Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#399 Peter Thomson $4.81B

Random fact: Rally car driver won 2005 Canadian national championship.

Overview

Thomson is a co-chairman of Woodbridge, a closely held Canadian investment firm. He owns 14 percent of the Ontario-based company, whose assets include a 60 percent stake in Thomson Reuters, a provider of news and financial data. The company had revenue of $11.2 billion in 2016. Relatives own the rest of Woodbridge.

As of Oct. 17, 2017:
Last change +$30.6M (+0.6%)
YTD change +$431M (+9.8%)
Industry Media & Telecom
Biggest asset TRI CN Equity
Citizenship Canada
Age 52
Wealth Inherited
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Peter Thomson's net worth of $4.81B can buy ...

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Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
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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 divided his estate between his three children. His son Kenneth -- Peter Thomson's father -- inherited about 42 percent. His two daughters, Audrey and Irma, received about 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.

As one of Kenneth Thomson's three children, Peter Thomson got 14 percent of Woodbridge's assets, as did his brother David K. R. Thomson and sister Taylor Thomson. Each of Audrey's three children, Linda Campbell, Gaye Farncombe and Susan Grange, own 11 percent. Sherry Brydson, the only child of Irma, holds the largest stake, at 23 percent, according to the source. Billionaire James Pattison, a friend of Kenneth Thomson, told Bloomberg News in a 2012 interview that the magnate, who died in 2006, had said he wanted to divide his fortune among his children, and that Kenneth's siblings and their children also had inherited portions of the fortune that originated with Roy Thomson.

Woodbridge's biggest asset is a majority stake in publicly traded Thomson Reuters, a competitor of Bloomberg News and its parent, Bloomberg LP. About a third of the family's assets are held outside of Thomson Reuters and also are managed by Woodbridge. The value of the company's unlisted holdings is derived from a 2007 figure disclosed to Thomson Reuters investors. A portion of that sum, including stakes in publicly traded BCE and IHS, are disclosed in regulatory filings. The family has collected more than $3 billion in dividend income since the 2007 asset figure disclosure.

David Girardin, a spokesperson for Thomson Reuters, said Thomson declined to comment on his net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 4/25/1965
Family: Married, No children
Education: Bachelor's Degree, University of Western Ontario/The

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

The younger son of Kenneth, Peter was raised in Toronto with his brother David and sister Taylor. He and his siblings each inherited about 14 percent of the Thomson family fortune after Kenneth's death in 2006. Four cousins split the rest of the assets.

As a teen, Peter took unpaid interships with the Brampton Times and the Globe and Mail to learn photography. He then attended the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario, and joined the family business, becoming a director of Thomson Reuters, then Thomson Corp., in 1995. Peter founded the venture capital arm of Thomson Reuters -- Thomvest -- in San Francisco around 2003. He also serves as chairman of Woodbridge.

Thomson competes as a rally car driver on the Thomson Motorsport team, winning the national championship for Canada in 2005, according to the team's website.

Milestones
  • 1931 Radio salesman Roy Thomson buys North Bay, Ontario radio station.
  • 1933 Roy Thomson buys his first newspaper, in Timmins, Ontario.
  • 1995 Joins board of Thomson Reuters, then Thomson Corp.
  • 1996 Forms venture capital arm of Thomson Reuters, Thomvest.
  • 2006 Father Kenneth dies. He inherits one third of his estate.
  • 2009 Thomson Corp. buys Reuters for $17 billion.
  • 2012 James Smith replaces Tom Glocer as Thomson Reuters CEO.
  • 2014 Thomson Reuters sales reach $12.6 billion for the year.