Frank Costa

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Frank Costa

Born
Francis Aloysius Costa

(1938-02-03)3 February 1938
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Died2 May 2021(2021-05-02) (aged 83)
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
NationalityAustralia
OccupationEntrepreneur and philanthropist
Known for
Net worthIncrease $802 million (AFR 2020)[1]
Spouse(s)
Shriley Costa
(m. 1960)
Children8 daughters[2]
Parents
  • Tony Costa (father)
  • Mary Piccone (mother)
Awards

Frank Aloysius Costa AO (3 February 1938 – 2 May 2021[3]) was an Australian businessman. Costa had been a prominent figure in the Geelong region for more than four decades after inheriting Costa Group, the family's produce business, in the late 1950s. Initially privately-held, the Costa Group became the largest service wholesaler of fruit and vegetables in Australia with operations in five states. In 2015 the company was floated on the Australian Securities Exchange as Costa Group Holdings Limited.[4]

In 1998, Frank Costa became president of the Geelong Football Club.

Career[edit]

Costa was the eldest of five sons born to Sicilian immigrants who moved to Australia in the 1880s.[2] His great-uncle established the Geelong Covent Garden in 1888 – a produce grocery which he ran until the 1920s, at which time he turned it over to Costa's father.[2]

When Costa was 21, he (along with his brother Adrian) convinced his father to sell the business to them. Costa successfully grew the business with help from his brother, as they made forays into wholesaling. Although Adrian died in 1972 as a result of an automobile accident, and there were a few business blunders[weasel words] along the way – including the failed development of a state-of-the-art warehouse[citation needed] – the remaining Costa brothers were able to keep the business afloat. By the 1980s, the company had an annual turnover of around A$100 million. In the early 1990s, Costa's wholseale fruit operation was forced[weasel words] to co-operate with the Melbourne underworld.[5][6][7] In 2004, Costa appointed Simon Costa, his nephew, as CEO of the Costa Group of Companies,[8] enabling Costa to concentrate on philanthropic activities and the Presidency of the Geelong Football Club. At the time, the company had 800 employees, and a turnover in excess of A$800 million. The Costa Group of Companies was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in July 2015.[9] In 2019 Costa stepped down from the board of the publicly-listed Costa Group.[10]

Political scandals[edit]

His push for the recycling/irrigation plant is one of many events has caused some to raise conflict of interest concerns, as his company may have been in a position to obtain a substantial benefit from the project.[citation needed] In addition to being a Committee for Geelong board member and being president of the Geelong Football Club, Costa was involved in some of the most prominent development projects being touted for the region. These include the development in North Geelong near the Ford site and at Point Richards near Portarlington.[citation needed] In 2006 it was revealed that Costa was part of a group of powerful business leaders who had made political campaign donations that were not disclosed by the candidates.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Costa is the subject of a 2006 biography, with a foreword by eminent historian Geoffrey Blainey, and contains references to Geelong identities, the Geelong Football Club, and Italian immigrants in Geelong.[12]

Honours[edit]

In 1997, Costa was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to youth and to the community of Geelong.[13] In 2015, Costa was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the community of Geelong through ongoing roles and contributions to a range of sports, business, religious, medical, educational and social welfare organisations.[14] In 2001 Costa was also awarded the Centenary Medal for service to the Barwon community[15] and, in the same year, the Australian Sports Medal for services to Australian football.[16]

Wealth rankings[edit]

Year Financial Review
Rich List
Forbes
Australia's 50 Richest
Rank Net worth (A$) Rank Net worth (US$)
2017[17][18] $538 million Increase
2018[19] 127 Increase $655 million Increase
2019[20] 118 Increase $802 million Increase
2020[1] 132 Decrease $770 million Decrease
Legend
Icon Description
Steady Has not changed from the previous year
Increase Has increased from the previous year
Decrease Has decreased from the previous year

Philanthropy[edit]

