IF Harry Triguboff could live anywhere in the world, it would be “where I can work and be happy”.
That’s what the 81-year-old property developer told The AJN this week after being named the richest man in Australia and second richest person in the country, behind Gina Rinehart, worth $US5.6 billion.
The Meriton founder and managing director is among five Jews who made it into the top 10 of this year’s Forbes Australia 50 Richest list.
Speaking to The AJN, Triguboff, whose wealth increased by $US1.3 billion in the last year, said he was “very happy”, and paid tribute to his team.
“It’s really a compliment not only to me, but also to all the guys who work with me,” he said.
It has been a busy time for Triguboff, who continues to purchase more land amid rumours he is to sell all or part of his 100 per cent stake in the company, and in the last financial year tripled housing starts to almost 8000.
Asked what keeps him going, Triguboff said: “I like what I do [and] I surround myself with people that I like to be with.”
He said if you are unhappy with what you do, “don’t do it”.
“When I was 35, I already made some money. People would tell me, ‘why do you still work? You’ve made enough, you can now retire’. But I worked and I was happy. When I was 65, people still told me ‘why do you still work?’, but I would not listen. And today, they tell me that I was very clever that I still worked. This is the attitude that we must adopt; that leads to great success.”
Meanwhile, fellow Jewish businessman Frank Lowy, co-founder of the Westfield Group, jumped three places on the list from last year, now ranked third with a fortune of $US5 billion.
Swiss-based mining magnate Ivan Glasenberg, chief executive officer of Glencore Xstrata, sits on fifth spot on the ladder, worth $US4.4 billion, while Melbourne shopping centre owner John Gandel moved up two spots from last year, taking up sixth spot with $US3.6 billion.
Global chairman of Pratt and Visy Industries, Anthony Pratt, is seventh on the list, worth $US3.5 billion.
Other Jews who made the rankings are Melbourne-based property developer Maurice Alter at number 19, worth $US1.2 billion, and retailer Solomon Lew, who placed 30th on the list with a fortune of $US980 million.
Meriton boss Harry Triguboff has been named the richest man in Australia, worth $US5.6 billion. Photo: Jeremy Kinstlinger