Packer gives his son a chance to make good

Evening Standard (England), Feb. 3, 2003

James Packer, son of Australia’s richest man Kerry Packer, is hoping his newly-embraced Scientology beliefs can help him turn around his reputation.

Eighteen months after losing A$500 million (pounds 177 million) of family and investors’ money on the failed One.Tel business, he is now spearheading the family charge into financial services.

The Packers have taken their 30% of CPH Investment, added it to financial services group Challenger International, and poached former First State funds management chief Chris Cuffe to run the operation.

The result is a A$1 billion (pounds 356 million) company with A$400 million and a boss with a lot to prove.

Ever since the One.Tel collapse, James Packer has been made to pay for what his father Kerry referred to as a “stuff-up”.

While his father, reinvigorated after a kidney transplant, took a more hands-on approach to the running of his family, James had been pushed onto the sidelines.

His marriage to swimsuit model Johdi Packer broke up, and he has been seen at the Church of Scientology’s headquarters in Sydney.

Now, with the Challenger deal, James Packer has been given a second chance.

He has much to prove.

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This post was last updated: Nov. 8, 2013