David and Simon Reuben

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  • David Reuben
  • Simon Reuben
Simon Reuben & David Reuben.jpg
Simon & David Reuben, pictured in 2009
Born Simon – 1941 (age 74–75)
David – 1944 (age 71–72)
Mumbai, India
Nationality English
Occupation Property investors; philanthropists
Known for Property holdings; philanthropy
Net worth
Board member of Reuben Brothers
Religion Judaism[3]
  • Simon – Joyce
  • David – Debra
  • Simon – Lisa
  • David – David Jnr.; Jordana, Jamie
  • David Sassoon Reuben (father)
  • Nancy Reuben (mother)
Website ReubenBrothers.com

David Reuben (born 1941) and Simon Reuben (born 1944) (Reuben Brothers) are British businessmen and philanthropists.[4] In the 2016 Forbes magazine list of billionaires, David and Simon Reuben were ranked as the 60th wealthiest people in the world, with a net worth of US$14.4 billion.[1] In 2016 they were jointly named by The Sunday Times as Britain's richest people, with a net worth of GB£13.1 billion.[2][5][6]

Early life and background[edit]

The brothers were born in Mumbai, India, the sons of David Sassoon Reuben and Nancy Reuben,[7] after the family had migrated from Iraq to Mumbai in the mid-1800s and ran businesses across the Indian subcontinent from their bases in Bombay and Baghdad.[4] The family had lived in British India with fellow Jews, such as Baron Kadoorie (the father of Sir Michael Kadoorie), the Sassoon family and many other Jewish families.[citation needed] The brothers arrived in London in the 1950s with their mother, and lived in Islington.[8] They attended government schools, with Simon never completing his formal education.[9]


David spent his early years trading in scrap metals, later co-managing a Soviet metals-trading venture with Merrill Lynch and eventually laying the groundwork for Trans-World Metals by founding his own company in 1977.[10] Simon began his working life in carpets, and went on to buy out England's oldest carpet[10] company, J Holdsworth & Co, from the receivers. Simon used the profits to buy property and set up a company called Devereux, which he later sold to Bovis just before the 1970s property crash. His early investments included properties on Walton Street and the Pheasantry site on the King's Road in Chelsea.[9][10] The brothers increased their wealth during the 1970s and 1980s in both metals trading and property. A large proportion of their wealth is in liquid assets such as cash and bonds. They avoid publicity, but provide some details about their interests on their personal website.[11]

As of 2016 their business activities mainly involved real estate, data centres, shipping & private equity. Reuben Brothers’ investment vehicles include Aldersgate Investments & Reuben Brothers Limited.

Metals, Commodities & Shipping[edit]

In the early 1990s, the brothers invested in the Russian metals market, significantly financing the production and distribution of metals. The Reubens became the world's third-biggest producer of aluminum.[12] By 1995 their company, Trans-World Metals, and its associates controlled five percent of the world's aluminum output.[9] 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 with global sales in 1995 around US$7 billion.[12][13][14] Owing to their former status as Russia's biggest foreign investors, they were subjected to significant press scrutiny.[12] During their ten years in the country the Reuben Brothers came across several members of the country's new oligarchy, including Roman Abramovich.[12] Subsequently they sued Oleg Deripaska [15] for $300m over an alleged breach of contract in a joint metals-trading business, which resulted in a substantial settlement being awarded to the Reuben Brothers.

By 2000, the shift in Russia's business environment resulted in the brothers selling all their Russian assets.[12] They focused their business activities mainly in the UK property market, where they have a substantial portfolio of debt-free assets. They have been involved in financing a number of major acquisitions and also have investments in technology companies.

In 2014 the Reubens sold their bulk iron ore & steel trading divisions Metalloyd, and their metals warehousing company (Erus Metals), to The Gerald Group.[16]

The Reuben Brothers current mining portfolio includes interests in Morocco, Indonesia and Mongolia.[17][18]

In late 2014 Reuben Brothers purchased leading global metals warehouse operator, Metro International Trade Services, from Goldman Sachs.[19] Metro specialises in non-ferrous metals for the London Metal Exchange, and the products stored include: aluminum, aluminum alloy, copper, lead, nickel, steel, tin, zinc, & steel billet. The company operates from around 100 warehouses, located within eight countries across three continents.

