News, Culture & Society

Three Queensland farmers make the richlist with new company

From the paddock to Australia’s rich list: How three brothers turned their parents’ humble sugarcane farm into a $1.3billion global company

  • Lex, Peter and Andrew Greensill, from Bundaberg, are 75th on the AFR richlist 
  • As boys they grew up on their parents’ sugarcane and sweet potato farm 
  • Lex Greensill set up the firm Greensill in London in 2011, now worth $1.3bn 

Three Queensland farmers have made it to the rich list after setting up a company now valued at $1.3billion.

Lex, Peter and Andrew Greensill, from Bundaberg, are 75th on the AFR richlist, which is released in full on Friday. 

They grew up on their parents’ sugarcane and sweet potato farm before taking the finance world by storm.

Lex Greensill (left) with his mother Judy, brother Andrew and father Lloyd

In 2017, Greensill (pictured with Prince Charles) was made a Commander of the British Empire for services to the economy in the Queen's Birthday Honours list

In 2017, Greensill (pictured with Prince Charles) was made a Commander of the British Empire for services to the economy in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list

Former Morgan Stanley and Citigroup banker Lex set up the firm Greensill in London in 2011. 

The company specialises in providing small and medium-sized businesses access to so-called working capital finance to run their day-to-day operations.

This means offering early payment to cover money due to be paid by bigger companies and government agencies.

The digital finance house charges the businesses seeking early payment a fee of about 1 per cent of the sum provided. 

Then Greensill is paid in full by the suppliers’ customers when the invoices are settled.

Lex’s brothers, who live in Bundaberg and run the family farm, invested profits from the farm into Greensill during its early years. 

Lex Greensill (pictured) was raised on a sugar cane farm in Bundaberg and saw at first hand the impact caused by late payments from retailers

Lex Greensill (pictured) was raised on a sugar cane farm in Bundaberg and saw at first hand the impact caused by late payments from retailers

Last year, American private equity firm General Atlantic Partners poured £189million into Greensill, which is based in Covent Garden, central London, as part of a deal that valued the business at about £1.3billion.

That deal meant Greensill joined the ‘unicorn’ technology companies – private firms worth £1billion or more. 

Since then, Greensill has continued to grow and it now has around eight million clients across the world.

The latest round of investment will be used to fund the company’s expansion plans in China, India and Brazil.

Lex Greensill was raised on a sugar cane farm in Bundaberg and saw at first hand the impact caused by late payments from retailers as it meant his parents could not afford to send him to university.

He resorted to studying law at night school and got his first job at a local law firm.

Greensill specialises in providing small and medium-sized businesses access to so-called working capital finance to run their day-to-day operations

Greensill specialises in providing small and medium-sized businesses access to so-called working capital finance to run their day-to-day operations

Greensill arrived at Morgan Stanley in London after completing an MBA at business school in Manchester. 

In 2017, Greensill was made a Commander of the British Empire for services to the economy in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. 

Last year he told the Australian Financial Review that he was  ‘still a farmer at heart.’

‘Bundaberg is my home. It’s where I came from, and I visited there about eight times last year with my wife,’ he said. 

‘I’m a farmer at heart. Whenever I’m home I jump on a tractor and have a play. I don’t think of myself as a corporate titan.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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