Harry Triguboff

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Harry Triguboff
Harry Triguboff in his World Tower penthouse apartment
Born (1933-03-03) 3 March 1933 (age 82)
Dalian, China
Residence Sydney, Australia
Citizenship Australian (since 1961)
Occupation real estate developer
Known for Meriton Apartments
Net worth IncreaseA$6.01 billion (2014 Forbes list of billionaires)[1]
Religion Judaism
Spouse(s) Spouse1 (divorced)
Rhonda Triguboff
Children with first wife:

Harry Oscar Triguboff AO (born 3 March 1933) is an Australian property developer and one of Australia's richest men.[2] He is the founder and managing director of Meriton and a strong proponent of population growth in Australia to a hundred million. Also known as "High-Rise Harry".[3]

Early life and education[edit]

He was born in Dalian (Darien at the time), China on 3 March 1933, the son of Russian Jews who fled to northeastern China after the rise of Lenin.[4][5] He spent his early childhood in the Jewish community in Tianjin[4] and in 1947, moved to Australia[4] to be educated at the Scots College in Sydney. He later graduated with a degree in textiles from the University of Leeds in England before working in textile businesses in Israel and South Africa.

He returned to Australia in 1960 and became an Australian citizen in 1961. He did a variety of odd jobs including running a taxi fleet and owning a milk round in Chatswood. He tried selling real estate and worked as an assistant to a lecturer at university but wasn't so successful at either. He then bought some land in Roseville and hired a builder to begin building his house. The builder repeatedly let him down, so Triguboff threw him out and finished the job himself, learning from his mistakes.[6]

Meriton Apartments[edit]

From the experience gained in the initial development, Triguboff bought a second block of land in 1963, this time at Tempe in Smith Street and began building a block of eight units with a partner.[7] He made a profit, which led to a second development in 1968 in Gladesville. At Meriton Street, Triguboff built a block of 18 units which provided the name of the company he registered in 1968. Since that time he has evolved into one of Australia's most successful property developers.

Triguboff is the managing director of Meriton Apartments Pty Ltd which has built almost 50,000 residential dwellings, mainly townhouses and apartments, since its creation in 1963, making it Australia's biggest residential property developer.[8] In 2010, Meriton was said to develop an average of 1000 apartments per year; now, it is more like 2500.[9] In particular, Triguboff has concentrated on the Gold Coast and Brisbane in Queensland, and Sydney's central business district, building more apartments than any other Australian residential developer.[10]

In 2004, Meriton completed the construction of World Tower, Sydney's tallest residential apartment building. During 2012, Meriton and the owners' corporation became embroiled in a long running court dispute over major building defects and alleged breaches of their contract, with maintenance issues worth more than A$1 million.[11] Part of the issue related to Meriton, the original builder, being locked out of the development.[12]

The company has been a sponsor of the Wests Tigers (and their predecessor, Balmain Tigers) since 1998.[13] Triguboff committed Meriton throughou the club's merger period of 2000 and into 2015.[14]


As at January 2015, Triguboff's net wealth was assessed at A$$7.4 billion, making him the richest man and second richest person in Australia.[15] In 2015, Forbes Asia magazine's annual billionaires list assessed Triguboff as the 262nd wealthiest billionaire in the world.[16] His earnings result from leasing most of his developments to short and long term tenants, with benefits from capital appreciation.

Triguboff participated in a 2010 Business Review Weekly magazine contest to "Win a Week With a Billionaire". Three young finalists were flown to Sydney where they spent a week at Meriton being mentored by Triguboff.[17]

Philanthropy and honours[edit]

Triguboff was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia on 26 January 1990 "for service to building and construction and for philanthropy"[18] and an Officer of the Order on 7 June 1999 "for service to the community as a philanthropist, and to the residential construction industry"[19][20] He was the first person to win Australia's Property Person of the Year award twice; he first won the award in 2003 and then again in 2009.[21] Triguboff, via The Harry Triguboff Foundation, funded a project at the Shorashim Center to assist immigrant applicants to Israel in proving their Jewishness.[22][23]

As a major provider of affordable housing, he donates heavily to political parties and uses his influence to seek policy changes. In August 2010, he proposed that the federal government should insist on Reserve Bank interest rates being dropped to improve housing affordability.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Triguboff has been married twice and has two daughters from his first marriage:[25] Orna and Sharon.[22] He is still married to his second wife, Rhonda.[4] He lives in Sydney and owns a collection of cars. He never enters any business partnerships nor joint ventures.[citation needed]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Forbes http://www.forbes.com/billionaires/list/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Forbes http://www.forbes.com/billionaires/#tab:overall_country:Australia.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Australia's 40 Richest, #3 Harry Triguboff ($2 billion) at Forbes.com, accessed 20 November 2010
  4. ^ a b c d Jewish Business News: "'High-Rise Harry" now climbed to the sixth in Australia's Richest. How does he do it?" By Orna Taub March 3, 2013
  5. ^ World's Most Successful Immigrants at Bloomberg Business
  6. ^ "How to say I or me 77 times in explaining how I became a billionare". The Daily Telegraph. reproduced at The Crikey Rich List, 27 February 2000. 5 May 1997. 
  7. ^ Triguboff, Harry (1 August 2006). Interview with Harry Triguboff (edited transcript). Interview with Tyron Hyde. Domain. reproduced at the Washington Brown Group. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  8. ^ Akerman, Pia (7 January 2010). "Priest David Cappo calls for rethink on housing the homeless". The Australian. 
  9. ^ Carter, Bridget (11 March 2010). "Sydney residential projects of bn in play". The Australian. 
  10. ^ http://article.wn.com/view/2013/09/25/Triguboffs_Meriton_tops_HIAs_building_starts_table/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Tan, Su-Lin (7 January 2013). "$1m claim for defects at World Square site". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  12. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/business/property/meritons-war-of-world-tower-20130104-2c8xn.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ Gibson, Joel; Dick, Tim (6 December 2005). "Balls and whistles". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  14. ^ Proszenko, Adrian (29 July 2014). "Harry Triguboff extends sponsorship deal with Wests Tigers". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  15. ^ http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesasia/2015/01/28/property-profits-or-real-estate-boom/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ Forbes http://www.forbes.com/profile/harry-triguboff/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ Douglas, Jeanne-Vida (10 September 2010). "A priceless experience". Australian Financial Review. 
  18. ^ "Harry Oscar Triguboff AM". Commonwealth of Australia. 26 January 1990. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  19. ^ "Harry Oscar Triguboff AO". Commonwealth of Australia. 7 June 1999. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  20. ^ Goldberg, Dan (1 December 2007). "Harry in a hurry". The Bulletin. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  21. ^ http://www.urbantaskforce.com.au/propertyperson.php
  22. ^ a b J-Wire: "Triguboff organisation almost doubles Jewishness investigations" October 2, 2012
  23. ^ Jerusalem Post: "Religious Affairs: A crisis of identity" By JEREMY SHARON September 20, 2012
  24. ^ Kitney, Damon (27 August 2010). "Meriton's Harry Triguboff calls for new poll, rate cuts". The Australian. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  25. ^ The Australian: "Harry Triguboff wonders how to hand down the family firm" by Damon Kitney March 21, 2011