John Gandel AC[1] (born 1935 as Aaron Jonna Gandel), an Australian businessman, property developer and philanthropist, made his fortune in the development of commercial real estate as well as shopping centres located in Melbourne, Victoria.

John Gandel

Born
Aaron Jonna Gandel[1]

1935 (age 84–85)
NationalityAustralian
OccupationProperty developer
Net worth
Spouse(s)Pauline Gandel AC
ChildrenFour
Parent(s)Sam and Fay Gandel

Gandel, who inherited much of his wealth from his Polish-immigrant parents, founders of the Sussan women's clothing chain, is consistently ranked within the top ten wealthiest Australians by net worth in both the Financial Review Rich List, where in 2019 he was ranked tenth with an assessed net worth of A$6.60 billion;[2] and in 2016 ranked seventh by Forbes magazine, with an assessed net worth of US$3.2 billion.[3]

Early life and educationEdit

Gandel was born in Australia in 1935,[4] the son of Sam and Fay Gandel, Jewish[5] immigrants from Poland. His parents operated a corsetry store on Collins Street in Melbourne.[4] Gandel was educated at Melbourne High School. He has one sister, Eva Gandel Besen.[4]

CareerEdit

In the 1950s, Gandel took control of his parents' women's clothing business (then named Sussan) in the 1950s and with his brother-in-law Marc Besen grew it into a chain of over 200 stores.[4] In 1983, he bought the Chadstone Shopping Centre, selling Sussan to his brother-in-law in 1985 to concentrate on real estate. He subsequently built his own fortune in shopping centres.[6]

In July 1983, the Myer Emporium sold the Chadstone Shopping Centre to the Gandel Group for A$37 million, which has since managed and developed the complex into Australia's biggest shopping mall which is now[when?] valued at over A$3 billion. In July 1983, the Myer Emporium also sold the Northland Shopping Centre to the Gandel Group. Gandel's major assets are 50 per cent shares in Chadstone, and a 17 per cent stake in the listed Vicinity Centres that owns the other half. Gandel also owns significant stakes in listed property companies, besides the stake in Vicinity, worth about A$800 million, and a 15 per cent stake in Sydney-based property group, Charter Hall, in which he invested A$151 million.[7] In more recent years, he has started to wind down his full on involvement with the company and has since hired Peter Bird as the Chief Financial Officer

According to a January 2012 Herald Sun report, Gandel was the wealthiest man in Melbourne, with an estimated A$3.4 billion net worth.[8] In 2012 Gandel sold his stake in the Northland Shopping Centre for A$455 million and announced an A$500 million hotel and office redevelopment at Chadstone in 2011.[7] In 2006, Gandel bought a 50% stake in Plastro Irrigation Systems, an Israeli irrigation company. In May 2007, the majority owners of the company exercised a right they held and bought back these holdings.[9]

Personal lifeEdit

Gandel is married to Pauline, who, in 2019, was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for her work for the community, in humanitarian, philanthropic and fundraising endeavours, and in social inclusion, as well as in building closer relations between Australia and Japan.[10] Together they have had four children.[11] John and Pauline Gandel live in Toorak, Melbourne.[12]

Gandel was targeted as a possible major donor to Israeli politician Benjamin Netanyahu before the Likud's primary election in 2007,[13] which he subsequently won.

PhilanthropyEdit

Since 1978, Gandel and his wife, Pauline, have headed up Gandel Philanthropy, one of the largest philanthropic family funds in Australia.[14] The foundation provides grants to charitable community organisations for Jewish and Australian causes.[15] Gandel's philanthropy has focused on Judaism, education, medical causes and the arts. In 2010 he donated A$7.5 million to the National Gallery of Australia;[7] A$1 million to fight devastating bushfires in Victoria, recalling how their own home was destroyed by fire twenty years earlier, and A$1 million to Museums Victoria.[14] In May 2006, Gandel was awarded an honorary doctorate of philosophy from Tel Aviv University, the university's highest honor, for his "business standing, broad leadership roles and philanthropic support in Australia and Israel." In the same month Gandel inaugurated the Gandel Institute for Adult Jewish Learning at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.[4][16]

In 1990, Gandel was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in recognition of his service to business, commerce and to the community.[17] In 2017, he was appointed a Companion of the Order for his eminent service to the community as a benefactor and supporter of a range of visual arts and cultural institutions, to youth education, medical and biotechnology innovation programs, to business, and to the advancement of philanthropic giving.[1][12]