In 2016, the Reuben Brothers took delivery of 4 eco-kamsarmax vessels (2 Japanese & 2 Korean) and have a further 3 on order for delivery in 2017. RB Shipping has a joint venture platform, RB British Marine, with British Marine, a dry bulk vessel operations, management & services international group.[20] British Marine is run by Alan Bekhor, who worked for the Reubens during the 1990s at Trans-World Metals.[21]

Real Estate[edit]

UK properties owned by Reuben Brothers include:

  • The Piccadilly Estate, including 94 Piccadilly,[22] the former ‘American Club’ at 95 Piccadilly, 105 Piccadilly,[23] as well as properties fronting onto Piccadilly opposite Green Park at 90-93 & 100 Piccadilly. Plans have been approved to convert the landmark Grade 1 listed building, Cambridge House at 94 Piccadilly, which was formerly in use as the Naval & Military Club, (aka “The In & Out Club”), into a residence extending over 5,000m², housing the original 18th Century grand staircase, a 19th Century ballroom, formal receiving rooms, wine cellar, swimming pool and spa.[24][25][26] Experts have estimated the 94 Piccadilly could secure a price tag in excess of £300m.[27] . In December 1995, the Reubens complemented their Piccadilly holding with the acquisition from Blackstone of a car park let to NCP.[28] The site has potential for a major residential scheme with views over Green Park, including possibilities for a hotel, private members club and casino.
  • Three island blocks in the Shepherd Market area, including the iconic “5 Hertford Street”. The club encompasses 10 Georgian town houses over a 23,000 square foot building, with Loulou’s nightclub on the lower ground floor.
  • Millbank Tower; adjacent to the Tate Britain which was once London’s tallest building. The grade II listed property has been formerly occupied by both the Labour & Conservative party . An approved scheme will see the 32-storey, grade II listed tower on the banks of the Thames converted into 207 apartments.[29] The project, also includes a 150-bedroom hotel, public & private gardens, and a new cultural facility.
  • The John Lewis Partnership headquarters in Victoria
  • The American Express offices also in Victoria
  • 30-35 Pall Mall, opposite the RAC Club
  • Academy House on Sackville Street
  • Connaught House on Berkeley Square
  • The London Primark store on Oxford Street, opposite Selfridges[30]
  • Various retail outlets along Sloane Street
  • The Eden Shopping Centre in High Wycombe[31]
  • Newcastle - a 42-acre site in the City centre, and St James retail park outside the city[31]
  • Merchant Square – a 2,000,000 sq ft mixed-use development scheme in Paddington London in a 50/50 joint venture with the Jarvis family.[32] The Paddington Basin regeneration project is home to Marks and Spencer[33] & Everything Everywhere. Plans have been approved for a 42-storey skyscraper, nicknamed “The Cucumber”[34] which would be the tallest building in Westminster. The development will provide 222 apartments, a 90-room hotel on the ground and lower floors, and sky bar with 360º panoramic views.
  • Approved ‘art;otel’ development in a 50/50 joint venture with Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts in London’s trendy Hoxton. The hotel will be built as a 22 storey/4 basement level building housing 346 guest rooms, a wellness area, arthouse cinema & gallery, 4 office floors, retail, restaurants and bars.[35]

The brothers also own the Wellington Pub Company, the largest free-of-tie pub estate in the UK with approximately 850 tenanted pubs, which was bought from Hugh Osmond in a deal believed to be worth around £400m.[36]

Overseas properties owned by Reuben Brothers include:

