Celebrity Net Worth: Ash Barty aces retirement with a fortune of $40m

In our fortnightly celebrity investment and wealth round-up, Shah Rukh Khan plans to launch a new streaming platform and Abba's Bjorn Ulvaeus seeks to raise up to $1.1bn for a fund to invest in music catalogues

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Ashleigh Barty

How much money do you need to retire early? About $2 million is enough to generate an annual income of $80,000 at an average interest rate of 5 per cent, says online financial encyclopaedia Investopedia. With her personal wealth estimated at between $30 million and $40m, Ashleigh Barty doesn’t need to work another day in her life.

The world number 1 announced her retirement from tennis last Wednesday, barely a quarter of the way into the 2022 season. She has banked $23.8m in total career prize money so far.

The Australian was the highest-earning tennis player in 2021 — going by on-court earnings alone. About $3.9m of her $6.9m pay cheque came from tournament winnings.

She also took home $3m in off-court earnings. These included an undisclosed amount from a new sponsorship deal with hotel group Marriott Bonvoy — in addition to existing partnerships from brands such as Jaguar, FILA, Head, Swiss watchmaker Rado and Australia’s favourite breakfast spread, Vegemite.

Fellow tennis retiree Casey Dellacqua described Barty as probably “one of the most marketable athletes in the world”. Dellacqua was interviewing Barty for the social media post that announced her retirement.

“It’s hard to say but I’m so happy and I’m so ready and I just know at the moment, in my heart for me as a person, this is right,” Barty said, adding she felt it was time to pursue other dreams.

Barty hasn’t yet said what her next step will be but did not rule out trying another sport when addressing a press conference last Thursday.

Fans have speculated she could return to cricket or pursue a golf career in the footsteps of her parents, Josie and Robert, who represented the state of Queensland as golfers. Her father also represented Australia in the sport.

As life expectancies have increased, so too has the rise of the portfolio career — where individuals may hold a variety of different professional roles at the same time, or in succession.

The pandemic has accelerated this trend, with nearly one in three people under 40 professing to thinking about changing their occupation since the pandemic began, according to a July 2021 Washington Post-Schar School poll of workers in the US.

And in sport, from baseballer Bo Jackson to footballer Eric Cantona and tennis’ own Justine Henin and Bjorn Borg, plenty of athletes have retired early. Some have returned to their sport, if not to the lofty heights they once commanded, while others, such as Cantona, now an actor, have gone on to have second careers elsewhere.

At just 25, Barty could well find success in another sport.

“Ash Barty the person has so many dreams she wants to chase after that don’t necessarily involve travelling the world, being away from my family, being away from my home, which is where I’ve always wanted to be,” she said.

“I’ll never, ever stop loving tennis, it’s been a massive part of my life, but I think it’s important that I get to enjoy the next part of my life as Ash Barty the person, not Ash Barty the athlete.”

She is likely to use her time away to give back to the community and said she was keen to help fellow Indigenous Australians with “more opportunity to get into sport” from a young age.

“I have always wanted to have the time to contribute more in other ways and now I have that opportunity. That is what lights me up inside,” Barty, who is the National Indigenous Tennis Ambassador for Tennis Australia, said.

Barty’s asset portfolio is thought to include at least three houses, all in Australia.

For now, Barty and her fiancé, golfer Garry Kissick, will be busy overseeing the construction of a new home on a vacant block in Brookwater, an upmarket residential community on the outskirts of Brisbane, Queensland.

Barty paid $882,000 for the plot of land. She also owns two other homes in the neighbouring areas of Springfield Lakes and Augustine Heights, according to media reports.

Shah Rukh Khan is set to launch a new streaming platform, called SRK+, the actor announced on Twitter. AFP

Shah Rukh Khan

He’s one of India’s biggest box-office draws. Now, Shah Rukh Khan is using his celebrity status in new ways, with the Bollywood actor set to launch a new streaming platform called SRK+, he said on Twitter.

Kuch kuch hone wala hai, OTT ki duniya mein” (Something is going to happen in the world of OTT), he tweeted in reference to one of his biggest grossing films, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

Industry insiders congratulated the star and some confirmed they would be working on projects with the Dubai Tourism ambassador.

“Dream come true! Collaborating with @iamsrk on his new OTT app, SRK+,” filmmaker Anurag Kashyap tweeted. Others included his good friends, actor Salman Khan and director-producer Karan Johar.

