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Harry Triguboff | Updated: 10:56:34 AM, Thursday May 24, 2012
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Born: 3 March,1933, Darien, China Education: Degree in Textiles, University of Leeds Occupation: Property developer Net worth: $4.85 billion Ranked 7 on the BRW Rich 200 list Spouse Rhonda Children Orna Sharon Parents: Moshe Frieda Nationality Australian
Making it big
Harry Triguboff, affectionately known as ‘High Rise’ Harry, loves the concept of a Big Australia. The billionaire property developer behind Meriton Apartments, and the towering complexes that house them, believes Australia should have a population of 100 million people. Imagine that. Tens of millions of people looking for a place to live. That’s a mouth watering prospect for…oh, I don’t know…a billionaire property developer specialising in apartments, perhaps?
An exotic background
Harry Triguboff was always a man on the move. His father, Moshe, from Kiev, left Soviet Russia to seek a better future with relatives in Harbin, China. On the way he met and fell in love with his wife Frieda. Times were hard and they moved again to Darien where in 1933, Harry Oscar Triguboff was born.
After spending his childhood in the large Jewish community in Tianjin, near Beijing, the family was forced to leave following the upheavals that followed the Second World War. While his family eventually moved to Israel the young Harry took the opportunity to emigrate to Sydney in the late 1940s, where he was educated at Scots College. His tertiary education took him to Leeds University and after he graduated with a degree in textiles, he worked in that industry in Israel and South Africa.
But Australia hadn’t seen the last of Harry Triguboff. Arriving back in Sydney in 1960, he took on a variety of jobs before building a house on a recently purchased block of land in Roseville. This early taste of property development whetted his appetite. Harry was looking ahead, and upwards.
The climb of ‘High Rise’ Harry
After purchasing two more blocks of land, Triguboff started building residential units. One of these blocks was on Meriton Street, Gladesville. The rest, as they say, is history. In 1968, Meriton Apartments was officially registered as a company, and has turned Harry Triguboff into one of Australia’s most successful property developers, with Business Review Weekly estimating his fortune at just over four billion dollars, as of May 2011.
As a company, Meriton Apartments really has scaled the heights. More than 50 000 apartments have been built in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Reasonably priced, if somewhat limited in aesthetic appeal, Meriton Apartments are seen as affordable housing options in the heart of the city, with the sky-scraping World Tower in Sydney a prime example.
His own man
Fluent in Hebrew and Russian, Harry Triguboff is another of our well travelled billionaires. He is also a major contributor to a number of Jewish bodies and institutions around the world, even founding the Harry O Triguboff Institute in Beit Morasha, Jerusalem.
While Harry Triguboff is a proponent of a Big Australia, and would welcome a massive influx of new citizens, he is very much a loner when it comes to business and is not one to enter business partnerships or joint ventures lightly. ‘High Rise’ Harry prefers to work alone, is well known for his hands on management approach and his first business principal reportedly is to trust no one.
While his apartment buildings teem with content residents enjoying inner-city life, it seems the executive penthouse at the top of the Meriton tower belongs to Harry Triguboff alone.
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