Alan Bond

alanbond&hawkeThis English-born Australian entrepreneur was chair of the Bond Corporation from 1969 until 1990 during the years when its aggressive takeover strategy gave the company interests in brewing, the media, mining, and retailing.

In 1983 Bond led a syndicate that sponsored the winning yacht in the America's Cup race.

By 1988 the Bond Corporation could boast assets of almost AU$10 billion (£4 billion) and Bond himself, as Australia's fifth-richest man, had an estimated personal wealth of AU$400 million.

However, his compulsive takeover deals and excessive borrowing from banks eventually led to the corporation's bankruptcy, forcing his resignation in January 1990 and leaving the company with debts of AU$12 billion.

Declared bankrupt in April 1992 with debts of at least £110 million, Bond was jailed in May 1992 on fraud charges relating to the collapse of an Australian merchant bank, although this sentence was quashed by the appeals court in November 1992.

In January 1995 he was arrested and charged with fraud and misconduct relating to corporate deals in the 1980s.

He was voted out of bankruptcy by his creditors in February 1995. In February 1997 he pleaded guilty to defrauding AU$1.2 billion from shareholders of Bell Resources to prop up his own Bond Corporation (the biggest fraud in Australian history), and was imprisoned until March 2000.

In 2003, Bond was inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame and since 2003 he has worked closely with his son Craig and long-time business partner Robert Quinn through Strategic Investments Ltd.