Our Family History

by Nicholas Michael - and many others



Male 1923 - 2012  (89 years)

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  • Name Jack DELLAL 
    Born 2 Oct 1923  Manchester, LAN Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 28 Oct 2012  London, LND Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I1159  Our Family History
    Last Modified 31 Oct 2012 

    Father Sulman DELLAL,   b. 5 Jul 1880, Baghdad, Iraq Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Jan 1940, Manchester, LAN Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 59 years) 
    Mother Charlotte SHASHOUA,   b. 1888,   d. 14 Aug 1970  (Age 82 years) 
    Married 19 Dec 1917  Manchester, LAN Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F172  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Zehava HELMER,   b. 1923,   d. 9 Mar 2011, Monaco Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years) 
    Divorced Yes, date unknown 
     1. Lorraine (Private) DELLAL
     2. Diane (Private) DELLAL
     3. Guy Sulman (Private) DELLAL
     4. Suzanne DELLAL,   b. 1958,   d. 1981  (Age 23 years)
     5. Gabrielle Nicole (Private) DELLAL
    Last Modified 21 Jun 2016 
    Family ID F872  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Katya DOUGLAS 
     1. Jasmine Deborah Douglas (Private) DELLAL
     2. Rowan (Private) DELLAL
    Last Modified 21 Jun 2016 
    Family ID F1603  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Ruanne LOUW 
    Married 1998 
     1. Catherine Charlotte (Private) DELLAL
     2. Zack DELLAL
    “Black” Jack Dellal and his wife Ruanne, unknown date
    “Black” Jack Dellal and his wife Ruanne, unknown date
    Taken from his obituary article in The Telegraph, 31 October 2012.
    Last Modified 21 Jun 2016 
    Family ID F6577  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 2 Oct 1923 - Manchester, LAN Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 28 Oct 2012 - London, LND Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Jack Dellal, August 1999
    Jack Dellal, August 1999
    Photo supplied by his sister Violet Simon, formerly Fattal, née Dellal.

  • Notes 
    • "Black Jack" Dellal (the Dellal family is of Baghdadian Jewish origins) made a fortune in property in London after the war, buying up bomb sites and turning them into car parks. He bought the freehold of Bush House in the Aldwych for around £50 million in 1987 and sold it two years later for a rumoured £138 million. He is very reclusive.

      Joyce Brune (née Michael, distantly related to him) says (December 1996) that Jack Dellal is a very pleasant man and "charming company." He is not so much reclusive as reserved. The Dellal family were not well-off, and she says that Jack's early ambition in life was to make enough money to give his mother "everything she wanted". This has obviously been more than attained! Joyce maintains that the two children by Katya Douglas are illegitimate.

      In the Daily Telegraph (1996) appeared an article headed "£200,000 fraudster told his victim "I will make you rich".
      A man who conned nearly £200,000 from the "vulnerable" girlfriend of one of Britains' richest men, was jailed for four years yesterday.... Miss Louw was the girlfriend of Jack Delal [sic], a property developer more than 30 years her senior and regarded as among Britain's 50 wealthiest men. But despite her affluent lifestyle, she depended almost entirely on his generosity and had no guarantees about her fiscal future..."

      In the Daily Mail of late 1998, Nigel Dempster wrote:
      “JACK THE LAD TO BECOME A DAD” With a fortune estimated at £800 million, property Midas ‘Black Jack’ Dellal is about to add to his treasures: the 75 year-old is to become a father again two years after his marriage to the former Ruanne Louw, once a runner-up to Miss South Africa. Dellal, who has been staying with Ruanne at his £400.000 appartment overlooking scenic Clifton Beach in Cape Town, had several daughters and a son Guy by his previous marraiges to former Israeli air hostess Zehava Helmer, whom he met while flying the Friendy Skies.
      Black Jack, who became deputy chairman of City finance house Keyser Ullman after they bought his Dalton Barton secondary banking business for £68 million, made another fortune in property - most notably a £75 million profit just over a decade ago when his private company sold the BBC World Service HQ Bush House after buying it for £50 million....
      Meanwhile son and heir Guy, who once studied economics at Cape Town University, has been on hand to console Jerry Hall during the break-up of her 21-year relationship from Rolling Stone Mick Jagger. Guy is divorced from Brazilian wife Andrea, the mother of two children, and Jerry has stayed at the Hampshire family estate.

