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# 77 Andrew Forrest $20.8B

Random fact: Was nicknamed "Twiggy" as a child by his brother David.


Forrest is the founder and largest shareholder of Fortescue Metals Group, an Australian iron ore producer. The Perth-based miner shipped almost 190 million tonnes of iron ore from the Pilbara region in the year to June 30, 2022. Fortescue reported revenue of $17.4 billion in the same 12-month period.

As of :
Last change +$417M ( +2.0%)
YTD change -$308M ( -1.5%)
Biggest asset FMG AU Equity
Country / Region Australia
Age 61
Industry Commodities
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Net Worth Summary

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The majority of Forrest's fortune is derived from a 36.7% stake in Fortescue Metals Group. He owns the shares through Tattarang, Forrest Family Investments and directly, according to its annual report for the year to June 30, 2022. 

Fortescue shipped 189 million tonnes of iron ore in the same year, according to its annual report.

The value of his cash investments includes funds within Tattarang and is based on an analysis of dividends, taxes and market performance. Squadron Energy, part of Tattarang, agreed to acquire CWP Renewables in a December 2022 in a A$4 billion ($2.7 billion) deal.

The billionaire also owns a stake in Poseidon Nickel, according to the company's annual report.


Andrew Forrest's ancestors include Sir John Forrest, an explorer and the first premier of Western Australia, and Sir John's brothers Alexander and David. Their 19th-century expeditions in the outback led the pioneering family to settle at Minderoo Station, a cattle and sheep ranch of more than half a million acres surrounded by the Pilbara, a 193,000-square-mile desert arcing into the Indian Ocean.

The farm was handed down through surviving generations. Andrew, nicknamed Twiggy, was born in 1961 and grew up on the ranch, which was managed by his father Donald. Forrest recalls a difficult life at Minderoo. As a toddler, he was lost one day after slipping through a homestead fence and falling through a cattle grate. Suffering from hours of sunburn, the two-year-old was rescued by the ranch's head stockman and Aboriginal leader Scotty Black. Forrest credits Black as his mentor. 

In the remote outback, Forrest and his siblings started their education through a shortwave radio program called School of the Air. He was later sent to a boarding school in Perth and worked as a jackeroo, or farmhand, at Minderoo. His father sold Minderoo Station due to drought and mounting debt in 1998. Forrest bought it back in 2009.

He graduated from the University of Western Australia, and became a stockbroker. After noticing that the demand for stainless steel was rising at 4 percent a year, he quit stockbroking and got into nickel mining in 1995 through a company he founded, Anaconda Nickel. The company needed more than $1 billion in financing to build a nickel plant in the desert called Murrin Murrin. The plant would need to crush 3 million metric tons of rock a year using 5,000 instruments and specialized vats to mix the ore with water and acid under high pressure. He sought funding from mining giants Glencore, which invested $280 million, and Anglo American, which provided $200 million.

Forrest attracted $400 million from high-yield bond investors in the US. Over the years, the high costs and complexities involved in nickel production led to losses and Forrest was ousted.

His next project was Allied Mining & Processing, which had rights to iron ore in the Pilbara. Forrest took control of Allied in April 2013, renamed it Fortescue and began adding adjoining mining leases on flatland that BHP and Rio Tinto had ignored. He was denied the use of BHP and Rio railways to ship the ore, so he built his own.

Fortescue had made its first shipment to China by May 2008. Fortescue increased its capacity to 155 million tonnes a year through a $9.2 billion expansion in 2014.

By 2022, Fortescue was shipping about 190 million tonnes of iron ore annually. In the same year Forrest became Australia's biggest renewable energy investor when his closely held company Squadron Energy acquired CWP Renewables in a A$4 billion ($2.7 billion) deal.

  • 1961 Born in Perth, Australia, to an outback cattle rancher.
  • 1982 Graduates from university after studying economics and politics.
  • 1985 Works as a stockbroker at Kirke Securities.
  • 1995 Starts Anaconda Nickel, attracts project financing.
  • 2003 Sets up Fortescue after standing down as CEO at Anaconda Nickel.
  • 2008 Fortescue loads first iron ore shipment to China.
  • 2009 Buys back family farm, Minderoo.
  • 2012 Wins High Court case against Australia's securities regulator.

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