All the way to the bank

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Wealth of CWH founders and Soul Pattinson chair revealed in nation’s longest running rich list

The fortunes of the co-owners of the My Chemist Group – Jack Gance and Mario Verrochi – continue to soar according to the Australian Financial Review 2019 Rich List, published on Friday, 31 May.

The Chemist Warehouse/My Chemist co-founders this year sit at number 92 (Mr Gance) and 97 (Mr Verrochi). Last year they were at 93 and 94.

However, their net worth has risen substantially – with Mr Gance, aged 73, being adjudged to be worth $989 million (up from $813 million last year) and Mr Verrochi, aged 61, earning $960 million (up from $803 million).

The pair were ranked at numbers 58 and 60 in The Australian’s inaugural rich list in early April.

The AFR listing on Mr Gance says: “The co-founder and chair of My Chemist Retail Group cannot  escape listing rumours. Gance hosed down speculation last March that the powerhouse with more than 400.. stores would join the AFX.”

“His name would resurface in IPO chatter five months later, around a potential float of Home Consortium. Gance, alongside his co-founder Mario Verrochi, and Spotlight Group’s Morry Fraid and Zac Fried, owns the $1 billion portfolio of retail properties.”

Mr Verrochi’s citation adds that Home Consortium has “bought dozens of former Masters sites and plans to use them for retail outlets that will contain the chemist brands.”

Both citations refer to the industrial action in March which led the group to agree to “higher pay and quicker conversion from casual to permanent status” among their staff.

Meanwhile, Robert Millner, chair of Washington H Soul Pattinson (owners of API), Brickworks and BKI Investments, and his family, sit in 71st place with a net worth of $1.30 billion.

“Washington H Soul Pattinson started from a single Sydney pharmacy in the 1880s, opened by a distant Millner relative, the 68 year old’s citation states.

“It now invests in resources, food and beverage businesses, media and funds management. Brickworks, also listed on the ASX, has a complicated cross-ownership structure with Soul Pattinson  that protects the family’s interests; it was the subject of a court dispute with shareholder Perpetual.”

A number of supplements and complementary medicine founders also find their way onto the list. They include:

  • At 128, Jina Chen and Alex Wu ($758 million), founders of Nature’s Care
  • At 182, former Swissw managing director Stephen Ring & family ($530 million).
  • At 204, Marcus Blackmore, recently reinstated as CEO of Blackmores ($463 million)
  • At 231, former Swisse CEO Radek Sali ($388 million)  

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