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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Young Rich 2013: The secret millionaires behind big brands

Published 19 September 2013 08:08, Updated 20 September 2013 08:12

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Young Rich 2013: The secret millionaires behind big brands

Since the first store opened in Sydney in 2000, Max Brenner has grown to more than 30 outlets, with more on the way. Photo: Janie Barrett

This year’s group of Young Rich members is an eclectic mix of celebrities and hard-working entrepreneurs who have well-known businesses but little public profile themselves.

Sport and entertainment industries provide 17 of the 100 names on the Young Rich list, which is topped by software entrepreneurs Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar. UK-based singer and reality television star Peter Andre and model Miranda Kerr debut, as do cricketer Ricky Ponting and former MotoGP rider Casey Stoner.

Full list

Many others on the list are not household names, despite running well-known businesses. Here are some of them.

Max Brenner chocolate shops

Lilly and Tom Haikin

Lilly and Tom Haikin hold the Australian franchise rights to the chocolate shop/cafe chain Max Brenner. The Max Brenner brand was created in 1996 by two young chocolatiers, Max Fichtman and Oded Brenner, who built a small chain of chocolate shops in Israel. At a chance meeting with Brenner in 1999, Tom Haikin suggested broadening the Max Brenner branding into “chocolate bar” cafes, and secured the Australian rights for the new concept. From a single café opened in Sydney’s Paddington in 2000, the Haikins now have 32 outlets, with three more opening in October. The Australian operation employs more than 300 people and turned over more than $50 million last year. Wealth: $40 million.

True Value Solar

Gavin Fernandez

Malaysian-born Gavin Fernandez co-founded Australia’s biggest solar retailer, True Value Solar (TVS), which supplies and installs solar panels for residential and commercial clients. Since it was started in a garage in the inner Melbourne suburb of Abbotsford in 2009, TVS has completed more than 60,000 installations. Government rebates helped the business grow quickly. Staff numbers went from 14 to 240 and annual turnover rose to about $200 million by the end of calendar 2011. In March 2011, German engineering company M+W purchased a 65 per cent stake in TVS for “north of $100 million”. It has since acquired the remaining stake. Wealth: $28 million.

Crust Gourmet Pizza

Costa Anastasiadis and Michael Logos

Cousins Costa Anastasiadis and Michael Logos hit their big payday in August last year, selling the 119-store Crust Gourmet Pizza chain to listed food brands company Retail Food Group. The original deal involved $21 million cash plus $3 million in shares and a second payment following the first year’s performance. Anastasiadis opened his first Crust outlet in Annandale in Sydney’s inner west in 2001. Logos opened one in Melbourne the following year and a chain was born. Wealth: $26 million.

Fruit Ninja

Shainiel Deo and Daniel Vogt

Shainiel Deo and Daniel Vogt are the founders and owners of mobile app developer Halfbrick Studios. Deo is Halfbrick’s chief executive officer and the only founder remaining at the studio. Vogt, formerly its chief designer, left the company two years ago. More than 500 million copies of its most popular game, Fruit Ninja, have been downloaded since its launch two years ago, 200 million of them in China alone, including 50 million active users every month. Wealth: $69 million.

Jetts Fitness

Brendon Levenson

Brendon Levenson pioneered the concept of no-frills, 24/7 gyms in Australia when he opened his first Jetts Fitness club on the Gold Coast in 2007. Five years of explosive growth later, Jetts is a franchised network with more than 200 sites in Australia and a further 50 in New Zealand. In 2012, the chain turned over $74 million and plans to grow to 350 clubs in Australasia by the end of next year. An expansion into the Asia-Pacific region and Europe is planned. Wealth: $20 million.

Here are the top five members of the Young Rich and the companies behind their fortunes.

1. and 2. Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, Atlassian. Wealth: $550 million.

3. Simon Clausen, Freelancer.com and PC Tools. Wealth: $350 million.

4. Ruslan Kogan, Kogan. Wealth: $315 million.

5. Mark Ackroyd, National Plant & Equipment. Wealth: $280 million.

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