Graeme Hart, New Zealand's richest man according to Bloomberg's Billionaire Index, is an ex-tow truck driver, an auto repairman, and a high school dropout, as per the reports. Hart boasts a career in private equity who made millions via state-owned assets leverage buyouts spiking to a billionaire status within a span of 5 years, accumulating $1 billion to his fortune recently, he is reportedly worth $6.98b ($10.3b).
According to reports, French billionaire Chief Executive of LVMH Moët Hennessy, Bernard Arnault surpassed Microsoft's Bill Gates securing the world’s second-richest man position. Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder remains the world’s richest man with a total net worth of $US125 billion (185b).
Hart, the owner of Auckland-based private equity firm Rank Group, exceeds three spots from luxury fashion brand Ralph Lauren, who flaunts a net worth of $6.9b ($10.2b) and stands at par with fashion designer Giorgio Armani, according to the reports.
The high school dropout is reportedly a major shares holder in Burns Philp, a Sydney-headquartered global yeast and natural food ingredients manufacturer that crashed in the second-largest plunge in Australian corporate history raising speculations that Hart, in a bid to risk everything in the gamble, would be overthrown when acquisitions turned out to be a failure.
Hart reportedly avoids the limelight and confronted the media barely once in December where he spoke at a press conference to the Australian and International journalists. He reportedly keeps a low-profile. However, he does have a taste for a luxurious lifestyle. Hart has a taste for super-yachts, submarines and superhero-themed pinball machines, state reports.
His fortune reportedly witnessed a rapid boost after Reynolds Consumer product Inc. the aluminum foil and trash bag maker firm climbed the shares by 9.8 percent, close to $28.55 ruling the stock market and soaring his stake value to $4.4 billion. The rich lister was reportedly in news last year when his images were used without his permission to advertise a scam bitcoin website.
(with inputs from agencies)