Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#364 Frank Lowy $5.17B

Random fact: Formed Lowy Institute, a foreign policy think tank based in Sydney.

Overview

Lowy is the founder of Westfield and Scentre, mall and shopping center businesses with combined assets of more than $43 billion. Both companies are publicly traded and based in Sydney. Lowy owns 9.5 percent of Westfield and 4.1 percent of Scentre, which was created in 2014 after a merger involving Westfield Retail Trust.

As of Oct. 17, 2017:
Last change -$821k (-0.0%)
YTD change +$84.9M (+1.7%)
Industry Real Estate
Biggest asset Cash
Citizenship Australia
Age 83
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Frank Lowy's net worth of $5.17B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Lowy's fortune is derived from proceeds received from Westfield, a shopping mall operator. Lowy has a 9.5 percent stake in the publicly traded company, and 4.1 percent of publicly traded spin-off Scentre Group, according to their 2016 annual reports. The two companies had more than A$59 billion ($43 billion) of assets as of Dec. 31, 2016, according to the reports.

He shares his stakes in the businesses with his sons Peter and Steven, according to these documents. He's credited with all of the shares to reflect his role as founder of both companies.

The value of his cash investments includes investment proceeds held by his family investment company LFG Holdings and is based on an analysis of dividends, market performance, investments, taxes and charitable contributions. Anita Sulentic, a spokesperson for Wesftfield, confirmed Lowy's stakes in the public companies without commenting further.

Biography

Birthdate: 1930
Family: Married, 3 children

Frank Lowy was born in the industrial town of Fil'akovo, Slovakia, on Oct. 22, 1930, one of a traveling salesman's four children. Lowy's father died at Auschwitz, and he spent World War II living in Budapest until Germany’s defeat in 1945. He moved to Palestine as a teenager after the war, volunteered for the Haganah Zionist army and fought in the First Arab-Israeli War.

He moved to Australia in 1952, following his mother and sister, and took a job working a grinding machine in a toolmaking factory. He teamed up with another Holocaust survivor, John Saunders, to open a deli in a Sydney suburb, in 1955. The partners became property developers when they borrowed from a local bank manager and used profits from the deli and a coffee shop they owned to buy farmland. They created Westfield Investments, taking the name from its location in Sydney and the field they were subdividing.

The billionaire developed retail real estate throughout Australia and expanded to the U.S. in 1977 when he paid $21 million for a Trumbull, Connecticut shopping mall.

Lowy made a rare departure from the retail property sector in 1981 when he paid Rupert Murdoch A$842 million for Australia’s smallest national TV network and some other media assets. When he sold out three years later, investors lost A$450 million and Lowy was down A$100 million.

Malls proved much more lucrative for Lowy and having built the world's biggest shopping center empire, he stepped down as executive chairman of Westfield in 2011. His sons Peter and Steven were appointed joint managing directors while Lowy became non-executive chairman.

Following a 2010 restructure of Westfield whereby some of its Australian and New Zealand properties were put in a new publicly traded entity -- Westfield Retail -- a further restructure was announced in 2013 leading to the creation of Scentre and the new Westfield. Lowy remains a major shareholder of both companies, which trade on the Australian Securities Exchange. Another son, David, manages the family's closely held investment company, LFG Holdings.

Away from Westfield, Lowy is chairman of the Football Federation Australia and played a big role in Australia's unsuccessful attempt at bidding for the right to host the World Cup in 2022. He and his wife, Shirley, live in a four-story harborfront mansion in Sydney.

Milestones
  • 1930 Frank Lowy is born in Fil'akovo, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia).
  • 1952 Emigrates to Australia with just one suitcase.
  • 1955 Starts delicatessen in Sydney suburb as first foray into retail.
  • 1960 Westfield goes public on the Australia's stock exchange.
  • 2000 Westfield makes first foray into the U.S. market.
  • 2003 Appointed chairman of Football Federation of Australia.
  • 2011 Becomes non-executive chairman at Westfield, after more than 50 years as CEO.
  • 2016 Steps down as chairman of Westfield spin-off Scentre.