Wealth rankingsEdit

Gandel is one of thirteen living individuals listed on every Financial Review Rich List since the first list was published in 1984.[18][19]

Year Financial Review
Rich List
Forbes
Australia's 50 richest
Rank Net worth
A$ bn
Rank Net worth
US$ bn
2010[20] 5   2.40  
2011[21][22] 9   3.45   6   3.30  
2012[6] 10   3.35   8   3.20  
2013[23][24] 8   3.70   8   3.50  
2014[25][26] 9   4.08   8   3.20  
2015[27][28] 8   4.40   6   3.60  
2016[29][3] 5   5.40   7   3.20  
2017[18] 7   6.05  
2018[30] 7   6.45  
2019[2] 10   6.60  
Legend
Icon Description
  Has not changed from the previous year
  Has increased from the previous year
  Has decreased from the previous year

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) entry for Mr Aaron Jonna GANDEL AO". It's an Honour, Australian Honours Database. Canberra, Australia: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 12 June 2017. For eminent service to the community as a benefactor and supporter of a range of visual arts and cultural institutions, to youth education, medical and biotechnology innovation programs, to business, and to the advancement of philanthropic giving.
  2. ^ a b c Bailey, Michael (30 May 2019). "Australia's 200 richest people revealed". The Australian Financial Review. Nine Publishing. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "2016 Australia's 50 Richest". Forbes Asia. January 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e Big Pond Money: John Gandel Archived 29 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine 19 July 2012
  5. ^ The Gandel Institute for Adult Jewish Learning: About Us - Mr John Gandel AO & Mrs Pauline Gandel Archived 26 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 9 March 2013.
  6. ^ a b "BRW Rich 200 Wealth Index". BRW Rich 200 Wealth Index. Australia. 24 May 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Waters, Cara (12 April 2012). "Beware over-expansion: Reclusive retail billionaire John Gandel on how he's navigating the slowdown". Smart company. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  8. ^ Hurley, David (8 January 2012). "Locals in wealth's top deck". Herald Sun. Australia. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  9. ^ Gavison, Yoram (11 June 2007). "John Deere negotiating to buy controlling interest in Plastro". Haaretz. Israel. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  10. ^ "Australia Day Honours". Australian Jewish News. 26 January 2019. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Australia's 40 Richest: #5 John Gandel". Forbes Asia. 3 March 2010. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  12. ^ a b "John Gandel AO awarded AC" (Press release). Philanthropy Australia. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  13. ^ "Netanyahu's 'list of millionaires'". YnetNews. 22 October 2010. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Quiet billionaire's next move". The Australian. 14 October 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  15. ^ "Our Granting Philosophy". Gandel Philanthropy. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  16. ^ Cashman, Greer Fay (23 May 2006). "Hebrew U president: Don't take Israel's Jewishness for granted. Gandel Institute for Adult Learning launched to foster Jewish literacy". Jerusalem Post. p. 5.
  17. ^ "Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) entry for Mr John GANDEL". It's an Honour, Australian Honours Database. Canberra, Australia: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 26 January 1990. In recognition of his service to business, commerce and to the community
  18. ^ a b Stensholt, John, ed. (25 May 2017). "Financial Review Rich List 2017". Financial Review. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  19. ^ Thomson, James (22 May 2013). "Celebrating 30 years of the Rich 200". BRW Rich 200. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  20. ^ "Australia's 40 Richest: #6 Kerr Neilson". Forbes Asia. 3 March 2010. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  21. ^ "Passport Power". BRW Rich 200 Wealth Index. Australia. 25 May 2011. Archived from the original on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
  22. ^ "Australia's 40 Richest: #8 Kerr Neilson". Forbes Asia. 1 February 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  23. ^ "BRW Rich 200: John Gandel". BRW. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  24. ^ "Australia's 50 Richest: #8 John Gandel". Forbes Asia. 1 February 2013.
  25. ^ "2014 BRW Rich 200". BRW. Sydney. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  26. ^ Rollason, Adam (30 January 2014). "Rinehart on top, Palmer down on Forbes rich list". AFR Weekend. Australia. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  27. ^ "BRW Rich 200: John Gandel". BRW. May 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  28. ^ "Australia's 50 Richest: #6 John Gandel". Forbes Asia. February 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
  29. ^ "BRW rich list topped by Harry Triguboff, Gina Rinehart slips to fourth". ABC News. 26 May 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  30. ^ Stensholt, John (25 May 2018). "2018 AFR Rich List: Who are Australia's richest people?". The Australian Financial Review. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 26 May 2018.

External linksEdit