Paul Ramsay's business miracle

Paul Ramsay with Kevin Spacey

At his funeral last Friday, the Prime Minister called the late Paul Ramsay 'the most un-Scrooge-like billionaire Australia has ever seen.' The health and media magnate left his billions to charity.

Paul Ramsay, Australian businessman and philanthropist

Born 1936, died 2014.

Tributes have poured in for Paul Ramsay, the billionaire founder and chairman of private hospital operator Ramsay Health Care, who suffered a fatal heart attack while sailing in Spain.

The late Mr Ramsay, who was valued by Forbes at $3.7 billion in March, was 78 years old.

Mr Ramsay was single and did not have any children. He is survived by his twin sister Anne and his brother Peter.

The billionaire started Ramsay Health Care in 1964, when he was 28 years old. He grew up in Burradoo in the NSW Southern Highlands and after completing his high school education at St Ignatius College Riverview, he initially attended Sydney University and studied law.

But after working with his property surveyor father on subdivisions, his focus shifted.

Mr Ramsay’s first major property purchase was a guest house on Sydney’s North Shore, which he then converted into a 16-bed private psychiatric hospital.

He expanded the psychiatric hospital business before expanding into mainstream hospitals in 1978.

Chief executive Pat Grier said in 2012 that Mr Ramsay had carefully constructed 'the Ramsay way,' a set of six cultural principles that emphasises integrity and people.

Mr Ramsay entered the media sector in 1983, buying a stake in Prime Media and leading its expansion into regional areas through the acquisition of a number of operators, including Riverina TV and stations in Tamworth and Orange.

Seven executive chairman Kerry Stokes said Mr Ramsay had guided the development of Prime as a partner with the metro broadcaster for nearly 30 years.

'During that period, he conducted his business with us as he lived his life. There was never a cross word or a raised voice. That’s a miracle in our business,' Mr Stokes said.

Mr Ramsay was a noted, if publicity shy, philanthropist; in 2011 he made a splash when he gave the charitable foundation of US actor Kevin Spacey $300,000 at a charity dinner.

Image: Paul Ramsay, left, with actor Kevin Spacey in 2011, after donating $300,000 to the Kevin Spacey Foundation. Picture: Belinda Rolland

Read full article: Billionaire Paul Ramsay dies (Financial Review)

MORE:

Barnaby Joyce: Paul Ramsay was a man guided by better angels (The Canberra Times)

Billionaires gather to farewell Paul Ramsay, touted as ‘the most un-scrooge-like billionaire Australia has ever seen (The Daily Telegraph)

$3.3bn gift as Paul Ramsay bids farewell (The Australian)

Rich Lister Paul Ramsay dies, leaving more than $3bn to charity (BRW)

Tribute at Ramsay Health Care

WATCH:

Reclusive healthcare billionaire Paul Ramsay dies (ABC)

 

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