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Australians hop onto UK rich list

Hedge fund manager Michael Hintze has cracked the £1 billion ($1.8 billion) mark for the first time in The Sunday Times's list of the 1000 richest people in Britain, heading a field of 13 entrepreneurs with connections to Australia.

Sir Michael, who grew up and studied in Sydney, is estimated to be worth £1.06 billion by The Times, making him the 92nd wealthiest person in the United Kingdom.

A prominent donor to the Conservative Party, Sir Michael was appointed to the international advisory board of the financial system inquiry set up by Treasurer Joe Hockey.

The former Australian Army officer founded London-based hedge fund CQS in 1999 and is one of the highest-paid people in the city.

The Times's rich list includes other Australians, including former PFD Food Services owner Richard Smith and Perth prospector Mark Creasy.

Sir Michael is a regular on the list, having appeared in 95th position last year. He has made headlines in England for his charity, including a £5 million donation to the National History Museum this year.


The list suggests Britain's rich are getting richer. "The wealthiest 1000 people in Britain today, including 104 billionaires, are worth £518.9 billion, up 15.4 per cent from the previous high of £449.65 billion last year," The Times reports. "Their total wealth has reached one-third of UK GDP – the value of all the goods and services we produce."

Among the billionaires and multimillionaires are former Beatle Paul McCartney and new wife Nancy Shevell (£710m), chef Jamie Oliver and wife Jools Oliver (£240m), Queen Elizabeth (£330m) and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling (£570m). Rowling is the only woman on the list to make a vast fortune in her own right.

Australians who made the grade:

92. Sir Michael Hintze – £1.06b

Sir Michael continues his rise up the list, cracking the exclusive billionaires' club following a £155 million rise. His CQS fund now has £750 billion under management and he owns extensive tracts of land in Australia.

198. Rick Smith and family – £503m

A Scottish immigrant who arrived in Australia in 1959, Mr Smith joined PFD Food Services as a salesman and driver. By 1998, he had bought out the business from his partners, including Melbourne's Liberman family. PFD is a low-key but lucrative business that supplies cafes and restaurants with about 2500 products. The Times reckons Mr Smith co-owns 70 racehorses. He is a new entry in the list.

241. Mark Creasy – £425m

Mr Creasy's wealth may be down £75 million, according to The Times, but he is still worth the best part of $1 billion. Australia's most successful prospector collected $28 million in cash and 70 million shares in Sirius Resources in February after the nickel junior took full ownership of the Nova and Bollinger deposits in Western Australia. Mr Creasy once likened his wealth, rather cryptically, to a "nail sticking out a very long way and I suggest you get a hammer and drive it in nearly the whole way".

342. Graham Tuckwell – £273m

Mr Tuckwell made headlines in Australia last year when he donated $50 million to the Australian National University to set up a local version of the Rhodes Scholarship. He lives in the UK but grew up in Canberra, where he studied at ANU. His considerable fortune comes from his exchange-traded fund company, ETF Securities. An ETF allows investors to trade commodities on the sharemarket.

364. Hilton Nathanson – £253m

A graduate of the University of Western Australia, Mr Nathanson moved to London to work in finance. He was hired by Michael Hintze – then at ­Goldman Sachs – as an analyst. After a few years, he struck out on his own, event­ually setting up Marble Bar in 2002 with friend Gilad Hayeem. Marble Bar now has £69.4 billion in assets under management. The Times estimated his wealth grew by £103 million over the past year.

391. Tony and Christina Quinn – £246m

You might not have heard of the Quinns, but you will know Darrell Lea – the much-loved chocolate company they saved from extinction. Their main business, however, was V.I.P. Petfoods, which was sold to private equity in 2011 for about $400 million. The Scottish-born couple emigrated to Australia in 1980. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Tony Quinn grew up in a family that struggled to make ends meet. They lived in a homemade caravan in Scotland and, as a boy, Tony would help his father make pet food.

405. Danny Hill – £233 million

The Times has added an extra £18 million to Mr Hill's fortune, although he has slipped 37 places this year. A resident of Monaco since 2003, the Irish-born Mr Hill made his first fortune in mining in WA during the 1970s nickel boom before turning his hand to property development. BRW notes much of his wealth is now in Chardan Development Group, which has been developing housing and commercial estates, primarily on the Sunshine Coast, since the 1990s.

458. Bill Paterson – £200 million

The Scottish-born Mr Paterson made his fortune with the Australian engineering firm WorleyParsons. He is no longer an executive director at the firm, but retains a stake.

514. Frank Timis – £180 million

Mr Timis suffered a $1 billion slump in his personal wealth in 2013 when shares in his African Petroleum were sold off. But the London-based entrepreneur is still worth £180 million, according to The Times. Mr Timis fled Romania for Australia in 1980.

545. Chris Ellis – £173 million

Born in Liverpool, Mr Ellis struck it rich when he was part of the group that bought an Australian arm of Italian energy company Agip for $30 million back in 1993. Just over a decade later – and renamed Excel Coal – it was bought for $1.8 billion.

571. Russell Staley – £160 million

A new entry on the list, Mr Staley was another early-stage employee at WorleyParsons. He has retired, but retains a stake.

739. Seumas Dawes – £124 million

Mr Dawes sold £17 million worth shares in Ashmore Group – ANZ Banking Group's old emerging-markets business – but still retains a stake. A London-based banker, he also owns property in Sydney.

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