Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 296 David Thomson $6.11B

Random fact: Peerage title--Baron Thomson of Fleet--created for his grandfather.

Overview

Thomson is co-chairman of Woodbridge, an investment firm that controls Thomson Reuters. The Ontario, Canada-based firms owns 65 percent of the financial data and services provider, which had revenue of $5.5 billion in 2018. He owns about 14 percent of Woodbridge's assets and his relatives own the rest.

As of :
Last change +$20.4M ( +0.3%)
YTD change +$1.43B ( +30.7%)
Industry Media & Telecom
Biggest asset TRI CN Equity
Citizenship Canada
Age 62
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

David Thomson's net worth of $6.11B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

0%
of the GDP of the United States
0%
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
0%
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
0%
of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Thomson's fortune is derived from Woodbridge, an investment firm that manages the family fortune originated by Canadian media magnate Roy Thomson. After his death in 1976, Thomson's estate was divided between his three children. His son -- and David Thomson's father, Kenneth -- inherited 42 percent. His two daughters, Audrey and Irma, received 33 percent and 23 percent, respectively, according to a person familiar with the family's assets who asked not to be identified because Woodbridge is closely held.

Each heir evenly split their share in Woodbridge among their children, the source said. David and his two siblings, Peter and Taylor, each received 14 percent of Woodbridge. Each of Audrey's three children, Linda Campbell, Susan Grange and Gaye Farncombe, received 11 percent. A cousin, Sherry Brydson, the only child of Irma, owns about 23 percent.

David is calculated in this analysis to own 14 percent of Woodbridge's stake in Thomson Reuters and it's Cash & Other Assets.

Woodbridge owns 65 percent on Thomson Reuters, according to an August 2019 SEDI filing.

Cash & Other Assets is based on Woodbridge asset values as disclosed in a 2007 investor presentation 2007 and adjusted to reflect dividends, insider transactions, taxes and market performance. The family has collected more than $3 billion in dividend income and share sales since then, based on an analysis of company filings and Bloomberg data. David's share also includes proceeds from land sales associated with Osmington, his real estate company.

David Girardin, a spokesman for Thomson Reuters, didn't respond to requests for comment.

Biography

Birthdate: 6/12/1957
Family: Divorced, 4 children
Education: Upper Canada College, University of Cambridge

Canada's richest family was set on its path to wealth in 1931, when Roy Thomson acquired a radio station in Ontario. Two years later he bought the Timmins Press, a newspaper in Ontario. Within five years, Thomson was Canada's leading newspaper owner. After aggressive expansion in the U.K., he sold shares in a public offering in 1965, with his son Kenneth taking over in 1976.

Kenneth's eldest son, David K. R. Thomson, took the reins of the family fortune on his father's death in June 2006. Today, most Thomson investments are made through Woodbridge, a family-owned investment company of which brother Peter is chairman.

As chairman of Thomson, David continued to expand the business, announcing a merger with Reuters in 2007. Woodbridge owns 63.4 percent of the combined company, Thomson Reuters, as well as holdings in commodity analyst IHS and Canada telecommunications company BCE. Woodbridge also has billions of dollars in closely held investments.

Outside of Woodbridge, David controls personal investments through closely held Osmington, a real estate company. He sold most of his shopping center interests to the Canada Pension Plan in 2010, and property management arm Redcliff to Calgary's Coril in 2011.

Thomson owns artwork by John Constable and is the sole owner of a minority stake of the Winnipeg jets hockey franchise.

Milestones
  • 1931 Roy Thomson purchases a radio station in North Bay, Ontario.
  • 1957 David Kenneth Roy Thomson is born in Toronto.
  • 1978 Receives master's degree from Selwyn College at Cambridge University.
  • 1991 Forms Osmington, a real estate firm held outside of family firm.
  • 2006 Father Kenneth dies, putting David in charge of family business.
  • 2009 Thomson buys Reuters for $17 billion, creating news and data company.
  • 2011 Part of a group that buys NHL Atlanta Thrashers, relocates to Winnipeg.
  • 2014 Thomson Reuters sales reach $12.6 billion for the year.