Wagner family climbs higher on BRW’s list
TOOWOOMBA'S Wagner family ranks at number 14 in BRW's Rich Families list for 2015.
BRW estimates their wealth at $955 million, up from $827 million in 2014. They have moved up two spots from number 16.
The Smorgons remain the richest family in Australia, a position they have held for seven years.
The Smorgons top the 2015 BRW Rich Families list with a wealth of $2.7 billion, with their wealth holding firm from $2.7 billion in 2014.
Number two and three on the list respectively are the Wilson and Liberman families with wealth of $2.6 billion and $2.5 billion.
The top 12 all have billion dollar fortunes.
Combined wealth on the BRW Rich Families list reaches $41.18 billion this year, up from $40.1 billion a year ago and $35 billion the year before.
The average wealth on the list is $824 million per family.
There are three debutants on the list this year, led by Melbourne's Ring family in 31st position with wealth of $440 million. Like many on the list, the Rings' fortune was a long time in the making even though they have quickly burst onto the scene this year after the huge majority sale of the Swisse Wellness vitamins company in September.
The other debutant families are from Perth, where the Caratti family (ranked 47th with wealth of $312 million) has diversified into property after an initial fortune made in earthmoving, and the Cardaci family (50th with $302 million wealth) from the transport sector.
Unlike the billionaires who sit at the top of BRW's Rich 200, a lot of the ultra-wealthy on BRW's Rich Families are not widely recognised.
Low turnover on the BRW Rich Families list is also common, and testament to how good they are at protecting their money. They tend to ride out bumps much more smoothly than most investors.
The Smorgon, Liberman, Besen, Wilson and Myer families have been in the top 10 since 2008.
Australia's richest families invest quietly, which makes BRW's unravelling of their investment secrets all the more valuable.
BRW reveals that the majority of those on this year's Rich Families list are treading a similar path to grow their wealth.
BRW Rich List editor John Stensholt says, "More than 70 per cent of Australian companies identify as family businesses. This year it's interesting to see the shift in investment as many of our wealthiest families move to property to boost their already considerable wealth."
The Baiada family business, known for its Steggles and Lilydale poultry, is on the cusp of making more money from property.