Khan, 56, hasn’t announced what type of content will be available on the platform. However, he has access to a significant content library. In many ways, the app is a logical outcome of his business decisions over the past two decades.

Khan’s production and visual effects company, Red Chillies Entertainment, has released 30 films since 2000. In addition, the company has acquired the rights to at least another 50 Bollywood movies. Many of these feature Khan in leading roles, but others, such as Mandi and Professor, are cinema classics.

Red Chillies Entertainment is also involved in television production, visual effects and sport. A principal source of revenue is the company’s 55 per cent ownership of the Indian Premier League cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders and its stake in the Caribbean Premier League team Trinbago Knight Riders.

In November, India’s Economic Times reported Khan was one of the new owners of a team franchise in the new UAE T20 league.

Khan has a net worth of $690m, according to Forbes’ calculations. Besides his film and sport work, he has also endorsed several dozen brands over the course of his career, including Pepsi, Reliance Jio, Colgate-Palmolive, Tag Heuer, LG and Disney+Hotstar.

In February, he added Thums Up, Coca-Cola’s $1bn India stablemate, to that list.

The value of his personal brand is $51.1m, according to the Duff & Phelps Celebrity Brand Valuation Report 2020.

The actor has been on a box-office hiatus since 2018’s Zero. He will return to screens in January next year, with the action film Pathaan.

Bjorn Ulvaeus and his Abba bandmates are estimated to have a combined net worth of $1 billion. AP

Bjorn Ulvaeus

Abba’s Bjorn Ulvaeus is teaming up with Conni Jonsson, the chairperson of Swedish investment company EQT, to raise between $529m and $1.1bn for a new fund that will invest in music catalogues, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The new venture will have close ties to the Swedish entertainment company Pophouse Entertainment, where both men are board members.

While the date of the launch has yet to be announced, early talks with investors have focused on banks and music publishers.

Pophouse said in February it was expanding its focus to intellectual property investments in the entertainment industry. It is also investing in the purpose-built Abba Arena in London to create a year-round digital concert experience.

Music catalogues have been popular investments in recent years as a number of ageing stars look to secure their legacies by monetising their music. In December, Bruce Springsteen sold his music and songwriting catalogue to Sony Music for $500m.

Investment management company Blackstone and Hipgnosis Song Management agreed on a $1bn partnership last year to acquire and manage music rights.

Ulvaeus and his Abba bandmates are estimated to have a combined net worth of $1bn.

Nina Dobrev invested in female-led low-sugar candy brand SmartSweets in a strategic round of funding earlier this month. Photo: Netflix

Nina Dobrev

Canadian actor Nina Dobrev struck another blow for female empowerment by investing in female-led low-sugar candy brand SmartSweets earlier this month.

She joined compatriot singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes and American actor Zoey Deutch alongside corporate investors in a strategic round of funding, the value of which was undisclosed.

“SmartSweets lets me enjoy candy daily without the crazy amounts of sugar traditional candy has,” Dobrev said.

“As a fellow Canadian and female entrepreneur, I am honoured to invest in SmartSweets and work with the team of incredible women behind one of my favourite products.”

Tara Bosch, founder of SmartSweets, described the brand as 77 per cent women and a champion for female founders and entrepreneurs.

“I couldn't think of a better representation for our brand than Nina,” she said.

As a female entrepreneur, I am honoured to invest in SmartSweets and work with the team of incredible women behind one of my favourite products
Nina Dobrev, actor

It is Dobrev’s second investment this year after she joined a Series A funding round in beverage company Cann in February.

The Vampire Diaries star has been an actor since 2006 and has a side hustle as an entrepreneur. Together with dancer Julianne Hough, she launched a low-carb, low-calorie grape beverage in 2019. The partners took the company public in December last year, raising $22m in an initial public offering.

The Minnesota-headquartered company is led by chief executive Janelle Anderson.

Dobrev has previously spoken of the importance of demonstrating female leadership in the FMCG business.

“It was really important for us to have a female CEO,” she told Yahoo Finance in February. “Only 6 per cent of companies that are in the New York Stock Exchange are led by a female CEO, and we are one of them.”

The company has since expanded to several more states across the US. On Friday, its stock rose 1.05 per cent to close at $4.17, but down from its inaugural mid-December value of $9.33.

Dobrev has a net worth of $11m, according to estimates by Celebrity Net Worth.

Updated: March 28, 2022, 5:00 AM