Business Leaders of the year: Sam Morgan

Trade Me founder

Sam Morgan, the geeky young entrepreneur who is one of the richest people in New Zealand, sold Trade Me in March to Australian media company Fairfax for $700 million, scoring $227 million for himself.

Not bad work for a 30-year-old, who founded Trade Me in 1999 and developed it to become the country's most visited website. It has more than a million members, who host auctions selling a range of goods.

Morgan will run the website until 2008.

The true reach of his legacy is the way Trade Me has become a powerful magnet for real estate and classified advertising, creating a challenge for the print media.

Morgan has already put cash back into the economy investing in Kiwi companies - including two technology businesses, Auckland-based iVistra and Sonar6.

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