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Bridges cracks Top 30 on rich list

Michelle Bridges

PERSONAL trainer Michelle Bridges has exercised her way to a $53million fortune and a place alongside Oscar-winning actresses, corporate high-flyers and a ‘‘mysterious’’ telco founder as Australia’s richest self-made women.

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart’s $20billion fortune may make her Australia’s richest person but it’s the little-known Vicky Teoh who is queen among women who have created their own personal fortunes.

Ms Teoh, who co-founded telco and internet provider TPG with her husband, has a tight grip on the top spot in the BRW Rich Women list, with a $938million wealth.

BRW deputy editor Caitlin Fitzsimmons described Ms Teoh as one of the more mysterious figures in Australian business, as the Teohs are a fiercely private family.

Super Cheap Auto co-founder Hazel Rowe made her debut at third place on the 2015 list, with a $376million wealth made primarily through the Super Retail Group.

Ms Bridges pushed her way into the top 30 (at 29th spot) thanks to the international expansion of her fitness empire.

Actress Nicole Kidman is worth $331million and Kylie Minogue, Elle Macpherson and Cate Blanchett are also on the list, along with four women such as former Westpac CEO Gail Kelly, who made their wealth from high-powered corporate jobs.

Ms Fitzsimmons said the majority (23 of the 30) made their fortunes by founding and building their own businesses.

The combined wealth on the list, published on Sunday, has risen to $5.4billion, up from $4.5billion.

Ms Fitzsimmons said that was thanks largely to the value of shares and property.

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