Harry Triguboff is a real estate mogul and owner of Meriton Apartments. Harry is known for his divisive opinion on population growth in Australia and believes that we should be pushing forward to 100 million. He is affectionately known as “high rise Harry.”
Harry Triguboff has led an amazing journey from being born into chaos to being one of the world’s most successful property tycoons. He was born in Dalien, China to refugee Russian Jews who fled Russia when Lenin came to power. He grew up in the White Russian Jewish Community of Tianjin, China before being sent to Australia in 1947 to be educated at Scot’s College in Sydney. He later moved to England where he graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in textiles of all things. He spent time working in the textile industry in Israel and South Africa.
Harry returned to Australia and became a citizen in the sixties where he spent time working as a cab driver and a doing a milk round. He worked as a realtor and as an assistant university lecturer but failed at both. The turning point in Harry’s life was hiring a shoddy builder to build his home. He fired the builder and built the home himself learning as he went along. This gave rise to the wealthiest and most well known real estate tycoon in Australian history.
With the experience in his back pocket Harry purchased a second vacant block of land in Tempe, Sydney and built a block of eight units with a partner. Out of nowhere he had tapped into a successful industry and Harry never looked back. His first major development was a block of eighteen units on Meriton Street, Gladesville which lent itself to the name of his future corporation Meriton Apartments.
Today Harry Triguboff is one of the most beloved rich people in the country. Going against the grain of Australian tall poppy syndrome the elderly Triguboff’s rags to riches story, his askew worldview and his charitable nature have made him an icon. He is the chairman and managing director of Meriton and turned it into Australia’s largest residential property development company. These days you cannot exist in South East Queensland or Sydney without knowing the Meriton name. In 2004 Meriton completed the ‘World Tower’ in Sydney which is Sydney’s largest residential structure. Since 1998 Harry and Meriton have sponsored the Balmain Tigers (and subsequently Wests Tigers) in the National Rugby League competition and it is through his association with this sporting franchise that Harry has maintained his blue collar reputation and down to earth nature.
Harry is the seventh richest person in Australia and the richest property developer. His simple business model and refusal to deviate from the plan have made his business not only incredibly lucrative but has allowed it to stand the test of time. Harry builds low cost housing and that is what he is good at and he will never change. In 1990 Harry was honoured with the Order of Australia medal.
This is a guest post on behalf of CEO Magazine, an Australian magazine for the high-level executive.