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Foreigners make debut on Rich List

Published: 5:56PM Thursday July 26, 2012 Source: ONE News

Graeme Hart has been knocked from the top spot as New Zealand's richest person, with foreign investors now populating the Rich List.

While he is still the wealthiest New Zealander, the National Business Review's Rich List now includes international investors.

Taking the top spot, and heading off Hart, is Alexander Abramov who is worth a cool $7 billion. The minerals and steel magnate is building a $40 million luxury waterfront home in the Bay of Islands.

But although Abramov is number one on New Zealand's Rich List, he only comes in at number 189 on Forbes' billionaires list .

Richard Chandler was ranked third - worth $5b. Chandler is one of three New Zealanders to score a place on the Forbes Rich List, and increased his wealth from $4b in 2011.

Bay of Plenty farmers Colin and Dale Armer, filmmaker James Cameron and Auckland-based hoteliers, the Pandey family and the Jhunjhunwala family are new to the list.

Julian Robertson, once considered the "Wizard of Wall Street", sits at number four on the list. A North Carolina born 80-year old, Robertson had a knighthood conferred on him last year and owns three luxury lodges in New Zealand. He has donated a collection of art to the Auckland Art Gallery.

Other internationals include winemaker William Foley who is adding New Zealand wineries to his Californian collection, and Waikato-based horse breeder Dowager Duchess Henrietta Bedford who has extensive property interests throughout New Zealand.

The decision to include foreign investors is to "reflect the globalisation of wealth", according to NBR's editor in chief Nevil Gibson.

It also bumps up the total value of the Rich List rose from $45.2b to $57.7b.

Gibson said the achievements of those on the list should be celebrated, especially when many have lost the bulk of their savings with unwise investments.

"Along with the newcomers to the National Business Review Rich List 2012, we are also seeing billionaires on other country's lists showing an interest in New Zealand and, once they get here on business, they tend to find this a great place for pleasure," he said.

NBR Rich list top 10

1 Alexander Abramov ($7b)

2 Graeme Hart ($6b)

3 Richard Chandler ($5b)

4 Julian Robertson ($3b)

5 Todd family ($2.7b)

6 Christopher Chandler (1.5b)

7 William P Foley ($1.5b)

8 Eamon Cleary ($1.2b)

9 Dowager Duchess Henrietta Bedford ($1b)

10 Goodman family ($950m)