By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
The House of Hancock: The Rise and Rise of Gina Rinehart
By Debi Marshall (William Heinemann, $34.95, softcover, 367 pages)
Gina Rinehart, daughter and heiress of the late mining magnate Lang Hancock, is an intensely private member of the global wealthy elite who has pulled off an impressive feat: as the world’s richest woman her personal fortune has swelled to $29.17 billion.
However, it appears that she has few sustainable relationships.
Wielding more power than the Prime Minister, Gina was groomed to take over her father’s empire, but the fanatically private house of Hancock changed forever after Lang’s third marriage to flamboyant Rose in 1985.
Searching for definitive answers, award-winning author and investigative journalist
Debi Marshall uses ‘informed sources close to the Hancock family and other business associates together with exclusive materials never before seen’ to skillfully deliver an absorbing insight into this unbelievably affluent family.
Much mythology surrounds the Hancock legacy. Equally important is the fact that “to understand Gina you first have to understand her father”, but it’s not necessarily a case of like father like daughter.
What drives this strong, enigmatic woman, what has shaped her psyche? While Lang did not care what people thought of him, “Gina does not take the same sanguine approach. She does not take kindly to criticism … Hancock bellowed; Gina whispers. Hancock bullied; Gina sues”.
The House of Hancock takes you competently through the family splits, traces the Dynasty-style dramas, the mind-boggling wealth that symbolises this household and the rift between the two main players through to today’s toxic and unseemly legal battles over the family fortune between Gina and three of her four adult children.
Cutting a “tough, lonely and somewhat tormented” figure, Gina has a “sense of paranoia and secrecy; a mistrust of others; a siege mentality”.
The next decade in the Rinehart story will make for captivating observation. Despite her distrust of the media, she is intensifying control and obtaining print and broadcast assets.
Edition 406, 22 April 2014
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.