News, Culture & Society

John Hartman: How ex-con became Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest of Fortescue Metals’ top lieutenant

Not many people get second chances, let alone ones worth $30billion – but that’s what happened to John Hartman. 

The son of a Sydney ‘obstetrician to the stars’, Hartman suffered the ultimate fall from grace when he was jailed for a $1.4million insider trading plot nine years ago. 

He testified at trial against his former Riverview College chum Oliver Curtis, husband of PR maven Roxy Jacenko, ensuring his one-time best mate was locked up too.   

Now 35, Mr Hartman has spoken publicly about how he turned his life around in an interview with the Australian Financial Review.

And the ex-con has declared his absolute loyalty to the mining magnate who took a gamble on him: Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, Australia’s second richest person.   

John Hartman fell from grace when he and his best mate Oliver Curtis were convicted of insider trading offences – but was handed a second chance by Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest. Above, Mr Hartman, now 35, is seen with his wife Alice and their three sons 

Hartman was the star witness at the trial of his former best mate Oliver Curtis (above, with wife Roxy Jacenko) in 2016

Hartman was the star witness at the trial of his former best mate Oliver Curtis (above, with wife Roxy Jacenko) in 2016

Mr Hartman now works as the chief investment officer for Andrew Forrest and wife Nicola's private holdings firm in Perth, Western Australia

Mr Hartman now works as the chief investment officer for Andrew Forrest and wife Nicola’s private holdings firm in Perth, Western Australia

Mr Hartman now lives in Perth, is married to long-time partner Alice Clarke and a father of three boys. 

He is the chief investment officer for the Forrest family’s holding company, Tattarang, overseeing the clan’s $30billion private portfolio. 

‘After the second chance they gave me, I have complete and undying loyalty to them,’ Mr Hartman told the Financial Review. 

It is a fate that would be almost unthinkable nine years ago, when he walked out of prison after 15 months served for insider trading offences.

Four years after his release, Mr Hartman was thrust into the spotlight once more when he gave evidence against Curtis, ensuring his former mate was jailed for 12 months.

‘He took the rap for it and had the guts and character

Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, in an interview with the Australian Financial Review

The trial sparked headlines about the hedonistic lifestyle the two young men led thanks to their crimes and their pedigrees. 

Mr Hartman is one of six children of Dr Keith Hartman AO, who has delivered babies for elite Sydney families the Murdochs, Packers and Waterhouses.  

Curtis is the son of Nick Curtis, the wealthy founder of mining business Lynas Corp, and whose celebrity wife is rarely out of the headlines. 

Curtis is pictured leaving Cooma correctional centre in New South Wales' alpine region in 2017 after serving his 12 month sentence

Curtis is pictured leaving Cooma correctional centre in New South Wales’ alpine region in 2017 after serving his 12 month sentence

Hartman and Curtis's entries in the Riverwood College yearbook came to light during the trial. Above, Hartman's is seen above, via the NSW State Library

Hartman and Curtis’s entries in the Riverwood College yearbook came to light during the trial. Above, Hartman’s is seen above, via the NSW State Library

Memories: The Riverview College yearbook entry from Oliver Curtis' graduating year

Memories: The Riverview College yearbook entry from Oliver Curtis’ graduating year

In the Financial Review interview, Mr Hartman said his trials and tribulations had made him who he is today. 

He described his partnership with the Forrest family as a ‘special relationship’ – and one he’s very fortunate to have forged.  

Mr Forrest told the newspaper that Hartman had a valuable experience on his resume few others would boast of – he knows what it is like to suffer. 

‘That kid had had it very hard,’ the mining magnate was quoted saying.

‘Sydney and Melbourne turned their backs on him because he made some bad mistakes and then owned up to them. 

‘He took the rap for it and had the guts and the character.’

Curtis, the son of billionaire miner Nick Curtis, likewise landed on his feet after serving a 12 month prison stint.

As of last year, he was been working as the chief operating officer of his family’s new venture Firmus Grid.

The company is converting an old abattoir in Launceston, Tasmania, into a supercomputer hub. 

Mr Hartman and his wife are seen above shortly after moving across the Nullabor to WA

Mr Hartman and his wife are seen above shortly after moving across the Nullabor to WA

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk