John H Ritblat
John Henry Ritblat (born 3 October 1935) is a British businessman and philanthropist. Ritblat attended Dulwich College as 'a non-fee-paying boarder'. He later attended the College of Estate Management. His son Jamie Ritblat followed him into the property business.
- 1 Personal life
- 2 Business career
- 3 Science policy and communication
- 4 Business appointments
- 5 Higher education, science and philanthropic roles
- 6 Meetings with ministers
- 7 Notes
- his first wife died in a bizarre accident, when she fell out of his executive jet as it was coming in to land. Seven years later, in 1986, he married Jill [Zilkha], a well-known collector of contemporary art. Since then he - and British Land - have been active on the contemporary art scene.
- Ritblat, the son of a Hampstead dentist, started work for Edward Erdman, the estate agent who trained several generations of developers, and went on to learn at the feet of another famous figure, the late Sir Max Joseph, founder of Grand Metropolitan. For 10 years, he and another future developer, Neville Conrad, ran a highly successful agency of their own. Ritblat took control of a small company, Union Property, which he reversed into British Land in 1970. In building it up to its present size as one of Britain's top half dozen property groups, Ritblat has earned himself respect and dislike in equal measure.
Science policy and communication
Ritblat has been involved in science policy and communication. He was a governor of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel from 1991 to at least 2008 and is also a Vice President of Weizmann UK the UK fundraising arm of the Institute. He was made a Life Fellow of the Royal Institution in 2001 and joined its Council in 2002, a position he still holds in 2013. He has financially supported the Science Media Centre via donations from British Land (in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006) and the JH Ritblat Charitable Trust UK (in 2003, 2004 and 2005). The SMC was set up inside the RI in 2002 and it noted on its website that 'Refurbishment costs were met by a generous donation from John Ritblat. In recognition of this vital support, the main office of the Science Media Centre has been named the John Ritblat room.' It is not clear if this refers to personal donations or to those that were from British Land.
- 1952-58 West End firm of surveyors and valuers
- 1958- Founder, senior partner and chairman of Conrad Ritblat and Co. 
- 1969, md Union Property Holdings (London) Ltd;
- 1970-2006, chairman British Land(md 1970-2004, hon pres 2007-)
- 1997- chm Milner Estates plc; Acquired by Delancey in 1999.
- 2001 - Appointed Non-executive director of Fitzhardinge on 15 June 2001 (the successor to Conrad Ritblat and Co., it acquired Colliers CRE in 2001.)
- 2001-2012 Chairman and Member of the Audit committee of Colliers CRE which became Colliers International in May 2010
Higher education, science and philanthropic roles
- Honorary fellow and Deputy Chairman of the board of governors of the London Business School (chairman 2006 -)
- Honorary fellow and Deputy Chairman Royal Academy of Music (Governing body 1998-)
- 1991-2008 (at least) Board of Governors The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel;
- Trustee of JH Ritblat Charitable Trust | John and Isabel Ritblat Education Trust (Created in 1976 and from 2007 a 'linked charity' with Weizmann UK) | The Sir John Ritblat Family Foundation (formerly known as The John Ritblat Charitable Trust No 1) (31 March 1971 - to date) | John Ritblat Charitable Trust No 2 (3 June 1971-11 August 1997 - CEASED TO EXIST)
Culture and the arts
- Governor and chair of Alpha Plus Appointed by Delancey when it acquired Alpha Plus in December 2007.
- Deputy Chairmanship of the Hall School in Hampstead 
- Governor of Dulwich College
- 1978-2001 sole sponsor British National Skiing Championships
- 1984- pres British Ski Federation 1994- (vice-pres 1984-89)
- Honorary President of the British Ski and Snowboard Federation 
- Vice President of the Tennis & Racquets Association
- Trustee the Wallace Collection Extended from 8 August 2013 until 31 December 2014.
- 1969-2011 Crown Estate Paving Commission Commissioner, (Commissioner Emeritus January 2012 - )
- 1979, hon surveyor King George's Fund for Sailors
- Memb Cncl RGS 1984 (life memb 1982),
- Memb: Prince of Wales' Royal Parks Tree Appeal Ctee, 
- Fin Devpt Bd NSPCC,
- FSVA 1968,
- Honorary fellow of The Royal Institute of British Architects
Meetings with ministers
Details of the Conservative's 2013 summer ball, an event where tickets cost up to £12,000 each and allows attendees to sit at the table with ministers, were leaked to the Guardian. Shore Capital, a Mayfair boutique investment bank led by Howard Shore, booked three 'premier tables'. On these tables sat, David and Samantha Cameron, Ritblat, the investor know as the 'homeless billionaire', Nicolas Berggruen, Slovenian tycoon Darko Horvat and one of Vladimir Putin's aides Vasily Shestakov.
- 'Ritblat still willing to take the fresh approach', Financial Times, 4 December 2012
- Heather Tomlinson 'THE LOWDOWN: UPSTARTS TAKE ON THE LAND OF OUR FATHERS, SONS, FRIENDS, THEIR SONS ...; JOHN RITBLAT, BOSS OF BRITISH LAND, INSTILLS FEAR IN EVEN HIS TOUGHEST CITY CRITICS. BUT A SMALL SHAREHOLDER HAS RATTLED HIM.' Independent on Sunday (London), July 14, 2002, Sunday,BUSINESS; Pg. 7
- Nicholas Faith Who is king of the castle?: As technocrats and fund managers move in on the commercial property front, the last few individualists are fighting for a leading role in the future shape of London. Deal-maker John Ritblat, is taking on developer Stuart Lipton, whose visions have included projects like the City's Broadgate. on two ways to build an empire, Independent on Sunday, SUNDAY 27 FEBRUARY 1994
- Science Media Centre About Us: funding System, to date March 2002, accessed from the Internet Archive of 26 July 2002
- Science Media Centre About Us: Funding To date January 2011, Accessed in the Internet Archive of 11 May 2011.
- Debrett's People of Today Sir John Ritblat Authorised biography, Accessed 2 august 2013
- Weizmann Institute of Science The Board of Governors, 2005
- Richard Northedge 'Ritblat casts off from British Land Shareholders gave him a standing ovation when they heard of his departure from the pounds 18bn FTSE100 company. Hardly surprising - after 36 years at the helm, Sir John Ritblat is the grand old man of British property' The Sunday Telegraph (LONDON) July 16, 2006 Sunday, City Profile; Pg. 7
- Weizmann Institute of Science Board of governors December 2008.
- Data from the Charity Commission website http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/find-charities/
- Organisation: Department for Culture, Media & Sport Sir John Ritblat remains trustee of the Wallace Collection, Page history:Published 5 April 2013
- Alpha Plus Group Governors, Accessed 3 August 2013
- Delancey Alpha Plus, accessed 3 August 2013
- Crown Estate Paving Commission Commissioners Emeritus, accessed 3 August 2013
- Robert Booth, Nick Mathiason, Luke Harding and Melanie Newman Tory summer party drew super-rich supporters with total wealth of £11bn The Guardian, 3 July 2014, accessed 14 October 2014