Worth $2.2 billion, Marc Besen is the founder of the Sussan fashion chain along with Melbourne billionaire John Gandel. Besen also founded Melbourne’s Highpoint Shopping Centre and his daughter Naomi Milgrom now runs Sussan Group’s 500 stores and Sportsgirl.
|Top 200 Rich List (2020)||No. of Dark Companies: 1||Political Donations since FY 1998-99|
|Rank: 35||Highpoint Shopping Centres Pty. Limited||Labor Party: $119,200|
|Wealth: $2.24b||Coalition: $232,300|
|Wealth (2019): $2.34b||Independent: $0|
|YoY wealth change: -4.3%||Total: $351,500|
In 2006, the Besen family sold a 50% stake in Highpoint Shopping Centres for $621 million to GPT Group. The Besens sold their remaining 25% stake in Highpoint in 2017, for $680 million, also to GPT. Although Marc Besen currently doesn’t own any shares in Highpoint, he remains a director of the company.
Besen’s daughter Naomi Milgrom took control of Sussan Group in 2003 after buying out shares from her family members. She is currently the director of ARJ Group, the holding company of three prominent Australian women’s fashion retailers, Sussan, Sportsgirl, and Suzanne Grae.
In 2015, Besen was named a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia for his contribution to the arts. Besen and his wife have an art gallery, home to their collection of 500 works, the largest collection of privately held Australian art in the country, located on their Yarra Valley winery, Tarrawarra Estate.
Although he has divested several of his business interests over the years, Besen remains a prominent political donor. While Besen has donated to the Labor Party in the past, he was a staunch supporter of the Liberal Party during the 2019 federal election, donating $132,000 in various transactions to the Liberal war chest.