Ore growth puts Twiggy on top

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor -

FORTESCUE Metal Group’s founder Andrew ‘‘ Twiggy’’ For­rest has been pro­pelled to the top of a na­tional ex­e­cut i ve rich l i st, t hanks t o China’s in­sa­tiable ap­petite for Aus­tralian iron ore

Mr For­rest is the nation’s wealth­i­est ex­ec­u­tive with share­hold­ings val­ued at $ 6.23 bil­lion, up from $ 4.79 bil­lion last year, ac­cord­ing to BRW mag­a­zine.

The an­nual BRW Ex­ec­u­tive Rich List names the 200 rich­est ex­ec­u­tive direc­tors and se­nior man­agers of Aus­tralia’s 500 big­gest pub­licly listed com­pa­nies.

It is based on or­di­nary shares share­hold­ings in the com­pa­nies they man­age.

Fortescue’s chief ex­ec­u­tive traded places with last year’s num­ber one, me­dia baron Ru­pert Mur­doch.

The News Cor­po­ra­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive’s share­hold­ings were $ 5.68 bil­lion, down from $ 5.96 bil­lion pre­vi­ously.

The wealth of the 200 ex­ec­u­tives on the list has in­creased by nearly 75 per cent. Nearly half of the busi­ness man­agers ran re­sources or min­ing com­pa­nies, sup­port­ing the the­ory of a re­sources boom-led two-speed econ- omy. ‘‘ The preva­lence of min­ers on this year’s list demon­strates the chang­ing shape of our share mar­ket,’’

BRW said. ‘‘ There has been a lot of talk lately about a two-speed econ­omy and this year’s list sup­ports this.’’

Mr For­rest topped the over­all rich list in 2008 be­fore his wealth was hit by the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

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