DAVID H. GILMOUR O.F.
Canadian-born David H. Gilmour has enjoyed phenomenal success throughout his entrepreneurial career. In 1969, he and long-time partner Peter Munk founded the South Pacific Hotel Corporation, which quickly became the largest hotel chain in the South Pacific. A decade later, the chain was sold and the partners formed Barrick Gold Corporation, now the most profitable and largest gold-mining firm in the world. They followed this by forming a real-estate company called Horsham Corporation, which was to become TrizecHahn, and today is one of the largest publicly traded REIT companies in North America. Gilmour, who was an officer in The Governor General’s Horse Guards of Canada, founded FIJI Water LLC, which in 2004 was the fastest-growing premium beverage in the United States when he divested himself of the company.
In 1971, Gilmour set foot on the 2,200-acre island of Wakaya. He fell in love with the island’s unspoiled natural beauty and, in 1972, purchased the island. In 1990, Gilmour and his wife, Jill, opened The Wakaya Club & Spa, an exclusive resort on Wakaya. Designed and decorated by Jill, The Wakaya Club & Spa is a fourtime winner of Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report’s Grand Hideaway Award.
In 2007, Gilmour founded a media company, whose first product is an entirely new concept in women’s magazines: a health and lifestyle publication called VIV distributed exclusively in digital form. He expanded further into the world of publishing the same year by acquiring Zinio (www. zinio.com), the leading digital publishing, retail and distribution platform for magazines. Zinio pioneered paperless distribution and has introduced responsible and innovative digital marketing practices to the print industry for many distinguished publishers. Since Gilmour’s acquistion, Zinio has introduced a series of groundbreaking new technologies for the global marketplace and dramatically increased its publisher client and consumer bases.
Gilmour’s newest venture is called Wakaya Perfection (www.wakayaperfection.com), and is designed to bring the organic bounty of Fiji to consumers around the world. The Wakaya Perfection suite of wellness products features certified organic and sustainable products presented in beautiful packaging with a powerful story and proven effectiveness. All Wakaya Perfection products are fully traceable from the seed to the shelf, and represent an entirely new and remarkable way to feel good and look better – because health is the key to true happiness!
The Gilmours’ charitable focus is on preschool education and they have donated a preschool program in several areas of Fiji and the U.S. David H. Gilmour was presented with the U.S. State Department’s 2004 Award for Corporate Excellence by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell in recognition of the international growth and success of FIJI Water together with its philanthropic endeavors in Fiji. Gilmour was also awarded The Order of Fiji by the president of Fiji, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, in 1998, for his commercial and philanthropic achievements in Fiji.
The Gilmours spend as much time as possible on Wakaya Island, at the spectacular “Sega Na Leqa” property. The rest of the year they divide between Los Angeles, New York and their house on the island of Palm Beach, Florida, where they reside. David has just published his memoirs in the form of a new book entitled Start Up, available globally as an ebook and as a paperback.