NBR Rich List 2015: The Newcomers

Sir Russell Coutts

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This year saw a record number of newcomers since the NBR Rich List threshold was raised to $50 million a half-decade ago.

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The 2015 newcomers are:

1. Malcolm Dick ($150 million) 

IT innovator and consumer champion Malcolm Dick bounced back on to the NBR Rich List this year after selling Callplus – the company he co-founded in 1996 and now New Zealand’s third largest telco and broadband provider – to Australia’s M2 for $250 million. Read his full profile here.

2. Craig Thompson ($150 million) 

Radio, retirement, retail – Wellington-based Craig Thompson is a quiet but canny investor whose business nous has been applied across a broad spectrum of New Zealand enterprise – to good effect. Read his full profile here

3. Forbes Elworthy ($120 million) 

When it comes to promoting farming investment in New Zealand, Craigmore Sustainables chief executive Forbes Elworthy could hardly have a better pedigree. Read his full profile here.

4. Steven Newman ($100 million) 

Eroad chief executive Steve Newman catapulted into Rich List contention following last year’s sharemarket float of the company in which he and wife Collette have retained a holding of more than 27%. Read his full profile here.

5. Ross and Dallas Pendergrast  ($90 million) 

Breathing life back into tired retail areas and then selling them on has not only made Ross and Dallas Pendergrast a lot of money, it has also generated a lot of fun. So, despite their recent sale of the newly renovated Pakuranga Plaza for $96 million last year, the couple has no immediate plans to hit the pause button. Read the couple full profile here.

6. Annette Presley ($90 million) 

Technology has been the source of Annette Presley’s wealth but the feisty battler who grew up on the straitened streets of South Auckland is now stepping out into the world of high fashion on New York’s Madison Avenue. Read her full profile here.

7. Andrew and Sarah Cox ($75 million) 

Hospitality, food, beer – and now rugby: Melbourne-based Kiwi Andrew Cox is getting all of life’s essentials lined up in an investment portfolio whose diverse businesses employ at least 700 people and generate annual revenues of over $100 million. Read the couple full profile here.

8. Adriaan and Wilma van Leeuwen ($65 million) 

Robots, rubber-floored stalls, cows that live indoors and choose when to be milked – South Canterbury farming couple Adriaan and Wilma van Leeuwen are busy pioneering new frontiers in New Zealand’s dairy industry. Read the couple full profile here.

9. Hurst Family ($60 million) 

North Otago has its share of quiet achievers who may drive a lot of the local economy but prefer to stick behind the wheel of their trusty old stationwagons and stay low key – that’s according to Doug Hurst, one of several Hurst family members who could fit that description. Read the family full profile here.

10. Christopher Reeve  ($55 million) 

He likes to refer to himself as a “simple farmer” – and certainly did the hard yards as a shearer then sharemilker back in the 1960s and 1970s – but Waiheke Island-based Chris Reeve has long lost the “poor” tag that he reckons was once an accepted part of that description. Read his full profile here.

11. Brent and Denise Sutton  ($55 million) 

It’s with a note of regret that the visionary entrepreneur who founded the Sutton Group – recently sold to French food giant Danone – points out that he’s “managed to fly under the radar” for nearly 30 years. Read the couple full profile here.

12. Sir Russell Coutts  ($50 million) 

He is reputed to be this country’s top-paid sportsman with a $13 million annual salary from Oracle Team USA – plus the odd winner’s bonus for helping his team secure yachting’s top prize, the America’s Cup, in 2013.  But Sir Russell also has multi-million dollar property holdings spread from Whangaparaoa to Queenstown. Read his full profile here.

13. Paul Doole ($50 million) 

Credited with being one of the first developers to spot the huge potential for inner city apartments in Auckland, Paul Doole has certainly been involved in a fair share of them. Read his full profile here.

14. Hamish Kennedy ($50 million) 

Innovation and teamwork are key ingredients behind the growth of what is one of New Zealand’s most successful technology-driven companies, according to Compac Sorting Equipment’s founder and managing director. Read his full profile here.

15. Maber Family ($50 million) 

It has been described as Waikato’s “first family of agricultural machinery” and, with a 30-year history in the game, a thriving transtasman enterprise and sales nudging the $400 million mark, the Maber family has certainly earned its primacy in the field. Read the family full profile here.

See the full NBR Rich List here

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5 Comments & Questions

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Why, when it is joint wealth, are the women always mentioned second?

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Because, I am embarrassed to admit, we hadn't thought about it. In some cases it is alphabetical (of the Christian names): in other cases we just hadn't thought about it. But from now on, we will.

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Very good question .. Why are women placed second when they are probably the initiators?

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I happen to know one of the above couple's rather well and I can tell you, that if not for the bloke in her life, the woman would not be on the rich list. This is not a detraction of her (aka women) in any way, but the absolute fact it was the bloke who was the brains behind the operation(s), which made them their fortune. The lady had already done well in business for herself and she has always had, and always will have, my respect.

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Not a single insolvency practitioner.

Disappointing.

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