#2 Harry Triguboff

Work and Careers - Harry Triguboff Australian billionaire real estate property developer, is one of Australia's richest people. He is the founder and managing director of Meriton. Photographed at World Tower Serviced Apartments, Liverpool Street, Sydney, Australia. 20/4/2017 Photo James Horan

Harry Oskar Triguboff AO (born 3 March 1933 in China, Liaoning), is a Chinese-born Australian billionaire real estate developer, and one of Australia’s richest people.  He is the founder and managing director of Meriton and is known as “high-rise Harry”.  In May 2016, he was declared the wealthiest person in Australia by net worth in the annual Financial Review Rich 200 list, yet held the mantle for only one year.

From the experience gained in the initial development, Triguboff bought his second block of land in 1963, this time in Smith Street, Tempe, and began building a block of eight units with a partner.  He made a profit, which led to a second development in 1968 in Gladesville. At Meriton Street, Triguboff built a block of 18 units which provided the name of the company he registered in developers.

Triguboff is the managing director of Meriton Apartments Pty Ltd. As of 2015 Meriton had built more than 55,000 residential townhouses and apartments since its creation in 1963, making it Australia’s biggest residential property developer.  In 2010, Meriton was said to develop an average of 1,000 apartments per year.  As of 2015, the average exceeds 3,000 per annum. In particular, Triguboff has concentrated on the Gold Coast and Brisbane in Queensland, and Sydney’s central business district, building more apartments than any other Australian residential developer. He is a proponent that the population of Australia should grow to reach 100 million.

In 2004, Meriton completed the construction of World Tower, Sydney’s tallest residential apartment building. During 2012, Meriton and the owners’ corporation became embroiled in a long running court dispute over major building defects and alleged breaches of their contract, with maintenance issues worth more than A$1 million. Part of the issue related to Meriton, the original builder, being locked out of the development.  By 2015, He had built approximately 55,000 residential townhouses and apartments.

The company has been a sponsor of the Wests Tigers (and their predecessor, Balmain Tigers) since 1998. Triguboff committed Meriton throughout the club’s merger period of 2000 and into 2015.

Triguboff donates heavily to political parties and uses his influence to seek policy changes. In August 2010, he proposed that the federal government should insist on Reserve Bank interest rates being dropped to improve housing affordability.

According to the 2017 Financial Review Rich List, Triguboff’s personal net wealth was estimated at A$11.40 billion, an increase of $0.78 billion on the previous year. Meanwhile, Forbes Asia estimated his wealth in 2015 at US$5.6 billion.  In 2015, Forbes Asia magazine’s annual billionaires list assessed Triguboff as the world’s 262nd wealthiest billionaire.  His earnings result from leasing most of his developments to short and long term tenants, with benefits from capital appreciation.

Triguboff participated in a 2010 Business Review Weekly magazine contest to “Win a Week With a Billionaire”. Three young finalists were flown to Sydney where they spent a week at Meriton being mentored by Triguboff.