Sir David Barclay dies aged 86

The Ritz

Sir David Barclay, one half of the famous Barclay brothers’ empire, has died at the age of 86, according to The Telegraph.

It was reported in the newspaper he owned that Barclay died on Sunday after a short illness.

Sir David, together with his twin brother Sir Frederick, built up an extensive business portfolio, comprising hotels, retail and media, with an estimated wealth of £7bn, according to last year’s Sunday Times Rich List.

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Born in Hammersmith, west London, in 1934, Sir David was shaped by his childhood memories of war, and the death of his father when he was 12.

He and his twin Frederick – who was 10 minutes younger – started out as painters and decorators, before moving into property and eventually hotels.

Their success in property and hotels saw them take over Ellerman Lines, a shipping business with interests in brewing, in 1983.

In 1995, the Barclay brothers acquired The Ritz in London for £75m and sold it in March last year to an undisclosed Qatari investor for a rumoured £750m. However the sale was surrounded in controversy as Sir Frederick claimed he was not consulted on the transaction. Then brothers’ battle was thrust further into the spotlight as a court heard that David’s son, Frederick’s nephew, had set up secret recordings of conversations that happened in the conservatory of The Ritz.

In 2015, the twins sold off their interests in the Maybourne Group, the portfolio comprising hotels, Claridges, The Connaught and The Berkeley.

The family business took over London hotel The Beaumont in 2018 from Corbin and King.

The pair were knighted in 2000 for services to charity. By this point their foundation was thought to have donated about £40m to charity and medical research.

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Zoe Monk

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