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Private businessmen have left their mark on Perth’s future and skyline

HE business people on this list are not simply wealthy individuals or owners of large businesses.

They are more than that.

They are people who have left a lasting impression on WA, whether it be the shape of the city skyline, the houses we live in, the cars we buy or the food we eat.

As chairman of Multiplex Constructions, John Roberts heads one of WA’s largest and most successful companies.

Multiplex has built numerous office blocks, hotels, shopping centres and civic buildings around Perth, including the Maritime Museum in Fremantle and the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Its international success was highlighted by wining a $1.3 billion contract to redevelop Wembley Stadium in London.

Mr Roberts is stepping back from day-to-day management of the business, leaving that to sons Tim in WA and Andrew interstate.

Len Buckeridge, as founding chairman of the BGC Group, has had an enormous influence on home building and related industries.

BGC companies, including half-owned J-Corp, build more than 4,000 homes a year, making BGC the biggest home builder in WA.

BGC is also prominent in commercial construction, with projects such as the TVW Institute for Child Health Research in Subiaco.

BGC is characterised by a policy of vertical integration, which means BGC companies supply virtually everything that is needed for a BGC project.

The next logical step in that strategy is Mr Buckeridge’s plan to build a high-tech brick factory that could have dramatic implications for the incumbent operators Boral and Bristile.

Mr Buckeridge is equally well known for his defiance of unions.

His current employees include former Industrial Relations Minister Graham Keirath, who pushed through anti-union changes during the Court Government’s rule.

Bill Wyllie is a major property owner and investor.

His impact was highlighted in 2001 when he chose to invest in the Multiplex-based Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre project.

Mr Wyllie and his Wyllie Group are now owners of the PCEC.

He is also a shareholder and director of Burswood, which is widely seen as a takeover target once restrictive shareholding rules are lifted later this year.

Nick Tana has become one of Perth’s better known business faces, via his success with the Perth Glory soccer team.

Mr Tana and the other shareholders in Perth Glory have needed deep pockets to cover Glory’s ongoing losses but that should not be a problem.

He is chairman and co-owner (with managing director Frank Romano) of Australian Fast Foods, which owns the Chicken Treat and Red Rooster franchises.

Mr Tana’s other business interests include shopping centres and horticulture production.

Bob Branchi is the king of car sales in Perth, yet he is hardly known outside the industry.

He is managing director of Automotive Holdings Group, which has 27 vehicle and truck franchises across 13 dealerships, making it WA’s largest dealer group.

Dale Alcock was the founder of Dale Alcock Homes and is a director and co-owner (with Gary Brown-Neaves) of Alcock/Brown-Neaves Group, which also includes Webb & Brown-Neaves. The combined group ranks behind BGC as the biggest homebuilder in WA.

Adrian Fini, as chief executive of Mirvac Fini, has played a leading role in the growth in inner city apartment living.

Mirvac Fini has managed numerous apartment projects and recently commenced its biggest, the joint development with Burswood of a new residential community with up to 1,200 dwellings adjacent to the Burswood resort and casino.

John Poynton has long been regarded as one of the best-connected people in the Perth business community. He ran stockbroking firm Hartley Poynton in its prime, in the late 80s and early 90s, and since then has established and built up the management consulting and corporate advisory firm Poynton and Partners. He is also a director of Alinta and Austal.

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