Jonathan Ruffer

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Jonathan Ruffer
Jonathan Garnier Ruffer (1951-08-17) 17 August 1951 (age 68)
EducationMarlborough College
Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
OccupationCity investor, art collector
Net worthGBP £380 million[1]
Spouse(s)Jane Sequeira
Children1 daughter

Jonathan Ruffer DL (born 17 August 1951) is a British City investor, art collector and philanthropist.

Early life[edit]

Jonathan Ruffer was born on 17 August 1951 in London, England, and lived from an early age in Stokesley, North Yorkshire, England.[2][3][4] He was educated at Marlborough College, a public school in Marlborough, Wiltshire.[2][5] He graduated from Sidney Sussex College, a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, in 1972.[2][6]


Ruffer started as a stockbroker, before becoming a barrister.[1] He is now a Bencher of the Middle Temple. He worked in corporate finance for Schroders, an accepting house bank.[6][7] He worked for Dunbar, a private bank,[8] from 1980 to 1985.[2] He was also on the board of directors of one of its subsidiaries, Dunbar Fund Management, from 1981 to 1985.[8] He was then on the board of CFS (renamed Rathbone plc) from 1985 to 1994.[2] He was on the board of Odey Asset Management, founded by Crispin Odey, from 1992 to 2005; Fuel Tech from 1994 to 1998; and Electric & General Investment Trust from 2001 to 2011.[2]

In 1994, he co-founded Ruffer Investment Management Limited, an investment management firm with Robert Shirley, 14th Earl Ferrers and Jane Tufnell.[3][9] The firm was renamed Ruffer LLP in 2004 and is now based at 80 Victoria Street in London.[3][10] Ruffer was its chief executive officer from 1994 to 2012[2] and has been its chairman since 2011.[2] The firm managed £15.4 billion on behalf of its clients in 2012–2013.[8] In 2014, it had 199 employees,[3] and additional offices in Edinburgh and Hong Kong.[11]

He is a research fellow at St John's College, Durham.[6] He has published articles in The Spectator.[12]


Ruffer credits William Rathbone VI as a source of inspiration for his philanthropy.[13] He believes nobody needs more than £20 million.[13] However, he is critical of William Temple's Christian socialism.[13]

He served as the chairman of the Good Shepherd Mission in Bethnal Green from 1998 to 2008.[2] He has also supported the Church Urban Fund.[5]

Auckland Castle.

He expressed an interest in reviving County Durham through philanthropy in 2012.[4] That same year, he donated £1 million to the Durham Foundation.[14] A year later, in 2013, he donated £15 million to preserve Auckland Castle, the historical palace of the Bishop of Durham, through the Auckland Castle Trust,[13][15] of which he is the chair.[16][17] This included the preservation of 12 paintings by Francisco de Zurbarán, present in the palace since 1756.[13][17][18] In 2013, he donated £18 million to restore the Bishop's Palace and create a museum on the history of Christianity and faith in Britain, expected to open in 2018.[13][15] In 2014, he donated the endowment to create Kynren, a night show telling the history of England, in nearby Bishop Auckland to aid in wider regeneration.[19]

He has endowed the Jonathan Ruffer curatorial grants at The Art Fund, which give £75,000 to curators every year.[20]

Art collection[edit]

Ruffer collects Spanish old masters.[13] He also owns paintings by Thomas Gainsborough.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Isaac Henrique Sequeira, by Gainsborough

Ruffer is married to Jane Sequeira, a doctor, and palliative care specialist.[6][21] They have a daughter.[6] She is a descendant of Isaac Henrique Sequeira (1738-1816), a Portuguese Jewish doctor, who was painted by Thomas Gainsborough, one of his patients, and that oil painting now hangs in Madrid's Museo del Prado.[22][23]

An Anglican,[15] he has been described by the Financial Times as "a committed evangelical Christian"[13] and The Yorkshire Post as "a devout Christian."[3] He is a member of the Athenaeum Club and the Beefsteak Club.[2] As of 2014, he had an estimated wealth of £380 million.[13]


  • The Big Shots (1977).
  • Babel, the Breaking of the Banks (2009)


  1. ^ a b "Sunday Times Rich List". The Sunday Times (page 42). 18 May 2014. ISSN 0956-1382.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Jonathan Garnier Ruffer Archived 26 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Debrett's
  3. ^ a b c d e Ruffer LLP pays member of firm £18m, Yorkshire Post, 28 December 2014
  4. ^ a b Millionaire Jonathan Ruffer pledges to tackle deprivation, BBC, 25 January 2012
  5. ^ a b c 'Money is empty': Why philanthropist bought paintings worth £15m from the Church of England ... and then promptly gave them back, Daily Mail, 31 March 2011
  6. ^ a b c d e "St John's College : Jonathan Ruffer - Durham University". Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  7. ^ Jonathan Ruffer, Bloomberg Business
  8. ^ a b c Philip Beresford, Britain's Top 100 Entrepreneurs 2014: No. 10 – Jonathan Ruffer, Ruffer Management: The investment entrepreneur is worth £380m. Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Management Today, 26 October 2014
  9. ^ Julia Rampen, Ruffer co-founder steps down, Investment Week, 4 April 2014
  10. ^ "Investment Funds - Investment Management - London, Edinburgh, Guernsey - UK - Ruffer". Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  11. ^ Katie Holliday, Jonathan Ruffer steps back from Ruffer Investments, Investment Week, 11 April 2012
  12. ^ "Author: Jonathan Ruffer - The Spectator". The Spectator. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i A N Wilson, Man on a mission: Jonathan Ruffer and the Auckland Castle Trust, Financial Times, 7 November 2014
  14. ^ Jonathan Ruffer donates £1m donation to Durham foundation, The Journal, 7 September 2012
  15. ^ a b c Charles Moore, The great Auckland Castle rescue, The Daily Telegraph, 18 May 2013
  16. ^ "Auckland Castle". Auckland Castle. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  17. ^ a b Heritage Exchange 2014: Jonathan Ruffer Archived 15 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Francisco Zurbaran paintings saved by £15m donation, BBC, 31 March 2011
  19. ^ Benefactor plans theme park for Bishop Auckland, ITV, 3 April 2014
  20. ^ Fund, Art. "Jonathan Ruffer curatorial grants". Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  21. ^ "Zurbarans' trustees revealed by owner". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  22. ^ País, Ediciones El (24 April 2011). "Reportaje - El salvador de los 'zurbarán'". Retrieved 5 February 2018 – via
  23. ^ "Isaac Henrique Sequeira - The Collection - Museo Nacional del Prado". Retrieved 5 February 2018.

External links[edit]