David and Simon Reuben

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  • David Reuben
  • Simon Reuben
BornSimon – 1941 (age 79–80)
David – 1944 (age 76–77)
OccupationProperty investors
Known forProperty holdings
Net worthDecrease £16 billion (Sunday Times Rich List, 2020)
Board member ofReuben Brothers
  • Simon – Joyce
  • David – Debra
  • Simon – Lisa
  • David – David Jnr.; Jamie
  • David Sassoon Reuben (father)
  • Nancy Reuben (née Jiddah) (mother)

David Reuben (born 1941) and Simon Reuben (born 1944) are British businessmen.[1] In May 2020, they were named as the second richest family in the UK by the Sunday Times Rich List with a net worth of £16 billion.[2]

Early life and background[edit]

The brothers were born in Bombay, British India, the sons of David Sassoon Reuben and Nancy Reuben,[3] a prosperous Baghdadi Jewish family.[1] The brothers arrived in London in the 1950s with their mother, Nancy, and lived in Islington;[1] having run various businesses across the Indian Subcontinent from their bases in Bombay and Baghdad.[4] The brothers attended state schools, with Simon never completing his formal education.[5]


David joined a scrap metals business while Simon started out in carpets. Simon went on to buy out England's oldest carpet company from the receivers and made enough money from it to start investing in property, with early investments on Walton Street and the King's Road in Chelsea.[5] The brothers increased their wealth during the 1970s and 1980s in both metals trading and property. Nearly half their fortune is in liquid assets such as cash and bonds. They avoid publicity.[citation needed]

Metals business[edit]

In the early 1990s, the brothers invested in the Russian metals market, financing significantly the production and distribution of metals. The Reubens became the world's third-biggest producer of aluminum.[6] At its peak, their company, Trans-World Metals, and its associates controlled five-to-seven percent of the world's aluminum output.[5] When Russian aluminum smelters were incapacitated by debt, Trans World entered into tolling arrangements with factories in which they paid for and delivered raw materials in return for finished aluminum, which it then sold for profit. The company's investment in Russia was US$1.5 billion (GB£870 million), with global sales in 1995 topping US$8 billion.[6] The brothers were involved with several members of the country's new oligarchy, including Roman Abramovich.[6] Subsequently, they settled a multimillion-pound legal dispute with Oleg Deripaska which resulted in a substantial settlement being awarded to Reuben Brothers.

In 2008, the Reuben brothers returned to the commodity business, expanding their mining interests with a portfolio of mines in Morocco, Indonesia and South Africa.[5]

Present activities[edit]

Reuben Brothers

By 2000, the Russian business environment resulted in the brothers selling all their Russian assets[6] as they focused their business activities mainly in the UK property market, where they have a substantial portfolio of debt-free assets. With others, they have been involved in financing a number of major acquisitions and also have investments in technology companies. As of 2016 their business activities mainly involved real estate, both in the UK and abroad, venture capital, and private equity.

Real estate[edit]

UK properties owned by Reuben Brothers include: Millbank Tower; the John Lewis Partnership headquarters in Victoria; the American Express offices also in Victoria; Carlton House SW1; Academy House on Sackville Street; Connaught House on Berkeley Square; Market Towers; the London Primark store on Oxford Street; Sloane Street shops; and Cambridge House, the former premises of the Naval and Military Club,[5] which comprises six freehold buildings which have a planning consent for a six-star hotel and private members' club.

Other investments and developments include Merchant Square, a 1,800,000 sq ft (170,000 m2) development scheme of offices and flats, in the Paddington area of London; Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, a 50/50 joint venture in a new apart-hotel under the 'art'otel' brand in Hoxton, City of London; Hampton House, demolition and redevelopment of the 1960s office block opposite Tate Britain that was designed by Foster & Partners and features a mix of apartments and an apart-hotel on the River Thames next to the Park Plaza London Riverbank hotel; airports at London Oxford and London Heliport.[5] In 2006 the Reuben Brother formed a partnership that injected private equity into the FTSE-listed McCarthy & Stone, a retirement home construction company, and divested the investment in 2013.[7]

Aldergate Investments[edit]

Via both companies, the Reuben Brothers continue to be one of the largest investors in luxury leisure group Belmond Ltd. Other holdings include Travelodge Hotels; D2 Jeans and Blue Inc clothing retailers, with retailer Sir Stuart Rose; Luup and Metro Bank; The Wellington Pub Company, the largest free-of-tie pub estate in the UK with approximately 850 tenanted pubs; Global Switch, the largest wholesale carrier neutral data centre provider in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region; Arena Leisure and Northern Racing merged forming ARC (Arena Racing Company) which represents 40% of UK fixtures and a 45% stake in At The Races (ATR), the broadcaster taking UK and Irish racing to domestic & international audience; and a joint venture with British Marine, that in 2014 had eight vessels with plans to double the fleet size.[5]


In 2006 Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London at the time, used a press conference to accuse Simon and David Reuben of jeopardising the £4 billion Olympic City development, in which the Reuben brothers held a 50% stake. Livingstone controversially told the media conference, referring to the Reuben brothers, that "If they're not happy here, they can go back to Iran and try their luck with the ayatollahs, if they don't like the planning regime or my approach."[8] After a public complaint and a subsequent official investigation into Livingstone's comments that were alleged to be anti-semitic, the investigating officer dismissed the complaint and concluded that Livingstone had reason to be strongly critical of his understanding of the Reuben brothers' conduct, and that his criticism, whilst robust, was reasonable in the circumstances.[4]

The Reuben Foundation[edit]

The family's philanthropic vehicle, the Reuben Foundation, is focused on the advancement of healthcare and education.[9]

The family founded the Nancy Reuben Primary School, an independent Jewish day school in Hendon in honour of their mother.[10]

