Technology entrepreneurs and Atlassian founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar have ousted one-time mining billionaire Nathan Tinkler from the No.1 spot in BRW's Young Rich in a stark demonstration of the changing fortunes of Australia's mining elite.
Tinkler relinquishes the mantle of the wealthiest young Australian for the first time since 2009 following a dramatic collapse in his wealth from $1.13 billion this time last year to just $400 million.
The former billionaire has splurged massive sums of money on a wide range of investments and is believed to have spent up to $300 million on a stable of racehorses with limited success in winning major races.
The Young Rich 2012
Technology leads the way in the BRW Young Rich List in 2012 as Mining industry magate Nathan Tinkler drops to 2nd spot. Photo: Louise Kennerley
Entities associated with Tinkler have also encountered trouble in recent months, with Queensland coal developer Blackwood and property developer Mirvac among those chasing private companies associated with the mining millionaire.
His decline, which is equivalent to losing $2 million a day over the past 12 months, is enough to put Tinkler behind Atlassian's Cannon-Brookes and Farquhar, who move into the top spot with a shared fortune of $480 million, up from $360 million in 2011.
The relegation of someone from the resources sector by a pair of tech-upstarts hints at a broader trend on the Young Rich: resources are cooling as a way of making vast amounts of money, while technology is still heating up.
Nathan Tinkler falls to number 2 on BRW's 2012 Young Rich list. Photo: Martyn Rushby
Twenty-four of the 100 rich youngsters on the prestigious list, which tracks the wealthiest Australians aged under 41, made their fortunes in technology. Two of the top five spots are occupied by tech entrepreneurs.
Cannon-Brookes and Farquhar, who were ranked No.4 in the 2011 Young Rich, founded the software development company, Atlassian, straight out of university in 2002.
The company, whose customers include Coca-Cola, eBay, Microsoft, Nike and Ikea, shot to fame in 2010 when it secured a $60 million investment from Silicon Valley venture capital fund Accel Partners.
Cannon-Brookes and Farquhar have since grown the enterprise software developer into a business that employs 530 people around the world, turned over $102 million last year and serves as an inspiration to many young Australian technology entrepreneurs.
PC Tools founder Simon Clausen takes fourth place with wealth of $230 million, behind No.3 ranked Mark Ackroyd, who amassed his $290 million fortune in infrastructure services.
Mining services multimillionaire Ashley Fraser ($195 million) ranks fifth for 2012.