      Obituary from The Telegraph, 31 October 2012:
      Jack Dellal, who has died aged 89, was a controversial wheeler-dealer in property and finance who survived the market crash of 1973 to build a reputation as one of London’s wiliest moneymakers.

      Dellal’s nickname (“Black Jack”) was supposed to come from his love of the gaming tables, though it was also said that in his early working life in Manchester he had been a dealer in black cloth. A diminutive figure, he maintained a low public profile and did business as he played cards with a mixture of bluff, coolness and more than a little cunning.

      Perhaps Dellal’s most famous deal was his “flipping” of Bush House, the former BBC World Service headquarters, which he picked up for £55 million in 1987 and sold on to a Japanese investor a few months later for £130 million. Complaints to the DTI led to an investigation, but no proceedings followed.

      In 2002 he bid a rumoured £125 million for a remaining 33-year lease on Dolphin Square, the grand Pimlico apartment complex which is home to some 70 MPs. Though he offered every resident a £17,500 windfall, on that occasion he did not prevail.

      His biggest play in more recent times was a hugely profitable investment — alongside his protégés Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz, who shared his Iraqi-Jewish heritage — of Shell-Mex House in the Strand, which they bought for £327 million in 2002 and sold for £490 million shortly before the 2008 financial crisis.

      Jack Dellal was born in the Chorlton area of south Manchester on October 2 1923, to immigrant parents who had joined the Sephardic community which made its living on the edges of the city’s textile industry. He was educated at Heaton Moor College, and set to work in the post-war years buying and selling cloth and dabbling in local property, before moving to London.

      He first came to wider prominence in the early 1970s as the force behind a fast-growing, Knightsbridge-based “fringe bank”, Dalton Barton Securities, which he and his business partner, Stanley Van Gelder, sold for £58 million in late 1972 to Keyser Ullmann, the bank chaired by Edward du Cann, MP.

      Dellal became deputy chairman of Keyser Ullmann (KU) — though Dalton Barton remained a separate operation — and the enlarged group embarked on an unrestrained lending spree in the boom market of early 1973, its funds having been boosted by a quick £28 million profit on the sale, negotiated by Dellal, of a subsidiary called Central and District Properties (he kept a framed copy of the cheque on his office wall). As to the accusation that Keyser Ullmann might be expanding too fast for its own good, he told a journalist: “At that time we had a lot of money and the City were telling me, 'Lend it out, lend it out.’”

      This he certainly did, more or less doubling the group’s loan book within a year. One of his own private companies, Allied Commercial Exporters, was among the borrowers, along with a roll-call of the raciest names of the overheated London property scene.

      KU had sufficient liquidity to weather the first storm of the property crash in December 1973; but by the following summer losses were mounting, rumours were rife, and the Bank of England was obliged to intervene, providing £65 million of “lifeboat” support loans to keep the business alive and replacing the management with safer hands. Dellal resigned in July 1974, and the rest of his executive team soon followed.

      Unabashed, he moved to New York and made more money in Manhattan real estate. Returning to London in the 1980s, he made frequent appearances in Private Eye’s investigative Slicker column as he continued to build a fortune that would peak – in the years before the upheavals of 2008 – at more than £600 million; his worth was estimated more recently at £445 million.

      Dellal kept homes in London, Monaco and South Africa. He continued to run his master company, Allied Commercial Holdings, with his son Guy — whose half-Brazilian daughter, the model and punk-rocker Alice Dellal, has often graced the gossip columns, having been described as “the face of Mango, the body of Agent Provocateur and the muse of photographer Mario Testino”.

      Jack Dellal had seven children by his first wife, an Israeli former air hostess, and two more by his second wife, Ruanne, a former South African beauty queen. He endowed the Suzanne Dellal Centre for Dance and Theatre in Tel Aviv in memory of a daughter who predeceased him.

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