Alan Bond is a British-born Australian businessman noted for his high-profile business dealings, including his central role in the WA Inc scandals of the 1980s, and what was at the time the biggest corporate collapse in Australian history; for his bankrolling the successful bid for the 1983 America's Cup, the first time the New York Yacht Club had ever lost it in its 132-year history; and also for a criminal conviction that saw him serve four years in prison.
Beginning his career as a signwriter, Bond formed what was to be Bond Corporation in 1959. He became a public hero in his adopted country after bankrolling challenges for the America's Cup, which resulted in his selection in 1978 as Australian of the Year. His Australia II syndicate won the 1983 America's Cup, which had been held by the New York Yacht Club since 1851, thus breaking the longest winning streak in the history of sport.
In 1992, Bond was declared bankrupt with personal debts totalling A$1.8 billion. He was subsequently convicted of fraud and served four years in prison. Following release, he became active in mining investment, and was included in Business Review Weekly's "Rich 200 List" in 2008. But this apparent success soon proved to be hollow and built on speculative investments by associates, one of whom, in December 2010, described Bond as "a master manipulator who should be stopped before he does any more damage to anyone."