Donald Left Pounds 2m Property, Art and Shares Fortune; FIRST MINISTER SIGNED WILL JUST THREE WEEKS BEFORE HEART OP

Article excerpt

Byline: BRIAN LIRONI

DONALD DEWAR has left a staggering pounds 2 million in his will.

The late First Minister, who never went on holiday or bought a raincoat, built up a massive fortune in property, shares and art.

He also amassed a huge portfolio of shares which are now valued at over [pound]1 million.

But when pension and life insurance polices are added it could take his total fortune to nearer [pound]3million.

He left everything to his two children Marion and Iain.

Thrifty Donald drew up a will just days before doctors uncovered the heart condition which later led to his death.

He died last October, aged 63, after collapsing with a brain haemorrhage.

For someone famed for his modest lifestyle, his will reveals an astonishing picture of wealth.

He owned three impressive properties in Scotland.

His home in Glasgow's Cleveden Road was valued at [pound]130,000 and a flat in nearby Cleveden Crescent is worth [pound]240,000.

He also owned another house in Stirling, which has been in his mother's family for generations, worth [pound]180,000.

He built up a vast collection of paintings during his life and was especially keen on the works of the Scottish Colourists.

He bought most of his paintings when they were unfashionable and cheap. His collection is now valued at [pound]406,940.

Dewar's other great passion in life was collecting rare and old books, particularly works on Scottish history. He was often seen in second-hand bookshops hunting for treasures.

Some of his prized volumes were rare first editions.

His library, valued at [pound]30,550, will be donated by his family to the Scottish Parliament, where a reading room is to be opened in his honour.

But the part of his legacy which will cause most surprise is his massive portfolio of shares.

Despite his political opposition to Margaret Thatcher's programme of privatisation, Dewar bought shares in the companies the Conservatives sold off - Railtrack, Powergen and Thames Water.

But his largest shareholding was of 21,964 shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland, worth [pound]284,000 at today's prices.

He also held [pound]70,000 worth of shares in Unilever and [pound]27,538 in mobile phone firm Vodafone.

At the time of his death, he had [pound]43,244 in a savings account in the Royal Bank of Scotland's branch at Possilpark, Glasgow.

And [pound]34,554 was lodged with London-based investment managers Capel Cure Sharp.

His entire portfolio is worth nearly [pound]1million.

Dewar was either a shrewd judge of City stocks or he had been well-advised.

Nearly all of his 50 or so holdings were in blue-chip investments such as banks, drugs firms and international conglomerates. Over a quarter of his portfolio was in Royal Bank of Scotland, which increased in value thanks to consistently strong growth.

But there will have been disappointments over the [pound]37,000 worth of shares in Marks & Spencer, [pound]5000 in Railtrack and [pound]14,000 in Fleming Japanese Trust, which has suffered with the turmoil in Japan's economy. …