Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

#251 Harry Triguboff $6.48B

Random fact: Named Australia's biggest homebuilder in a 2014 survey.

Overview

Triguboff is managing director and sole owner of Meriton, Australia's biggest apartment developer. He's overseen construction of more than 70,000 apartments, including some of the tallest residential towers in Sydney and Brisbane. The company has built about one in 10 of Sydney’s units, and owns about 3,000 rental apartments.

As of July 28, 2017:
Last change -$19.8M (-0.3%)
YTD change -$1.01B (-13.5%)
Industry Real Estate
Biggest asset Meriton
Citizenship Australia
Age 80
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Harry Triguboff's net worth of $6.48B 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:

Triguboff's fortune is derived from his ownership of Sydney-based apartment developer Meriton. The closely held company had net assets of A$9.6 billion ($7.1 billion) as of June 30, 2016, according to the company, up from A$8.1 billion a year earlier. Meriton is Australia's largest apartment developer, according to its website in April 2017.

The company's valuation is based on its 2016 book value and converted to U.S. dollars at the April 27, 2017 exchange rate. It's been adjusted since April 27, 2017 to reflect changes in the FTSE EPRA/NAREIT Australia Rental Index.

Triguboff declined to comment on his net wealth in April 2017.

Biography

Birthdate: 3/3/1933
Family: Married, 2 children
Education: 1954, University of Leeds, Bachelor's Degree

Harry Triguboff was born in Dalian, China, to Jewish immigrants who fled Russia after the rise of Vladimir Lenin. He grew up in the Russian community of Tianjin, south of Beijing. The family moved to Australia in the year Triguboff turned 15 years old. He went to high school in Sydney at Scots College, and then received a degree in textile engineering at Leeds University in England. After graduating, he worked in textiles businesses in Israel and South Africa, before returning to Australia in 1960.

The billionaire spent his first few years back in Australia running taxi and milk delivery businesses and, in 1963, used a loan to buy a piece of land in the Sydney suburb of Tempe, where he built eight apartments. He was 30 years old and had three employees.

Triguboff parlayed the project into Meriton, today Australia's biggest apartment developer, by building the tallest blocks he could get approval for in the suburbs. He sold shares of Meriton in 1969 on the Australian Securities Exchange, and delisted the company four years later.

He almost gave up on Australia in 1975 after a downturn in the property market curbed demand for real estate, leading him to scale back on construction, sell assets and plan a move to the U.S. Then a site he had purchased for $150,000 received approval for a 30-apartment development, and Triguboff revised his strategy to buy during slumps, sell during booms and only build in areas with infrastructure that can support new development.

Triguboff has received offers from Canada and British pension plans, as well as Chinese investors, to buy part or all of the company. He says he plans to give control of the business to one of his four grandchildren.

The billionaire's Meriton Group was named Australia's biggest home builder in 2014 in a HIA-Colorbond Housing 100 survey after tripling the number of apartments he commenced building in the year to June 30, 2014 to 7,929.

Milestones
  • 1948 Moves to Australia with family and attends high school in Sydney.
  • 1963 Takes a loan to buy first block of land in suburban Sydney.
  • 1974 Buys Meriton shares back after four years of public trading.
  • 2004 Builds World Tower, Sydney's tallest residential building.
  • 2009 Wins legal battle to avoid paying land tax on spare house.
  • 2013 Makes biggest-ever land acquisition.
  • 2013 Looks to grandchildren for a successor after turning 80.
  • 2014 In talks to sell his company to a Chinese buyer.