New Zealand’s richest man, Graeme Hart, dropped out of high school in his mid-teens to work as a mechanic then truck driver. Today he holds the title of richest person in NZ and is a part of the world’s billionaire list.
Hart made his fortune in private equity and now controls the majority stake in Reynolds through the Rank Group, which is his private equity firm. The consumer goods business is Hart’s biggest asset to date as well.
While Hart does like to stay out of the media, he is not shy about his spending habits and likes to live a life of luxury. He is a serial buyer of yachts including the Ulysses which is 116 metres in length and valued at $200 million USD. The superyacht is big enough to house a helipad and a smaller yacht that sits on the front deck.
A fan of the name, Hart’s previous yacht was also called the Ulysses and housed a Batman pinball machine and a now decommissioned US navy submarine that was able to be used as a getaway for up to 6 people.
As mentioned earlier, Hart dropped out of school to become a mechanic and later a truck driver. He graduated from the University of Otago with a MBA where he created the basis of a leveraged-buyout strategy. Hart made a speech to the graduating class of 2018 at his alma mater about his strategy his he said be bold.
He also said that being bold means buying as big as you can, borrowing as much as you can and then working hard to pay the asset off. If it worked for one person who knows how many more it could work for – we could be seeing a lot more New Zealand billionaires very soon.