Rich (mostly) got richer, a few fell off list - some off the perch

A hot property sector, the continued emergence of technology entrepreneurs and a rebounding sharemarket have boosted the fortunes of Australia's wealthy elite.

Total wealth on the BRW Rich 200 list reaches $193.6 billion this year, up from $176.8 billion last year.

Gina Rinehart is once again Australia's richest person with wealth of $20.01 billion. While her wealth has slipped from $22.02 billion, the Hancock Prospecting chairman is still almost three times wealthier than the second-ranked list member, Anthony Pratt.

Average wealth on the list reaches $968 million, up 9.5 per cent. There are a record 39 billionaires. The average age of the 200 individuals is 64, and 14 are women.

The youngest debutant on the list is 30-year-old Owen Kerr, the co-founder of online foreign currency dealer Pepperstone. He has wealth of $250 million. The oldest debutant is 81-year-old Michael Crouch, founder of Zip Industries, the maker of the Zip HydroTap. His wealth is $310 million, having sold a large portion of Zip Industries to private equity firm Quadrant Investments last year.

Among those departing the list is founder Graeme Wood, whose wealth is below the $250 million cut-off due to Wotif's falling share price and a series of shares sales.

Five of the 2013 Rich 200 members died in the past 12 months, including billionaire Perth developer Len Buckeridge and Ian Norman, the co-founder of retailer Harvey Norman.

Rinehart is the only member of the top 10 of the Rich 200 to suffer a fall in wealth this year. Her fortune declined due to falling iron ore prices, though she achieved one of her biggest wins in March when completing the debt financing for her $10 billion Roy Hill iron ore project in Western Australia.

Pratt, in second position with $7.64 billion wealth, has enjoyed an almost doubling of his and his family's fortune since he inherited the leadership of Visy from his late father Richard in 2009. Pratt Industries, the United States business owned by Anthony Pratt, is growing at 20 per cent annually.

James Packer is third on the list with wealth of $7.19 billion. His fortune is now back to about the same level as 2006, his first appearance on the Rich 200 after his father Kerry's death at the end of 2005.

Westfield Group supremo Frank Lowy is fourth. He increased his wealth to $7.16 billion from $6.87 billion a year ago despite criticism of his Westfield restructure.

Lowy is now understood to have more of his fortune invested with his private investment company LFG Holdings than Westfield Corporation and Scentre Group.

Swiss-based Ivan Glasenberg rounds out the top five. The Glencore Xstrata chief executive, who gained Australian citizenship in the 1980s, lifted his wealth by $1.01 billion via Glencore's rising share price. Andrew Forrest is seventh at $5.86 billion. His wealth has risen $2.2 billion from a year ago, the biggest rise on the list and in line with the share gains of his Fortescue Metals Group.

Sydney apartments king Harry Triguboff is eighth with $5.5 billion wealth, Melbourne shopping centres magnate John Gandel is ninth at $4.08 billion and fund manager Kerr Neilson, co-founder of Platinum Asset Management, with $3.35 billion, is 10th.

This story Rich (mostly) got richer, a few fell off list - some off the perch first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.