PHOTO: Margaret Rose has appeared on the rich list for the first time aged 79. Her husband, Bob, has appeared 11 times.
At the age of 79, an Australian woman has made her debut on the rich list, breaking through a lifetime of achievements that often went unnoticed due to her association with her husband.
Margaret Rose, a prominent figure in the real estate industry as part of Rose Group, secured the 200th spot on the Financial Review Rich List this week, amassing a fortune of $690 million.
Her husband, Bob, has been featured on the list 11 times, with his latest appearance in 2018.
Previously, the list only allowed for one name, which inadvertently disregarded the contributions of women, as acknowledged by Channel 9. However, the rules have since changed, enabling Ms. Rose to be recognized alongside her husband for the first time.
Ms. Rose is credited with spearheading their multimillion-dollar property empire, playing a pivotal role in closing their inaugural deal in 1982. At that time, Bob had already experienced both success and failure, having amassed and lost a fortune while filing for bankruptcy.
During the pivotal purchase, Ms. Rose was running her own PR firm. Reflecting on the deal, she shared with Channel 9 that it taught her the importance of maintaining a “calculated risk account” — a reserve of funds earmarked for investing in worthwhile but high-risk ventures at short notice.
“I knew I didn’t want our lives to be ordinary,” she expressed.
She recounted how she had saved some money from a PR event and overheard Bob, who was employed by Mirvac at the time, discussing a piece of land for sale at McMahons Point. Several property developers were trying to persuade the Irish company that owned it to sell.
Ms. Rose approached an Australian representative of the company and successfully closed the deal for an option.
“I knew it marked a turning point in my life,” she recalled.
“I engaged architects, obtained council approval for the plans, and managed to sell the option just hours before it expired.”
This marked the birth of Rose Group in 1983.
Ms. Rose noted that during her early years, there were few women involved in property development.
“Back then, men were constructing houses, but they had no concept of creating a home,” she explained to Channel 9.
As a late achiever on the rich list, Ms. Rose described her sixties as the best years of her life, as her children had grown up, and her fifties were predominantly consumed by her battle with ovarian cancer.
“Family life was fulfilling, and the business thrived. My energy and passion were rekindled,” she expressed.
The couple currently resides in an Elizabeth Bay penthouse overlooking Sydney Harbour and intends to distribute a share of the family business to each of their four children. Their two sons, who are actively involved in Rose Group, are poised to take over the reins.
“We had four children, but in reality, we had five. The company was our fifth child, and you never let go of that,” Ms. Rose concluded.