  • Ibiza; 1.5 million square metres of prime land in the south west of the island, spanning 6.3 kilometres of coastline.[37][38] The acquisition in June 2015 comprises 3 plots; Cala Bassa, over 1 million square metres, which include licenses to the Cala Bassa Beach Club’s restaurants; Cala Conta; and Es Penyal, comprising 60k square metres of coastal land
  • Tel Aviv; Condominium development project of c. 150,000 sq ft in sea-front location
  • Monaco; L'Union Bancaire Privée Bank Building
  • Jersey; Equity House

Previous holdings have included;

  • Hampton House opposite Tate Britain next to to the Riverbank Park Plaza hotel, which was sold to Berkeley Homes, following, a Foster & Partners scheme design[39]
  • Tintagel House; another riverside asset along the Albert Embankment, and former home to the Met, was sold to workspace provider The Office Group [40]
  • A site on Park Street; once earmarked for 400,000 sq ft of mixed-use development, next to the Tate Modern on London’s South Bank, was sold to Delancey [41]
  • Shell-mex House, on London’s Strand, owned as part of a consortium consortium of private investors with Tchenguiz brothers, and Jack Dellal, and sold to US fund manager Westbrook for £500m[42]
  • Market Towers, Vauxhall, sold to Greek shipping tycoon Achilleas Kallakis [43]
  • The Gibraltar East Bay development project - a scheme with over 6 million square feet of apartments, retail outlets, a hotel, and a marina [44]

Data Centres[edit]

The Reuben Brothers’ largest business is Global Switch,[45] the leading provider of large-scale, multi-tenanted, carrier and cloud neutral, data centre properties in Europe and Asia-Pacific. The company owns and operates ten data centres in key global markets: London (two), Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris (two), Madrid, Sydney (two) and Singapore. Global Switch operates a total of 3.2m sq ft (300,000 sq m) of gross area across its portfolio, and has development plans for six new data centres.

The company has issued public debt that is rated investment grade by the key credit agencies, in Euros, Pounds and Australian Dollars. Global Switch is the highest credit rated data centre company in the world.[46][47][48]

The Reuben Brothers originally acquired their stake in Global Switch through their joint acquisition of Chelfsfield plc. The brothers bought Multiplex’s stake in 2006, and subsequently acquired Morley Fund Management’s 25% stake in Global Switch’s European data centres.[49]

The Reubens also own various data centers outside their Global Switch company.

Notable Investments[edit]

The Reuben Brothers own London Oxford Airport and The London Heliport, the only licensed heliport in the UK’s capital.[50] They also own various private jets, and Kristal Waters, a construction & management company of fine luxury superyachts.

The brothers purchased debt from the Bank of China in 2015 in a $850m deal, with Subrata Roy’s Sahara Group as the borrower. The loans finance three global luxury hotels; a sterling loan secured over the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, and a dollar loan is secured over the Plaza Hote, Midtown Fifth Avenue New York and the Dream Downtown in the Meatpacking district of New York.[51][52]

The brothers' group owns and operates 16 turf and all-weather racecourses in the UK, accounting for nearly 40% of UK racing, hosting over 500 race meetings a year, through their company Arena Racing Company (ARC). The company was created by merging the business of former publicly listed companies Northern Racing plc,[53] whose acquisition completed in 2007, and that of Arena Leisure plc, whose acquisition completed in 2011.[54] ARC’s Doncaster racecourse hosts the world’s oldest classic, and its Lingfield Park hosts the industry’s pioneering All-Weather Championships, which culminates in a £1.1 million Finals Day on Good Friday.[55]

The group is also a major shareholder in At The Races (ATR), the broadcaster taking racing coverage to up to 2 million different TV viewers and 2.8m online users each month in the UK and Ireland.

