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Generation Rich

This week BRW released the 2006 Rich 200 list. With the death of Kerry Packer there?s a focus change from the regulars at the top of the list to emerging younger generations who have struck it lucky with their choice of parents. James Packer aged 38 now heads the list with $7.1 billion, taking over from his late father who died at 68. Dropping the age of the Packer wealth head by 30 years and 6 other deaths from last years list has brought the wealth weighted average age down from 66 to 64. Oldest remains Transfield founder Franco Bongiorno-Nettis at 90 and youngest is Ross Makris at 36, son of Adelaide property guru Con Makris.

A little older but also a lucky progeny, Gina Reinhard aged 52 has seen her inheritance from WA iron ore magnate Lang Hancock who died at 82, double to $1.8 billion due to Chinese demand doubling the price of iron ore. Gina is ranked 8th in the list and this is the highest for a woman since the list started. There are 9 women in total on the 2006 list with one drop out from 2005, Billabong's Nicole Perrin.

These tales of cascading wealth through generations, are soon to be repeated on smaller scale by individual wealth, but on larger scale by numbers of people. As the baby boomers pass through the escalating mortality curve from age 55, a massive transfer of wealth will occur like never before seen in Australia and without death duties (but with some capital gains tax bills).

Posted Saturday, 20 May 2006

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