Sir Donald Gordon
was an active director of the Guardian Royal Exchange Group for 24 years
from 1971-1994 as well as chairing on their behalf their South African
subsidiary, Guardian National Insurance Company for 32 years.
1980 Liberty Life created TransAtlantic Insurance Holdings PLC, now Liberty
International PLC, and since then Sir Donald has established the company
as a £6.2 billion (R75 billion)
shopping centre and commercial real estate business.
Liberty International is the third largest property company by
market capitalisation (£3.2 billion / R39 billion) in the UK, with a capital
investment of around £3.8 billion (R46 billion). The assets of the Liberty International Group consist mainly
of major shopping centres across the UK (such as Lakeside Shopping Centre
in Thurrock, the MetroCentre in Gateshead, Braehead Shopping Centre in
Glasgow and further major shopping centres in Newcastle, Bromley, Nottingham,
Watford and Uxbridge).
Liberty International became a constituent of the UK’s FTSE 100 Index in December 2002 and is ranked in the third quartile.
South African by birth, Donald Gordon is the creator and financial benefactor
of The Donald Gordon Foundation.
He has also become a benefactor of British institutions and other
charities such as the Royal Opera House, the British Museum, the Welsh
Millennium Centre, Sadler’s Wells and The Globe Theatre.
his retirement in his 70th year in 1999 as Chairman of Liberty
Life, and his retirement as Chairman of Liberty International at the end
of June 2005, he resides in London and concentrates on the affairs of
the DGF, his other philanthropic and cultural interests and his personal
In October 2000 at the 2000 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards (sponsored by Citibank, The Times, Ernst & Young and Vodaphone) in London Sir Donald received the Entrepreneur of the Year Special Award for Lifetime Achievement. Other awards recognising his career achievements include an honorary doctorate of economic science from the University of the Witwatersrand and an honorary doctorate in commerce from the university of Pretoria. In December 1999 he was cited as “The Achiever of the Century in South African Financial Services” by the prestigious Financial Mail, the leading South African business journal and as Business Man of the Year by the South African Sunday Times in 1968. In June 2005 was awarded a knighthood in recognition of his services to the arts and business.