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AFR Magazine

The 16 new faces on the Young Rich List

Michael Bailey
Michael BaileyRich List co-editor

From a crop of influencer-driven fashionistas such as Babyboo’s Argylica Conditsis, to the last man to make money from Sam Bankman-Fried, the 16 new faces on the Financial Review Young Rich List are an eclectic bunch.

The 30-year-old Conditsis started e-tailer Babyboo aged 17 at her parents’ house in Sydney’s Baulkham Hills, when she glued diamantes and rhinestones all over an old pair of heels. She got so many compliments on the street that Conditsis made a few more pairs and put them up on Facebook, where they sold out instantly. Then five sparkly party dresses, reflecting what Conditsis calls her “out-there aesthetic”, did likewise.

Argylica Conditsis, pictured at Babyboo’s Baulkham Hills warehouse, which the brand has outgrown and is about to move from. Louie Douvis

“I thought, you know what? I can make a business out of this,” she tells The Australian Financial Review Magazine, which on Friday will publish the 2023 Young Rich List.

Conditsis and her older brother William, whom she lured from an entrepreneurship degree to become Babyboo’s general manager, rank 80th and 81st with a shared $60 million fortune based on its success. This is verified by financial statements they provided in confidence, as well as public numbers such as Babyboo’s 1.5 million followership on Instagram.

The siblings are among 14 debutants on the Young Rich List, which ensures its own renewal by disqualifying people when they turn 41. (There are also two returnees to the list, in basketballer Dante Exum and golfer Marc Leishman.)


There are three other new generation rag traders on the list: married couple Georgia and Daniel Contos of White Fox Boutique fame (62nd and 63rd, $100 million combined) and the streetwise founder of GeedUp Co. clothing, Jake Paco (82nd, $60 million).

However, the highest-ranked debutant is mostly selling dreams. The brash trade promotions tycoon, Adrian Portelli, ranks seventh with a $1 billion estimate, based on the popularity of subscriptions to his LMCT+, an online club where he occasionally gives away a house or a sports car from his extensive collection.

Far lower profile is the second-ranked debutant, Michael Giles (39th, $180 million), the holder of accountancy and financial planning qualifications who has been founding fintech start-ups since 2004. However, he sold his last one to perhaps the highest profile person in finance, the founder of collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried.

Michael Giles has debuted on the Young Rich List after netting more than $US100 million from the sale of his Embed stock trading and clearing platform to FTX, six weeks before the crypto exchange collapsed. 

The 40-year-old Melburnian made an eight-digit fortune in 2019 when he sold his Third Party Technologies to Jack Dorsey’s Square (now Block), for what The Wall Street Journal reported was $US20 million. A platform to which other fintechs could plug in and gain an investment function for US markets, Giles’ product is now the retail investing tool within Block’s Cash App payments product.


“The Third Party experience showed me there was a gap in the market to modernise clearing and custody,” Giles says.

The result was Embed, a vertically integrated clearing firm and custodian, which Giles and team built from the ground up after raising $US40 million in equity and the same again in debt.

Having gained necessary regulatory approvals from Nasdaq and the like, Embed was bought by FTX in September 2022 for $US250 million, plus key staff retention payments of $US70 million, including $US55 million for Giles alone.

So keen was Bankman-Fried for Embed to add stock trading to FTX’s crypto exchange, he allegedly bought the platform after just one meeting with Giles and used funds stolen from customer accounts to do it. At least, that is according to a lawsuit filed in May by the bankrupt shell of FTX, now being run by recovery expert John Ray.

FTX’s lawsuit, which seeks to claw back more than $US240 million from Giles and other Embed insiders, claims Bankman-Fried bought the platform without due diligence. It calls Embed “bug-ridden” and “essentially worthless”, and says proof of the “wildly inflated” price FTX paid came last December, when an auction for Embed yielded just one bid of $1 million – from Giles, then still its chief executive.

Giles says FTX’s lawsuit is “completely baseless”, and his lawyers have filed a motion to dismiss. He is prepared to take the matter to trial.


In the meantime, he is working on a new start-up, Interchange, which claims to offer an alternative to legacy core banking software that makes it easier for banks to partner with fintechs.

Giles has also become a 23 per cent shareholder in the National Stock Exchange, opining that the half of the ASX’s 2800 listings that are capitalised at $100 million or less should consider moving to the alternative bourse.

Georgia and Daniel Contos of White Fox at a 10th birthday party for the label in Los Angeles. Instagram

Three other new Young Rich List fortunes related to cryptocurrency are less fraught. They belong to the founders of Australian crypto pioneer Caleb & Brown – Prash Puspanathan (71st, $74 million), Rupert Hackett (88th, $53 million) and Jackson Zeng (89th, $53 million).

One of the first exchanges dealing in bitcoin and the like when it opened in Melbourne in 2016, Caleb & Brown now claims 24,000 customers, annual volume of $2.7 billion and earnings before tax of more than $20 million.

Another emerging industry to support a trio of Young Rich debutants is green energy. They are renewable natural gas speculator Gregory Green (50th, $138 million), as well as lithium producers Francis Wedin (79th, $62 million) and Tal Paneth (83rd, $60 million).


Finally, there is one new Young Rich fortune without a social media influencer, Lamborghini or alleged fraudulent former crypto billionaire in sight.

In 2015, Aware Super relationship managers Evan Montero and Liam Dobson figured out that the one product the internet had forgotten was blinds. Digitising a process for measuring and ordering the window dressings which had previously involved home visits and faxed paperwork, the pair named their side hustle DIY Blinds and it took off.

They quit their jobs and last year banked $15 million from the government-backed Australian Business Growth Fund at a valuation of $100 million, giving 38-year-old Montero’s stake a $43 million valuation and 100th place on the list. Dobson also has a 43 per cent stake in DIY Blinds, but at 42 is too old for the Young Rich List.

The Young Rich issue of AFR Magazine is out this Friday.

Michael Bailey writes on entrepreneurship and the arts. He is also responsible for the Financial Review's Rich Lists. He is based in Sydney. Connect with Michael on Twitter. Email Michael at

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