The South African billionaire climbing Australia’s rich list

Australian newspaper, the Financial Review, has published its list of the 200 richest people in the country, which includes South African-born businessman, Ivan Glasenberg.

Glaseneberg, who retired as resources giant Glencore’s chief executive officer in June this year, ranks 13th on the list, with an estimated net worth of A$7.39 billion (R82 billion).

This is up from 16th position in 2020, where his wealth was recorded at A$4.54 billion (R52 billion, at the time).

Glaseneberg was born in South Africa, but has since moved to Switzerland – precluding him from most local rich lists. He is also not listed among local billionaires in global rankings like the Forbes or Bloomberg billionaire lists.

He has retained his South African citizenship, while adding Australia and Switzerland to his collection. Glasenberg moved to Australia in 1986 to head up Glencore’s Asian coal division.

On 30 June he stepped down as chief executive of Glencore, following two decades at the helm.

“Glasenberg’s wealth is underpinned by his Glencore shareholding. He departed with Glencore shares in better shape; they’ve doubled in the past 12 months as he reinstated the dividend he was forced to scrap in 2020 as he wrote down the company’s assets by $5.9 billion,” Financial review said.

While Glasenberg’s wealth is up 62.6% from 2020’s ranking, it’s only slightly higher than the A$7.17 billion recorded in 2019, before the pandemic hit. His 12th position in the ranking is also lower than previous years where he featured among the top 10.

Wealthy South Africans often make their way onto rich lists in other countries due to their dual citizenship status. These individuals often fly under the radar in bigger lists like Forbes and Bloomberg.

Examples include Nathan Kirsch, Douw Steyn, Mark Shuttleworth and Vivian Imerman, who all rank among some of the richest people in the UK, while Richard Enthoven, owner of the casual dining chain Nando’s, and the Hollard Group of insurance companies, has also settled in Australia.


Read: The richest countries in the world – and where South Africa fits in

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The South African billionaire climbing Australia’s rich list