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Published 01 October 2012 05:02, Updated 21 November 2012 07:10
Outward bound ... Young Rich debutants Eddie Machaalani (left) and Mitchell Harper of BigCommerce fame have set up a base in Texas. Photo: Nic Walker
Now it its 10th year, the BRW Young Rich has had 288 members grace its pages with fortunes ranging from $10 million to $1.13 billion.
Several trends have emerged from the 10 years of data. One of the clearest is that more and more successful young entrepreneurs are choosing to base themselves in other countries.
Consider the following: The number of Young Rich members living overseas has risen from nine in the first issue to 23 this year and has increased in all but two years over the past decade.
Australian-born actors are among those who typically will move overseas when their careers take off. Former Young Rich members Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts and Heath Ledger all left Australia to continue their careers in the US.
Some professional sports people choose to live outside Australia. Apart from the sizable tax benefits, they may do so because it ensures their home base is closer to the cities in which their main events are played.
Golfer Adam Scott lives in Switzerland, former world’s best tennis player Lleyton Hewitt lives in the Bahamas and another golfer Karrie Webb lives in Florida.
But over the past 10 years, the proportion of sports people and entertainers on the list has fallen from 21 per cent to 14 per cent.
The main reason for the rise in Young Rich expats is the development of the technology sector. Almost one-quarter (24 per cent) of the Young Rich make money from technology companies. Angel investment opportunities are much greater for technology entrepreneurs in the US, so many choose to base themselves there.
Most go to Silicon Valley (near San Francisco) but some base themselves elsewhere. Young Rich debutants in 2012 Mitchell Harper and Eddie Machaalani have set up a base in Texas, while Patrick Grove lives in both Malaysia and Singapore where he is developing online retail businesses.
“Brain-drain” can have real implications for an economy. The rising numbers of Young Rich members living overseas suggests that more should be done to address the issue and develop incentives to keep young entrepreneurs at home.
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