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Investment bankers are wealthiest Aussies in Britain

Date: Monday, April 27, 2009
Author: Peter Wilson, The Australian

HEDGE fund owner Michael Hintze has held off a challenge from younger financier Greg Coffey to retain his place as the richest Australian in Britain.

The Sunday Times Rich List has estimated that Mr Hintze, 55, is worth 210 million ($427 million) after the financial crisis shaved pound stg. 40 million off his fortune last year and 25 million the previous year, The Australian reports.

A former Australian Army officer, he comes in at number 325 on the list.

Mr Hintze has built up his fortune in the decade since he opened his CQS hedge fund business, Mr Coffey, 38, has raced up the wealth ladder over the past two years from number 644 the previous year to 274 this year.

Mr Coffey, known for dressing more like a rock musician than a financial engineer, first entered the rich list two years ago with 120 million and is estimated to have gained another 80 million last year.

Even though he abandoned his plan to set up his own hedge fund last year and instead went to work for the Moore Capital fund owned by Louis Bacon, he still earned enough to be one of Britain's biggest net gainers for the year.

Only 12 people in Britain gained more money than Mr Coffey's 80 million during a year of economic turmoil that The Sunday Times says wiped a third off the total wealth of the country's richest 1000 people.

Entertainer Kylie Minogue comes in equal at 1794, with a fortune of 40m.

Mr Hintze and Mr Coffey were among the richest hedge fund managers in Britain, with Mr Hintze ranked ninth and Mr Coffey 11th.

The biggest loser with Australian connections was the formerly Perth-based mining entrepreneur Frank Timis, who lost 78 million last year to be left with 84million.