Who is the Richest Person in New Zealand Today?

• Richest Person: Graeme Hart

• Age: 68

• Net Worth: $10.4 Billion

• Rank: 213

• Source of Wealth: Packaging, Self Made

• Residence: Auckland, New Zealand

• Marital Status: Married

• Children: 2

Graeme Hart
Graeme Hart

With a net worth of $9.7 billion, Graeme Hart is the richest person in New Zealand. He keeps a low-key media presence while steadily accumulating assets like Reynolds Packaging and Evergreen Packaging.

His specialty is reviving cash-positive, undervalued businesses, with a focus on paper packaging. His investment company, Rank Group, has substantial holdings across a number of sectors. Hart continues to sculpt his vast portfolio through well-timed sales and acquisitions, bringing Walter & Wild into the New Zealand food industry and expanding his influence.

Graeme Hart Early Life and Education

On March 3, 1955, Graeme Hart was born in Auckland, New Zealand. He worked as a panel beater and tow truck driver after dropping out of school at the age of 16.

Hart graduated with an MBA from the University of Otago in 1987. His research thesis describes the plan that Rank, a small hiring company at the time, used to grow into a significant organization. This tactic, also known as leveraged buyouts, is based on leveraging the cash flow of profitable businesses to finance debt, which as it is repaid raises the initial investors' equity value.

Graeme Hart Career

When he was sixteen, Graeme Hart left school and worked several manual jobs to support his family. In addition to driving taxis, he was a tow truck driver. He launched Hart Printing and Office Supplies, his own printing company, in 1977 because he was fed up and set high goals for himself. The company was operating efficiently, but Hart's ambition was not met by the pace.

In the 1990s, Graeme Hart went through about six business changes before deciding on Rank Commercials. At this point, Hart returned to school and completed his MBA at the University of Otago in order to support his growing family.

When he bought 20% of Burns, Phillips, and Co. in 1997, the business was on the verge of bankruptcy, and that's when he nearly lost everything. He revived a dead rat and convinced lenders to stall loans, shining brightly like the sun and bringing the company back to life. Hart moved his interest offshore in 2003 and started expressing his desire to buy and sell again. He changed his focus to the packaging industry and has succeeded there with ease.

He is renowned for appreciating his privacy just as highly as his wealth, keeping a close-knit group of friends and a devoted and talented staff. His social circle keeps his affairs just as private. He has a reputation for being the whole while staying out of the spotlight. Nevertheless, he created his own little niche in the world and sold toilet paper and trash bags rather than iPhones because that's what he liked.

Graeme Hart's Personal Life

Graeme Hart and granddaughter
Graeme Hart and granddaughter

Graeme Hart has two kids and is married. He lives in Waiheke Island, Queenstown, and Auckland, among other places in New Zealand. In addition, he owns two properties in Aspen, Colorado, and an island in Fiji.

Graeme Hart is renowned for leading a quiet and sedate life. He rarely appears in public and would rather avoid the media. He owns multiple opulent yachts and is an avid yachtsman. In addition, Hart is a generous donor who has contributed significantly to a number of causes, such as disaster relief and education.

Graeme Hart's Net Worth and Salary

His estimated net worth as of March 2024 was $10.49 billion USD. Like other private equity investors who engage in leveraged buyouts (LBOs), Hart is drawn to undervalued, underperforming companies that have consistent cash flows and can be improved through cost-cutting, business restructuring, and improved cash management.

Ever since he acquired Carter Holt Harvey in 2006, he has concentrated his acquisitions in the paper packaging industry. His greatest acquisition to date was the 2008 US$2.7 billion purchase of Alcoa's Packaging & Consumer group, which was subsequently renamed Reynolds Packaging Group. He does not oversee his companies directly; instead, he focuses primarily on financing necessary for re-capitalization.

Top 10 New Zealanders Richest Persons

Rank Name Net worth (NZD) Source of wealth
1 Graeme Hart $10.4 billion Rank Group
2 Todd family $4.3 billion Todd Corporation
3 Goodman family $3.5 billion Investments all around the world
4 Nick Mowbray and family $3 billion ZURU
5 Michael Friedlander $2.1 billion Investments
6 Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh $1.7 billion Film producer and screenwriter
7 Talley family $1.6 billion Talley's Group
8 Bruce Plested $1.45 billion Chairman and founder of Mainfreight
9 Rod Drury $1.3 billion Tech entrepreneur
10 Bob Jones $1.1 billion Investor

Graeme Hart's Interesting Facts

• He is a qualified pilot and owns several aircraft.

• He is a keen art collector and owns a significant collection of New Zealand art.

• He is a member of the exclusive Bohemian Club in San Francisco.

• He has been described as a "reclusive billionaire" and a "man of mystery".

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