthiest person revealed
Meet NSW's richest people. Worth billions and living in homes the rest of us can only dream of, the Richest 250 list dives into their lives to find the secret to their success.
Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar
They own the two most expensive houses on Sydney harbour and at the age of just 41, software sensations Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar are also the wealthiest in the state.
The Atlassian co-founders have chosen to run their global software business Atlassian from their home town, where Cannon-Brookes lives in the $100m Fairwater estate in Point Piper and Farquhar is next door at $73m Elaine.
Cannon-Brookes is the wealthiest person from NSW on the 2021 edition of The List - Australia's Richest 250, published in The Weekend Australian in a special edition magazine.
He just pips Farquhar for the top position in the state with an estimated $21.99bn fortune thanks to a string of private investments he has made outside Atlassian, including several renewable energy ventures and Tyro Payments, a retail payment system.
Cannon-Brookes also owns more than $200m worth of mansions throughout Sydney and surrounds, including beachside property at Palm Beach and a farm in the Southern Highlands.
Farquhar, with wealth of $21.95bn, is the subject of the cover story of The List, revealing the secrets behind his success at Atlassian in a rare interview and what plans he has for the Australian tech scene in the future - including his hope that his company eventually becomes only the 10th biggest of its type in its home country.
Property giant Harry Triguboff is the third wealthiest person from NSW, with a $17.20bn fortune.
Triguboff owns the Meriton apartments business, and is building more than 3000 units along the eastern seaboard and is showing no signs of slowing down at the age of 88.
Meriton also owns thousands of apartments that it rents out and has one of the largest collections of hotel rooms in the country via its large serviced apartments division.
Shopping centre magnate Frank Lowy is fourth of the list of richest people from NSW.
While Lowy has spent the past year in Tel Aviv, where his late wife Shirley died in December, he maintains a mansion in Point Piper and his Lowy Family Group investment company is based in Sydney.
The Lowy family, estimated to be worth $8.82bn exited from the Westfield business he co-founded over two big deals: the offloading of an $815m stake in Scentre Group in 2019 and the buying out of Westfield by Unibail-Rodamco for almost $25bn a year earlier.
Richard White, founder and managing director of logistics software business WiseTech Global, is fifth from NSW with a $4.68bn fortune.
WiseTech shares on the ASX have surged in the past year, as have many other technology stocks.
White is a one-time guitar repairman who worked for The Angels and AC/DC.
SUCCESS IN THE TIME OF COVID
A select group of billionaires had a very good pandemic, even though 2020 was a brutal year for many Australian businesses and families.
The overall wealth of Australia's richest 250 individuals and family groups rose from $377 billion this time last year to $470 billion today.
In the ultra-elite top five, who are all worth more than $20 billion, the biggest slip was Anthony Pratt and family, whose fortune is founded on the Visy packaging empire. It was an excellent year for cardboard (remember all those boxes the postie was slinging over your front fence?), which meant the Pratts' wealth grew by around $5 billion _ but that wasn't enough to keep the Pratts in the coveted top spot.
The Pratts, who today are worth $21.27 billion, slipped from first in 2020 to fifth place because of the breathtaking growth in wealth by the other multi-billionaires.
Leading the charge was mining tycoon Gina Rinehart, who grew her wealth from $16.25b in 2020 to $36.28b today and is now in the number one position.
Rinehart can thank the booming iron ore price (fuelled by China's steelmaking roaring back to life after the initial outbreak), and so can fellow mining magnate Andrew Forrest, in second place with a total wealth of $29.61b (up from $7.43b in 2020).
In third and fourth places are Atlassian founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar are next at $21.99b and $21.95b respectively, each having grown his wealth by more than $9 billion in a year.
The full 2021 edition of The List - Australia's Richest 250 is published Saturday in The Weekend Australian and at www.theaustralian.com.au/rich250
Originally published as Richest 250: NSW's wealthiest person revealed