Three locals make rich list

By Anna Ferrick

He may not be the richest man in all the land but if the National Business Review Rich List is anything to go by, Rod Drury may well be the richest in the Bay.

Three Hawke's Bay locals made the 2013 Rich List this year, including Mr Drury, the Lowe family and the Cushing family.

Xero founder Mr Drury topped the list with his $400 million fortune placing him at No 22 on the annual list.

Xero, which is in the online accounting software business, was established in 2006 and while it is yet to turn a profit, in June this year it had reached $2 billion in market capitalisation.

Mr Drury told the National Business Review that he expected the company would continue to operate at a loss for a few more years.

''The big story iswe're raising capital to grow . . . shareholderswant us to invest in the business,'' he said.

The company is already listed on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges and has the US in its sights.

Xero, which already had offices in Auckland and Wellington, has opened offices in San Francisco, Milton Keynes, the UK, Melbourne and Sydney.

Despite its global reach, Mr Drury attends to business largely from the office in his Hawke's Bay home.

''That's the great thing about technology, you can do it anywhere.''

Slightly further down the Rich List, the Lowe family have an estimated worth of $140 million.

The Lowe fortune has been derived from New Zealand's largest privately owned animal by-product processor and exporter, the Lowe Corporation.

The company was founded by the late Graeme Lowe over 40 years ago, has an annual turnover of $300 million and employs about 400 staff.

The Lowe Corporation is now run by Graeme's son, Andy.

''I just hope I can do as well as what he has done over the last 40 years'' he told the National Business Review.

''Graeme always instilled in me that he only got where he is in life through the support of the local community and he taught me that giving back is very important.''

The Cushings, are also listed as worth $140 million. The family has a majority stake in Rural Equities which saw a boost in net profit of $15.8 million in the 12 months to June 30, 2012.

Sir Selwyn Cushing, 77, has had his finger in a number of pies over the years, including stints as chairman of Air New Zealand, Carter Holt Harvey, Whitcoulls Group and Hutton Kiwi.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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