James Packer is currently Australia's richest boss
IN PHOTO: Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd co-Chairman James Packer (R) gestures while co-Chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho looks on during a news conference and grand opening of the City of Dreams in Manila February 2, 2015. Macau's Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd is not eager to include South Korea in its resort-casino portfolio and will instead focus on ramping up operations at its newly opened City of Dreams Manila project, a top company official said on Monday. While Melco Crown finds South Korea an interesting gaming market, areas like Incheon cannot guarantee a daily traffic of 30,000 visitors, a key requirement to make an integrated casino-resort project viable, Ho told reporters in Manila where he led the formal opening of the over $1 billion City of Dreams. Reuters/Romeo Ranoco

In the Forbes Rich List of 2015, New Zealand’s representation was limited to two billionaires -- Singapore-based investor Richard Chandler and Graeme Hart. Chandler, the 55-year-old Waikato-raised philanthropist was ranked at No 603 in the Forbes latest list with a real time net worth at US$3.8 billion.

Richard Chandler relocated to Singapore in 2006 and started his personal investment fund Chandler Corp that ultimately became a huge success story. According to Chandler Corp.’s website, “we look to invest in businesses that create social value and drive national prosperity”. Chandler has been traversing in a niche of emerging markets from Hong Kong in the 1980s to Brazil, Russia and India in the new millennium.

In his business philosophy, Chandler reportedly owes a lot to his mother Marija. Hailing from Croatia, Marija met her New Zealander husband Robert Chandler in 1955 and they jointly founded the New Zealand luxury department store Chandler House in 1972, describes Chandler Corp.’s website. Marija instilled the qualities of hard work, entrepreneurship and creativity in her sons-George, Richard and Christopher. The family moved to Monaco after selling off family business and there Richard and Christopher started Sovereign Global Investment in 1986 as the pivot of their future diversifications.

Family Business

Richard Chandler graduated from Auckland University in Commerce and did Master of Commerce in Strategic Planning with first class. He started his career with Arthur Andersen in Auckland before moving to London to join KPMG. At the age of 24, Richard returned to New Zealand and took over Chandler House from his father and became its chief executive. A year later his brother Christopher also joined him. The brothers worked hard to expand the business into an integrated fashion design, manufacturing and retail operation with many offices in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and employed 200 people, reports Bloomberg.


Chandler and his brother Christopher got a head start in equity business in 1986 when they sold the retailing business and set sights on the opportunities in emerging markets with an investment firm Sovereign Global. The siblings split in 2006 and went their separate ways. Christopher started Legatum Capital in Dubai and Richard set up Chandler Corp in Singapore. Chandler Corporation invests globally in public and private equity in a range of industries such as energy, financial services and healthcare.

In 2015, Chandler made news when he invested US$99 million for an 80 percent stake in Vietnam’s largest private hospital group Hoan and picked up a minority stake in The Medical City, a chain of hospitals and clinics in the Philippines. His other assets include a 19 percent stake in Canada-based InterOil Corporation with its operations extending to Papua New Guinea.

(For feedback/comments, contact the writer at k.kumar@ibtimes.com.au)