Road To Billions: How David Thomson Became The Richest Man In Canada

Wealth stays with the wealthy and oftentimes makes room for even more to come in, and maybe we can even say that wealth is hereditary because after all, it sort of is, this can be seen in the life of David Thomson who came from wealth, and still amassed even more wealth as time went on. He is currently the richest man in Canada, a title even his father once held; how did he inherit both his father’s wealth and this title? Let’s find out in today’s piece to know what he did to become the richest man in Canada.

David Thomson: A Biography

David Kenneth Roy Thomson is the third Baron Thomson of Fleet who was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 12th June 1957 as the eldest of 3 children. His mother was Marilyn Lavis, while his father was Kenneth Thomson, the second Baron Thomson of Fleet. He attended the Upper Canada College in Toronto and the Hall School and in 1978, he went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts in History from Selwyn College, Cambridge, England. Despite being born to a second Baron Thomson of Fleet which happens to be one of the wealthiest families in the world, he didn’t choose to be an heir alone but decided to do so much more with his life like making his career to be of utmost importance to him.

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The Start Of David Thomson’s Career

For someone born into the wealthiest family in Canada, David Thomson sure started working quite early; this can be seen in his entrepreneurial pursuit when he started selling socks at his Family’s Hudson Bay store in the 1980s, then, he was later allowed to oversee the Bay store at Cloverdale Mall in Etobicoke, Toronto, Canada. Word has it that David’s father was quite the disciplinarian who wanted to ensure that his heirs (David, his brother, and his sister) had good work ethics and appreciation for culpability.

His business career officially kickstarted at McLeod Young Weir, Toronto where he was employed as a junior associate before he later left the firm to join his family business in order to learn the ropes of the family empire which enabled him to fill up several positions in the Thomson Family Companies like the president for Zellers and manager for the Bay Store at Cloverdale Mall. To show his independence from the Thomson Empire, David founded his own real estate firm Osmington Inc., which was operated without interference from the Thomson Empire.

Becoming the 3rd Baron Of The Thomson Fleet

Prior to the passing of the second Baron of Thomson Fleet, the founder of Thomson Corporation, Roy Thomson who was also the first Baron of the Thomson Fleet had drawn up a plan to aid the control of the family fortune that David Thomson will inherit as the third Baron of the Thomson Fleet. Roy Thomson shared his company by giving a 42% stake to David’s father Kenneth Thomson while he shared 33% and 23% to his two daughters.

He also made the perfect plan even before David came of age, this can be seen in his autobiography where he said:

“my grandson David, will take his part in the running of the Organisation and David’s son, too, the fortune that we will leave to them will come with responsibilities. These Thomson boys that come after Kenneth are not going to be able, even if they want to, to shrug off these responsibilities”.

So, by the time Kenneth Thomson passed away in 2006, David Thomson was more than ready to take on the responsibilities of carrying on the legacy of the Thomson Empire.

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Osmington Incorporated And The Thomson Empire

Two years after the passing away of his father, David Thomson acquired Reuters for a massive $17 billion to create a news and data company called Thomson Reuters. Starting up Osmington may be one of the best decisions David made because apart from the success he made while working in his family’s company, he also made tremendous progress in Osmington Incorporated as he had developed it to acquire and manage commercial real estate for institutional investors like his family’s company; the Thomson empire.

2010 saw Osmington Incorporated making a huge sum of $336 million from sales of its stake to the Canadian Pension Plan. By 2011, he was part of those who bought the NHL Atlanta Thrashers, and barely 10 years after he acquired Reuters, sales increased to $12.6 billion annually.

David Thomson’s Splendid Art Collection

The richest man in Canada with a net worth of $52.4 billion owns a 14% stake of Woodbridge’s stake as he is the co-chairman of the investment company that controls Thomson Reuters while his siblings and relatives hold the rest and while the majority of his fortune comes from his family’s empire; he has also earned a lot from his own company Osmington Incorporated. Osmington Incorporated happens to be a prime investor in a precision agriculture company called FarmersEdge.

He also owns stakes in an analytics firm and Strategic Hotels and Resorts called IHS in addition to Woodbridge’s stake, the family company earns more than $3 billion from public holdings. David Thomson is a patron of the Art Gallery of Ontario, as a passionate art collector, he spends lavishly on his art collection, he has the world’s largest collection of John Constable’s artwork and he also owns pieces by Pablo Picasso.

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Sources: Bloomberg, Celebrity Net Worth, and Financial Post.

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