David Thomson, 3rd Baron Thomson of Fleet

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The Lord Thomson of Fleet
Personal details
David Kenneth Roy Thomson

(1957-06-12) 12 June 1957 (age 64)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada[1]
CitizenshipCanadian and British
Spouse(s)Mary Lou La Prairie (1988–1996)
Laurie Ludwick (2000–2006)
Domestic partnerKelly Rowan (2007–2008)
Severine Nackers (2014–present)
Parent(s)Kenneth Roy Thomson
Nora Marilyn Lavis
EducationUpper Canada College
Alma materSelwyn College, Cambridge (MA)

David Kenneth Roy Thomson, 3rd Baron Thomson of Fleet (born 12 June 1957) is a Canadian[2][3][4] hereditary peer and media magnate.[5][1][6] Upon the death of his father in 2006, Thomson became the chairman of Thomson Corporation and also inherited his father's British title, Baron Thomson of Fleet. After the acquisition of Reuters in 2008, Thomson became the chairman of the merged entity, Thomson Reuters.[7]

As of June 2021, Thomson was listed as the wealthiest person in Canada, with an estimated net worth of $45.7 billion.[8]

Early life and education[edit]

He was born on 12 June 1957, in Toronto, Ontario, the eldest child of Kenneth Thomson, 2nd Baron Thomson of Fleet and his wife, Marilyn Lavis.[6] He has a sister named Taylor Thomson, and his brother, Peter Thomson, is a race car driver.

In 1978, Thomson received his Bachelor of Arts (subsequently upgraded to an MA (Cantab)) at Selwyn College, Cambridge where he studied history. As a child, he attended both Upper Canada College and the Hall School.

Business career[edit]

Thomson started his business career as a junior associate at McLeod Young Weir in Toronto. He left the firm to enter the family business, working in a number of positions in companies controlled by the Thomson family. Thomson was manager of The Bay store at Cloverdale Mall in Etobicoke, and president of Zellers. In an effort to develop his independence, Thomson founded the real estate firm Osmington Incorporated, owned and operated outside of the Thomson empire. Osmington acquires and manages commercial real estate assets on behalf of institutional shareholders. In 2010, Osmington sold its stake in eight retail properties to the Canada Pension Plan for $336 million. Osmington is a major investor in FarmersEdge, a precision agriculture company. Osmington is also a partner in True North Sports and Entertainment, owners of the National Hockey League's Winnipeg Jets and the Canada Life Centre in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba.[9] Osmington is redeveloping the retail space of Toronto's Union Station. Thomson's investment activities are managed through Toronto hedge fund Morgan Bay Capital.

According to a plan devised decades ago by Thomson Corporation founder Roy Thomson, when Kenneth Thomson died (in June 2006), control of the family fortune passed on to David.Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). [10]

Thomson is an active acquirer of Canadian art. In 2007, Thomson paid $1.8 million for a face mask, the highest price ever paid for a single piece of Native North American art. And in November, 2016 he paid a record C$11.2 million to buy a painting at auction by Group of Seven artist Lawren Harris entitled "Mountain Forms".

Thomson operates his collecting activities through his personal Thomson Works of Art. Thomson also funds the Archive of Modern Conflict, based in London. Specialists within the archive purchase photography collections worldwide and also run a book-publishing arm, AMC Books, which has a Canadian imprint, Bone Idle Books, based in Toronto.

Personal life[edit]

Thomson is the father of six children from four different mothers. With his first wife, Mary Lou La Prairie, he has two daughters: Thyra Nicole and Tessa Lys. With his second wife, Laurie Ludwick, Thomson has one son, Benjamin, born after Thomson left the marriage. With the actress Kelly Rowan, Thomson has a daughter. With his partner Severine Nackers, an employee of Sotheby's in London, Thomson has two daughters, Ottilie, born in 2015, and Elodie, born in 2018. His two youngest children live with their father and mother. Thomson was estranged from his eldest daughter, Thyra, for five years, with Thyra eventually suing her father over mismanagement of the family trusts. The case was settled out of court in 2017. Three of his children live in London, UK, where Thomson retains several homes.

Thomson is a patron of the Art Gallery of Ontario. With the death of his father, he became the 3rd Baron Thomson of Fleet on 12 June 2006, his 49th birthday. He does not use this title in Canada. He is an avid art collector and owns the world's top collection of John Constable.[11]

Thomson has rarely given interviews to the press and maintains a low public profile. "The only substantial interview he has given was to James FitzGerald, who wrote a book about the elite private school (Upper Canada College) they both attended in Toronto", according to a July 3, 2006, article in The New York Times. "In his comments to Mr. FitzGerald 12 years ago, David had little positive to say about many people in the business world".[12] In the interview, Thomson said: "When you try to live a more balanced life, traditional businessmen think that you are not a real man. But who is not the real man? You are telling me? You have not taken a weekend with your wife, you have no spare time that you use constructively, you do not have any hobbies, you do not know how to spell Mozart. And here you are telling me that I am weak?"[12]

Thomson lives alone in a private residence that also houses an underground art gallery, in the Rosedale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario.[13]


Coat of arms of David Thomson, 3rd Baron Thomson of Fleet
Coronet of a British Baron.svg
Thomson of Fleet Escutcheon.png
A beaver sejant erect Proper blowing upon a hunting-horn Argent slung over his dexter shoulder by a riband of the dress tartan Proper to Thomson of that Ilk and his dependers.
Argent a stag's head cabossed Proper on a chief azure between two mullets a hunting-horn of the first stringed Gules.
Dexter a Mississauga Indian habited in the proper costume of his tribe holding in his dexter hand a bow all Proper; sinister a shepherd bearing in his sinister hand a shepherd's crook on his head a bonnet all Proper and wearing a kilt of the usual tartan Proper to Thomson of that Ilk and his dependers.
Never A Backward Step[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "David Thomson Success Story". Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  2. ^ "Canadian philanthropist and collector David Thomson". Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  3. ^ "#24 David Thomson & family". Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  4. ^ "A Canadian media executive ranks VERY high on this list". March 1, 2016.
  5. ^ "David Thomson ARTnews". Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Beloved matriarch of the Thomson family". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2017-07-03.
  7. ^ "Like his father, Thomson patriarch shuns limelight". Retrieved May 8, 2007.
  8. ^ "Bloomberg Billionaires Index". Bloomberg LP. Archived from the original on December 14, 2012. Retrieved December 3, 2012.
  9. ^ True North buys Thrashers, set to move team to Winnipeg. Tsn.ca. Retrieved on 2013-08-17.
  10. ^ "Transformation AGO: Project Fact Sheet". Art Gallery of Ontario. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
  11. ^ Matthew Chung (21 June 2007). "Billionaire Thomson to marry actress". thestar.com. Toronto.
  12. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference austentorch was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  13. ^ "David Thomson & family". Forbes. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  14. ^ Debrett's Peerage. 2000.

External links[edit]

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Baron Thomson of Fleet
Heir apparent:
Hon. Benjamin Thomson