Andrew Heathcote Rich Lists editor

Andrew is BRW's Rich lists editor and is responsible for the Rich 200 and Young Rich flagship issues. He also reports on matters relating to wealth and investment for BRW and The Australian Financial Review.

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Top 10 Rich Bosses: Australia’s richest executives

Published 03 April 2013 14:56, Updated 03 April 2013 15:04

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Meet the 10 top-earning Australian executives for 2013.

1. Rupert Murdoch

NYT

Value of shares: $9.13 billion

2012 value: $6.01 billion

Company: News Corporation

Role: Executive chairman

Total remuneration: $29,424,965

Like his many shareholders, Rupert Murdoch has enjoyed strong gains over the past 12 months as News Corp’s cable television and entertainment group pushes earnings growth. The impending break-up of the company will threaten Murdoch’s grasp on the top spot next year. Murdoch also takes the biggest salary ($29 million) of anyone on the list.

2. James Packer

Photo: Rob Homer

Value of shares: $4.34 billion

2012 value: $2.81 billion

Company: Crown Limited

Role: Executive chairman

Total remuneration: $0

James Packer is coming off one of his best years as head of the Packer family fortune. The global diversification of Crown’s casino business has paid off as he continues to seek new opportunities, including a new casino at Sydney’s Barangaroo. News Corp completed a takeover of Packer’s other big asset, Consolidated Media Holdings, late last year in a $2 billion deal.

3. Kerry Stokes

Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Value of shares: $2.3 billion

2012 value: $1.77 billion

Company: Seven Group Holdings

Role: Executive chairman

Total remuneration: $349,000

Long-time Rich 200 member Kerry Stokes continues to boost his wealth. His Seven Group shareholding is up 30 per cent on last year. The growth stands in stark contrast to the performance of other television networks. In March, it was revealed Stokes had spent about $40 million buying almost 5 per cent of Ten Network’s shares. Seven Group also holds Stokes’s heavy machinery business WesTrac.

4. Kerr Neilson

Photo: Nic Walker

Value of shares: $1.64 billion

2012 value: $1.18 billion

Company: Platinum Asset Management

Role: Managing director

Total remuneration: $448,062

Top fund manager Kerr Neilson has bounced back after suffering a $335 million loss to his executive wealth last year. Neilson’s stake in Platinum Asset Management is up 38.9 per cent to $1.64 billion after improved performances at the listed hedge funds business. Platinum has about $15 billion in funds under management.

5. Gerry Harvey

Photo: Nic Walker

Value of shares: $818.2 million

2012 value: $643.1 million

Company: Harvey Norman

Role: Executive chairman

Total remuneration: $1,035,000

The rise in Gerry Harvey’s executive wealth is welcome news for the Harvey Norman boss. Harvey has been a leading flag-bearer for the traditional retail sector as it seeks to stave off competition from online operators. Earnings growth remains elusive at Harvey Norman but the company retains a $2 billion property portfolio and is well positioned to benefit from any upswing in consumer sentiment.

6. David Teoh

Value of shares: $743.6 million

2012 value: $438.9 million

Company: TPG Telecom

Role: Executive chairman

Total remuneration: $1,751,795

Not to be outdone by his wife Vicky, who BRW recently named the richest self-made woman in the country, David Teoh has risen up the Rich Bosses list with $734.6 million in executive wealth. Ranked 10th last year, Teoh rises to sixth on the back of strong growth at TPG Telecom, which is proving to be one of the big winners from consolidation in the telecommunications industry.

7. Len Ainsworth

Photo: Sasha Woolley

Value of shares: $670.4 million

2012 value: N/A

Company: Ainsworth Game Technology

Role: Executive chairman

Total remuneration: $267,500

Perhaps the most noteworthy achievement on this year’s Rich Bosses list, Len Ainsworth is the highest debutant after rapid growth at Ainsworth Game Technology. The listed poker machine company wasn’t among the 300 ­­biggest companies on the ASX 12 months ago but has since become a billion dollar company.

8. Alan Wilson

Value of shares: $528.1 million

2012 value: $411.7 million

Company: Reece Australia

Role: Executive chairman

Total remuneration: $1,501,587

Alan Wilson runs listed plumbing supplies business Reece Australia, which is one of the most “private” listed businesses on the ASX. Wilson and his brothers Bruce and John, who also hold large amounts of Reece stock, maintain very low profiles despite being worth $1.4 billion on last year’s BRW Rich 50 Families list. Earnings forecasts at Reece were lowered last year due to a slowdown in the housing market.

9. Peter Bond

Photo: Glenn Hunt

Value of shares: $508.6 million

2012 value: $271.9 million

Company: Linc Energy

Role: Chief executive

Total remuneration: $873,081

Peter Bond rises to ninth from 14th last year on the back of strong share price growth at the company he founded, Linc Energy. Media outlets sent Linc shares surging in January after reporting news of a $20 trillion oil find, despite suggestions from Bond that the reserve had been overvalued.

10. Graham Turner

Photo: Glenn Hunt

Value of shares: $494.6 million

2012 value: $319.4 million

Company: Flight Centre

Role: Managing director

Total remuneration: $689,272

Graham Turner’s listed travel agency Flight Centre is performing well despite rising competition from cut-price operators. The group made $91 million profit over the six months to December 31, 2012, which was 6.7 per cent up on the previous corresponding period and demonstrates Turner’s ability to grow the business in difficult conditions.

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