According to a 2004 poll,[citation needed] Costa held first place on the list of the regions Movers and Shakers." The same year saw Costa (out of frustration[weasel words]) publicly urge the authorities[which?] to keep its promise of developing a recycling and irrigation facility in the Werribee region.[citation needed]

Costa was Patron of the Geelong Volunteer Resource Centre and the Geelong Volunteering Network, and academy ambassador for Surf Coast FC.[21]

Personal[edit]

Costa married Shirley in 1960 and they had eight daughters.[2]

Costa died from cancer on 2 May 2021, aged 83.[22][23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bailey, Michael; Sprague, Julie-anne (30 October 2020). "The full list: Australia's wealthiest 200 revealed". The Australian Financial Review. Nine Publishing. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Kohler, Alan (29 May 2014). "Frank Costa bows out". The Australian. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
  3. ^ Death Notice, Geelong Football Club
  4. ^ "Fruit and vegetable giant Costa announces $2.25 share price ahead of ASX float". ABC News. Australia. 24 July 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  5. ^ Moor, Keith (17 March 2010). "Geelong boss Frank Costa's mafia fight". Herald-Sun. Melbourne. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  6. ^ Silvester, John (11 March 2015). "Frank Costa is waiting for an offer too good to refuse". The Age. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  7. ^ Connaughton, Maddison (20 March 2016). "Murder, Extortion, and Gelato: a History of the Calabrian Mafia in Australia". VICE Australia. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  8. ^ Tobin, Des (2007). Family, Faith and Footy. Page 102
  9. ^ "Costa group float raises $551 million". The Armidale Express. 30 July 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
  10. ^ Dunkley, Mathew (5 July 2019). "Frank Costa to step down from Costa Group board". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  11. ^ "King Cat: the millionaire who helps shape Geelong". The Age. 28 January 2006. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  12. ^ Tobin, Des; Blainey, Geoffrey (2006). Frank Costa. Family, Faith and Footy. Malvern, Victoria: Killaghy Publishing.
  13. ^ "Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) entry for Mr Francis Aloysius COSTA". It's an Honour, Australian Honours Database. Canberra, Australia: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 9 June 1997. Retrieved 26 January 2015. FOR SERVICE YOUTH AND TO THE COMMUNITY OF GEELONG
  14. ^ "Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) entry for Mr Francis Aloysius COSTA". It's an Honour, Australian Honours Database. Canberra, Australia: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2015. For distinguished service to the community of Geelong through ongoing roles and contributions to a range of sports, business, religious, medical, educational and social welfare organisations
  15. ^ "Centenary Medal entry for Mr Frank Aloysius COSTA". It's an Honour, Australian Honours Database. Canberra, Australia: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 1 January 2001. Retrieved 26 January 2015. For service to the Barwon community
  16. ^ "Australian Sports Medal entry for Mr Frank COSTA". It's an Honour, Australian Honours Database. Canberra, Australia: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 16 January 2001. Retrieved 26 January 2015. Services to Aust Football
  17. ^ Stensholt, John, ed. (25 May 2017). "Financial Review Rich List 2017". The Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  18. ^ Mayne, Stephen (26 May 2017). "Mayne's take: The top 25 Australian billionaires, as claimed by Fairfax". Crikey. Private Media. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  19. ^ Stensholt, John, ed. (25 May 2018). "2018 AFR Rich List: Who are Australia's richest people?". The Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  20. ^ Bailey, Michael (30 May 2019). "Australia's 200 richest people revealed". The Australian Financial Review. Nine Publishing. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  21. ^ https://www.surfcoastfc.com/scfc-academy[dead link]
  22. ^ Ryan, Peter; Ractliffe, Damien (2 May 2021). "Geelong mourn the death of local legend Frank Costa". The Age. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  23. ^ "Geelong Cats mourn the loss of former president Frank Costa". afl.com.au. Retrieved 2 May 2021.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Ron Hovey
Geelong Football Club president
1998–2011
Succeeded by
Colin Carter