23 March 2003 – Sunday Times
THE secretive Reuben brothers will this week emerge as one of Britain’s richest families. After years of guarding the scale of their wealth, they are now giving access to their accounts, and it is estimated they are worth £2.1 billion.
Tomorrow the two brothers, David and Simon, will take the unusual step of launching a website, reubenbrothers.com. This will reveal how they have made their money over the past four decades, although most of it came from the Russian aluminium industry during the 1990s.
Business associates say the plan is to relaunch themselves to become players in British business. They have already built a £1 billion property portfolio and in recent months they have been eyeing several big-ticket deals.
Philip Beresford, who compiles The Sunday Times Rich List, due to be published next month, said: “The Reubens have moved up to rank among the top half-dozen richest people in Britain – and their fortune has been made in record time. From virtually nothing to more than £2 billion in barely a decade is no mean feat.”
In 1995 their former company Trans-World had sales of almost $7 billion and accounted for 5% of the world’s aluminium production.
When they sold out they had so much cash in German accounts that they were accused of money laundering. The accusation was dropped but the Reubens still appointed Kroll Associates, the investigator, to make an independent report.
Jules Kroll said: “The results of our work enabled us to conclude that Trans-World and its principals are legitimate businessmen who operate in full accordance with the law.”