Reuben Brothers were a lead investor supporting the launch of Metro Bank,[56][57] and remain today a significant shareholder. They also have a stake in Blue Inc,[58] the clothing retailer, with Sir Stuart Rose, and are significant investors in Israeli medical pioneers Rainbow Medical and Real Imaging.[59]

The Reuben Brothers are the largest shareholder in luxury leisure group Belmond (formerly Orient-Express Hotels), listed on the NYSE with a reported 10.6% stake.[60][61]

Former Transactions[edit]

The Reubens, together with Australia’s Westfield Group and Multiplex Group, took Chelsfield PLC in 2004.[62][63] The UK group had a valuation at the time of £2.1 billion. Through this deal, the Reubens acquired a 50% stake in the Westfield’s White City shopping centre, which was subsequently divested.[64]

The Reubens took a majority stake in ERMEWA, with SNCF as the minority shareholder, a rail freight business headquartered in Switzerland.[65] The company was the world’s second-largest provider of tank container rentals and specialist railcars which operated in 20 countries. The stake was sold in 2007.

In 2003 jointly with Sir Tom Hunter and Bank of Scotland, the Reuben Brothers purchased a portfolio of shopping centres in excess of £310 million.[66] In 2004 with Sir Tom Hunter, Bank of Scotland and Nick Leslau, the Reubens acquired a £500 million portfolio of 220 pubs, which were leased back to Spirit. In 2007 Travelodge Hotels sold and leased back a portfolio of hotels to the Reubens, Tom Hunter and Nick Leslau.[67][68]

In 2006 the Reuben Brothers, together with Sir Tom Hunter and the support of HBOS, took private the FTSE listed housebuilder McCarthy & Stone.[69]


The Reuben Brothers guard their privacy fiercly. Simon, three years younger than his brother David, has given only one interview to a British publication in his entire career and that was as a result of finding himself alone in a room with a journalist and having to make polite conversation. In 2005, they won the Variety Club 'entrepreneurs of the year' award. Both are married with children. It is well-known that the brothers are supporters of many Israeli causes.[citation needed]

In 2006 Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London at the time, used a press conference to accuse Simon and David Reuben of jeopardising the GB£4 bn Olympic City development, in which the Reuben Brothers held a 50% stake. Livingston 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."[70] After a public compliant and a subsequent official investigation into Livingston's comments that were alleged to be anti-semitic, the investigating officer dismissed the compliant 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.[8] The Reubens sold their stake shortly before the credit crunch.

The family's philanthropic vehicle, the Reuben Foundation, is focused on the global advancement of healthcare and education.[1]

Personal wealth[edit]

According to the Sunday Times Rich List 2016, David and Simon Reuben had an estimated personal net worth of GB£13.10 billion,[2] an increase of GB£4.60 billion on the previous year and ranking them as the wealthiest British family.[71] Meanwhile, in 2016 Forbes magazine's annual billionaires list estimated the Reuben Brothers' wealth in 2016 as the 60th wealthiest billionaires with a net worth of US$14.40 billion, an increase of US$0.70 billion.[1] The Reuben's net worth has progressively increased, especially since 2011, when their net worth has doubled.[72][73]

Wealth rankings[edit]

Year Sunday Times
Rich List
The World's Billionaires
Rank Net worth
(GB£) bn
Rank Net worth
(US$) bn
2006[74] 8 £3.25 Increase 185 Decrease $3.60 Decrease
2007[75] 8 Steady £3.49 Increase 177 Steady $4.50 Increase
2008[72][76] 10 Decrease £4.30 Increase 178 Decrease $5.50 Increase
2009[77][78] 9 Increase £2.50 Decrease 98 Increase $5.00 Decrease
2010[79][80][81] 5 Increase £5.53 Increase 93 Increase $7.50 Increase
2011[73][82] 8 Decrease £6.18 Increase 114 Decrease $8.00 Increase
2012[83][84] 8 Steady £7.08 Increase 100 Increase $9.00 Increase
2013[85][86] 7 Increase £8.28 Decrease 103 Decrease $10.50 Increase
2014[87][88] 7 Steady £9.00 Increase 95 Increase $11.50 Increase
2015[71][89][90] 5 Decrease £9.70 Increase 80 Increase $13.70 Increase
2016[1][2] 1 Increase £13.10 Increase 60 Increase $14.40 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


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External links[edit]