Reuben Brothers

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Mining-alcans-60px.jpg This article is part of the Mining and Metals project of Spinwatch

Billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben made a fortune in the aluminium business in Russia in the 1990s, and are now among the UK's largest property investors.[1]

The brothers 'started out importing carpets and buying real estate'. They 'moved to the UK as teenagers after growing up in Bombay' and 'are ranked as the eighth richest people in Britain according to The Sunday Times with a fortune estimated at £7 billion.'[2]


In 1992, the Reuben brothers and their trusted aide, Alan Bekhor, set up an office in Moscow in order to ensure a continued supply of Russian aluminium to their trading firm, Trans-World Metals.

Reuben teamed up with Lev Tchernoi, a Russian-based commodities, metal and timber dealer who was to act as his main contact in the country. Tchernoi, an invalid after contracting polio as a child, is regarded in the trade as the 'crippled genius' from Tashkent who first helped Reuben get a foothold in Russia. Now an Israeli citizen, he is said to have made a fortune in the Soviet days from a secretive textile business in Uzbekistan.
Lev's older brother Mikhail, despite having no current connection with Trans -World, was also involved in those early days. Even in London's notoriously gossipy metals trade, it is hard to find people to talk about the Tchernoi brothers. While Lev is generally regarded as 'clean', numerous attempts have been made to smear Mikhail with mafia connections, and the Moscow press has referred to his associates as 'the bandits of Siberia'.[3]

Conservative support

Following a public spat between the brothers and Ken Livingstone, David Reuben gave £4,000 to Boris Johnson's campaign to become Mayor of London in January 2008.[4] His son Jamie also worked on Johnson's campaign and the brothers reportedly assisted their friend Jonathan Marland in contacting potential donors.[5]

In July 2008, it emerged that the brothers had donated £186,000 to the Conservatives through six different companies:

The donations are: £36,000 from Motcomb Estates last October; £50,000 from Investors in Private Capital in January; £25,000 apiece from Kirkglade and Wellesley Capital Investment in January; and £25,000 from Wellington Pub Company and Criterion Asset Management in March.[6]


Public Relations



  1. David and Simon Reuben: Update and Clarification, Fortune, 12 June 2004.
  2. SWNS Reporter Reuben brothers to turn run-down mansion in Piccadilly into UK’s most expensive home… worth £200million October 22, 2012. Accessed 14 August 2014.
  3. Tsar of Siberia feels the heat, by Ian King, The Guardian, 20 March 1997.
  4. Reuben brothers give Tories nearly £200,000, by Jim Pickard,, 30 July 2008.
  5. Boris gets the backing of Ken's billionaire property foes, Pandora column, The Independent, 11 December 2007.
  6. Reuben brothers give Tories nearly £200,000, by Jim Pickard,, 30 July 2008.
  7. Register 1st September 2014 - 30th November 2014 APPC, accessed 28 January 2015