Irvine Sellar

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Irvine Sellar
Irvine Gerald Sellar

3 September 1934
Died26 February 2017 (aged 82)
OccupationProperty developer
Net worthGBP£220 million (2015)[1]
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Sellar
Children3, Paul, James, Caroline

Irvine Gerald Sellar (3 September 1934[2] – 26 February 2017) was an English fashion retailer, turned property developer. He was the founder of the Sellar Property Group, and the developer of The Shard.

Early life[edit]

Sellar was born on 9 September 1934 in Essex, England.[3][4][5]

His father was a glove shopkeeper in the East End of London.[6][7] His family was Jewish, and he grew up in Southgate, London. Sellar left school at 16 and studied accounting but decided to start working instead.[5]

The Shard, developed by Sellar.


Sellar started his career as a market trader in Chelmsford. He later opened a shop in St Albans, where he sold suits. He opened a shop on Wardour Street in Soho in 1964.A year later, he opened another shop in Soho, on Carnaby Street.[5] Meanwhile, he founded the first unisex fashion company in the United Kingdom,[5] Mates by Irvine Sellars.[7] The company later became "Britain’s second-biggest fashion chain,"[6] with 90 shops in 1981. That year, he sold it to a South African investor.[7]

Sellar founded Ford Sellar Morris, a property company listed on the London Stock Exchange.[citation needed] The company invested in shopping centres in the suburbs, for example in Stockton. Sellar borrowed £111m in 1989 and,[5] because of a property downturn in 1991, the company went bankrupt in 1991-92,[6] when Sellar lost £30 million.[7]

Sellar founded the Sellar Property Group. He acquired the headquarters of PwC in London Bridge in 1998.[6] That year, he acquired the site of what would later become The Shard.[7] With 80% from Qatari investors, Sellar completed the construction of The Shard in 2012. He subsequently developed buildings near Paddington Station.[6]

In December 2016, his plan to develop the 19-storey Paddington Cube for £775 million was approved by the Westminster City Council.[8]

Personal life[edit]

With his wife Elizabeth,[7] Sellar had two sons, James, who went on to serve as chairman of the family businessman, and Paul, a playwright, as well as a daughter, Caroline.[5][6]

In 2015, Irvine and James Sellar had an estimated joint wealth of GBP£220 million.[1] Sellar was a black belt in judo, drove a Rolls-Royce and smoked cigars.[5]


Irvine Sellar died on 26 February 2017, aged 82.[6][7]


  1. ^ a b "Sunday Times Rich List". The Sunday Times (page 62). 26 April 2015.
  2. ^ Adeney, Martin (7 March 2017). "Irvine Sellar obituary". Retrieved 15 March 2017 – via The Guardian.
  3. ^ Glancey, Jonathan (18 March 2002). "That's nice - but what's it doing there?". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Irvine Gerald SELLAR". Companies House. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Irvine Sellar: Tenacious property developer who made a fortune with Britain's first unisex fashion chain and later masterminded the Shard". The Times. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Evans, Judith (27 February 2017). "London Shard developer Irvine Sellar dies at 82". Financial Times. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Bury, Rhiannon (27 February 2017). "Shard developer Irvine Sellar dies aged 82". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  8. ^ Sleigh, Sophia (7 December 2016). "Renzo Piano's £775m 'Cube' building given green light to transform 'tatty' Paddington". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 28 February 2017.