The foundation has donated £80 million to support the creation of Reuben College, originally named Parks College. It will be a post-graduate college focused on climate change, artificial intelligence and cellular life.[11]

Personal wealth[edit]

According to the Sunday Times Rich List 2020, David and Simon Reuben and their family had an estimated personal net worth of £16 billion, a decrease of £2.664 billion on the previous year. This makes them Britain's second wealthiest family.[2]

The Reuben's net worth has progressively increased over the last decade.[12][13] The Times has reported that the brothers' businesses make extensive use of offshore tax havens. A spokesperson said that their businesses "fully comply with UK tax laws".[14]

The brothers are regular donors to the Conservative Party.[14]

Wealth rankings[edit]

Year Sunday Times
Rich List
The World's Billionaires
Rank Net worth
(GB£) bn
Rank Net worth
(US$) bn
2006[15] 8 £3.25 Increase 185 Decrease $3.60 Decrease
2007[16] 8 Steady £3.49 Increase 177 Steady $4.50 Increase
2008[12][17] 10 Decrease £4.30 Increase 178 Decrease $5.50 Increase
2009[18][19] 9 Increase £2.50 Decrease 98 Increase $5.00 Decrease
2010[20][21][22] 5 Increase £5.53 Increase 93 Increase $7.50 Increase
2011[13][23] 8 Decrease £6.18 Increase 114 Decrease $8.00 Increase
2012[24][25] 8 Steady £7.08 Increase 100 Increase $9.00 Increase
2013[26][27] 7 Increase £8.28 Increase 103 Decrease $10.50 Increase
2014[28][29] 7 Steady £9.00 Increase 95 Increase $11.50 Increase
2015[30][31][32] 5 Decrease £9.70 Increase 80 Increase $13.70 Increase
2016[9][33] 1 Increase £13.10 Increase 60 Increase $14.40 Increase
2017[34][33] 3 Decrease £14 Increase 65 Decrease $15.3 Increase
Icon Description
Steady Has not changed from the previous year's list
Increase Has increased from the previous year's list
Decrease Has decreased from the previous year's list


  1. ^ a b c "Mayfair's First Family". Tatler. Reuben Brothers. October 2013.
  2. ^ a b Times, The Sunday. "Rich List 2020: profiles 1-20. James Dyson tops the list". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  3. ^ "Nancy Reuben Primary School". Reuben Foundation. 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Livingstone cleared of anti-semitism". The Guardian. United Kingdom. Press Association. 20 June 2006. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Lunn, Emma (12 March 2014). "How Britain's richest brothers made billions from nothing". Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d Robinson, James (27 June 2004). "Pack up your roubles ..." The Observer, The Guardian. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  7. ^ "New McCarthy & Stone boss wields the axe". Construction Index. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Mayor in fresh Jewish controversy". BBC News. 21 March 2006. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  9. ^ a b "#60 David & Simon Reuben". Forbes. October 2010.
  10. ^ "Who is Nancy Reuben?". Nancy Reuben Primary School.
  11. ^ Sean Coughlan (11 June 2020). "Don't hide history, says Oxford head in statue row". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  12. ^ a b Beresford, Philip, ed. (27 April 2008). "Rich List reveals wealthy reap profits under Labour". The Sunday Times.
  13. ^ a b "Forbes Rich List: The UK and world's wealthiest people revealed". SWNS.com. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  14. ^ a b "India-born Reuben brothers in UK's new Tax Haven Elite list". Economic Times. 7 May 2019. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  15. ^ "#185 David & Simon Reuben". Forbes. 2006. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  16. ^ "#177 David & Simon Reuben". Forbes. 8 March 2007. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  17. ^ "#178 David & Simon Reuben". Forbes. 5 March 2008. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  18. ^ Beresford, Philip, ed. (26 April 2009). "Sunday Times Rich List: Bonfire of the billionaires wipes out £155bn fortune". The Sunday Times.
  19. ^ "#98 David & Simon Reuben". Forbes. 11 March 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  20. ^ "The Sunday Times Rich List 2010: Rising from the rubble". The Sunday Times. 25 April 2010.
  21. ^ Beresford, Philip, ed. (25 April 2010). "2010 Rich List". thesundaytimes.co.uk.
  22. ^ "#93 David & Simon Reuben". Forbes. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  23. ^ Beresford, Philip, ed. (8 May 2011). "2011 Sunday Times Rich List". The Sunday Times. United Kingdom. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
  24. ^ Beresford, Philip, ed. (29 April 2012). "2014 Rich List". thesundaytimes.co.uk.
  25. ^ Prince, Rosa (7 March 2012). "Forbes list: JK Rowling fortune under vanishing spell". The Telegraph. United Kingdom. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  26. ^ Beresford, Philip, ed. (21 April 2013). "2013 Rich List". thesundaytimes.co.uk.
  27. ^ McRae, Hamish (6 March 2013). "Forbes' billionaire list shows that, in global terms, Britain rich folk are little more than also-rans". The Independent. United Kingdom. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  28. ^ Beresford, Philip, ed. (18 May 2014). "2014 Rich List". thesundaytimes.co.uk.
  29. ^ "The 20 Richest Real Estate Tycoons on the Forbes Billionaires List". The MP Report. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  30. ^ Beresford, Philip, ed. (April 2015). "Rich List". thesundaytimes.co.uk. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  31. ^ "Richest Double wealth". The Guardian. London. 26 April 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  32. ^ Peterson-Withorn, Chase (2 March 2015). "Forbes Billionaires: Full List Of The 500 Richest People In The World 2015". Forbes. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  33. ^ a b Beresford, Philip; Watts, Robert, eds. (24 April 2016). "Rich List". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  34. ^ "David & Simon Reuben". Forbes.

External links[edit]