Millionaire struggles to keep low profile

18:45, Nov 01 2013
Greg Tomlinson
MILLIONAIRE: Greg Tomlinson.

Christchurch's $33 million man, Greg Tomlinson, is struggling to maintain his preferred anonymity.

The highly successful entrepreneur who hailed originally from Marlborough is close to having a 10 per cent stake in new bank, Heartland, which has deep ties with Canterbury.

His stake is worth about $33m.

Media-shy Tomlinson made his fortune in construction, the mussel industry, rest home care, has investments in race horses and in health, as well as now being the new bank's largest shareholder.

At yesterday's Heartland annual meeting in Christchurch, an elderly shareholder asked Tomlinson to talk about himself because Tomlinson was standing for election as a director of the company.

However the old-school chairman of the company Geoffrey Ricketts jumped in and said it was not the company's practice for directors standing for election to do that.


Directors at other companies standing for election often lay their credentials out to shareholders before they vote.

But instead Ricketts left Tomlinson standing looking awkward and with nothing to say while Ricketts read out a prepared statement about Tomlinson.

Ricketts said the board recommended shareholders vote for Tomlinson. Tomlinson was elected by a show of hands.

Tomlinson owned a construction company in Marlborough, was a mussel-industry pioneer, and established rest home chain Qualcare, then sold a large part of it to finance Impact Capital which invests in several businesses in New Zealand.

Tomlinson now lives in Merivale in Christchurch.

He was known in Marlborough for his low-key and often anonymous support of local causes.

The Press