Monday, January 16, 2012

Gina Rinehart

Georgina "Gina" Hope Rinehart (born 9 February 1954 at St John's, Perth, Western Australia) is a mining heiress. She is the heiress of Hancock Prospecting and the daughter of the late mining magnate Lang Hancock and Hope Margaret Nicholas. During 2011, both Forbes Asia and Business Review Weekly claimed that Rinehart was Australia's wealthiest person.

Rinehart was involved in a protracted legal battle with her stepmother, Rose Porteous, over the circumstances that lead to the death of Hancock, and the distribution of his estate. The action, commenced by Rinehart in 1992, was eventually settled in 2003 following a coronial inquiry that determined Hancock died of natural causes. In a separate matter presently before the courts, three of Rinehart's four children, Hope Rinehart Welker, John Hancock, and Bianca Reinhart, commenced legal action over a commercial dispute relating to a family trust fund, where Rinehart is trustee. The reason for the dispute are unknown other than the children want Rinehart removed as trustee.

Early Life and Family
Rinehart lived with her parents at Nunyerry, 60 kilometres (37 mi) north of Wittenoom, until she was four, later boarding at St Hilda's Anglican School for Girls in Perth. She commenced studying economics at The University of Sydney before working for her father, gaining an extensive knowledge of the Pilbara iron-ore industry.

As a teenager Rinehart met Englishman Greg Milton, while both were working in Wittenoom. In 1973 Rinehart, aged 19, married Milton, and he changed his surname to Hayward. Together they had two children, John Langley and Bianca Hope. However, the marriage did not last and Rinehart and Hayward separated in 1979 and divorced in 1981.

In 1983 she married Frank Rinehart, a 57 year old American corporate lawyer. They had two children together, Ginia and Hope, born 18 months apart. Frank died in 1990.

In 2003 following a falling out with his mother, Rinehart's son, John Langley Hayward, changed his surname by deed poll to John Langley Hancock, and their relationship remains difficult.

Rinehart's daughter, Hope, married Ryan Welker, a director of Mineral Resources, in which Hancock Prospecting and Gina Rinehart have an 8 per cent stake.

Prior to his death, Lang Hancock established the Hope Margaret Hancock Trust, nominating Rinehart as trustee, with his four grandchildren named as beneficiaries. The Trust holds a significant proportion of the family's wealth. In 2011, Rinehart's daughter, Hope Rinehart Welker, commenced legal in the NSW Supreme Court over a commercial dispute, seeking to have Rinehart removed as sole trustee. Her brother, John, and half sister, Bianca, were later revealed as parties to the dispute. In an agreement reached between the aggrieved parties, the Court granted an interim non-publication order. In making the interim order, Justice Paul Brereton stated "This is not the first occasion of discord in the family, which has immense wealth, no small part of which resides in the trust. In the past, the affairs of the family, including such discord, has attracted considerable publicity in the media." However, in a judgement handed down on 7 October 2011, Justice Brereton said he intended to dismiss an application by Rinehart that there be a stay on court action and that the family be directed into mediation.

Wealth and Philanthropy
Rinehart first appeared on the 1992 BRW Rich 200 list, published annually in the Business Review Weekly (BRW), following the death of her father earlier that year. She has appeared every year since, and became a billionaire in 2006. Due to Australia's recent mining boom, Rinehart's wealth has increased significantly during 2010 and 2011, and she has diversified investments into media, taking holdings in Ten Network Holdings and Fairfax Media. According to BRW, she became Australia's richest woman in 2010, and Australia's richest person in 2011, and the first woman to lead the list. BRW estimates her wealth at A$10.31 billion, with Ivan Glasenberg being her closest rival, with net wealth estimated at A$8.8 billion.

Meanwhile, in 2007 she first appeared on Forbes Asia Australia's 40 Richest, with an estimated wealth of US$1 billion; more than doubling that the next year to US$2.4 billion; and then, in spite of the global financial crisis, by 2011 had more than trebled to US$9 billion. Releasing the results in February 2011, Forbes was the first to name her as Australia's richest person; with BRW conferring the same title in May that year. In June 2011, Citigroup estimated that she is on course to overtake Carlos Slim, the Mexican magnate worth £46 billion (US$74 billion) and Bill Gates, who is worth £35 billion (US$56 billion), mainly because she owns her companies outright. Using a price-to-earnings ratio or 11:1, “It is possible to see Rinehart’s portfolio of coal and iron ore production spinning off annual profits approaching US$10 billion,” giving her a “personal net worth valuation of more than US$100 billion.”

In a 2006 Business Review Weekly article reviewing the way Australia's rich support philanthropy, it was noted that Rinehart prefers to keep a low profile, partly to stop being harassed by charitable causes, and also because she prefers to keep affairs private. Reinhart is publicly known for funding the construction of a girl's orphanage in Cambodia and supporting the Hope Scholarship Award Program for girls run by SISHA, a Cambodian non-profit organisation campaigning against human trafficking. Reinhart has also supported St Hilda's Anglican School for Girls, where the school hall is named in honour of her mother.

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