Luxury Private Island Resort
About The Founder David Gilmour, Executive Chairman, Zinio and ViVmag and Owner of The Wakaya Club & Spa
David Gilmour, Executive Chairman, Zinio & VIVmag
Canadian-born David Gilmour has enjoyed phenomenal success throughout his entrepreneurial career. In 1969, Gilmour and longtime
partner Peter Munk founded the South Pacific Hotel Corporation (SPHC), 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 is also the founder of 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, while on a trip to Fiji to review SPHC operations, Gilmour discovered the 2,200-acre island of Wakaya. He fell in love with the island’s unspoiled natural beauty and, in 1972, purchased Wakaya. In 1990, Gilmour and his wife Jill opened The Wakaya Club, an exclusive resort on Wakaya. Designed and decorated by Jill, The Wakaya Club (www.wakaya.com) is a four-time winner of “Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report” Grand Hideaway Award. In 2007, Gilmour founded a media company, VIV Publishing LLC, whose first product is an entirely new concept in women’s magazines: a health and lifestyle publication called VIVmag distributed exclusively in digital form. He expanded his thrust into the world of publishing the same year by acquiring Zinio (www.zinio.com), the leading digital publishing, retail and distribution platform for magazines and books. Zinio pioneered paperless distribution and has introduced responsible and innovative digital-marketing practices to the print industry for distinguished publishers such as: Alpha Media Group, Bonnier Group, Gruner + Jahr, Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., Hearst, IDG, IPC Media, Mariah Media, Inc., Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, McGraw-Hill, Playboy Enterprises, Inc., Rogers Publishing Limited, Source Interlink Media, The Economist, Transcontinental and Ziff Davis. Since Gilmour’s acquisition, Zinio has introduced a series of ground-breaking new technologies for the global marketplace, rolled out operations across Europe and Latin America, and doubled both its publisher client and consumer bases.
Gilmour recently joined the board of directors of the Andre Agassi Foundation. David and Jill Gilmour’s charitable focus is on pre-school education, and they have donated a pre-school program in several areas of Fiji and now in the U.S.
Gilmour was an officer in “The Governor General’s Horseguards” of Canada. Gilmour was presented with the U.S. Senate Department’s 2004 Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) by Secretary of State Colin Powell in recognition of the international growth and success of FIJI Water, together with its philanthropic endeavors in Fiji. Gilmour also was awarded “The Order of Fiji” by the president of Fiji, Ratu Sir
Kamisese Mara, in 1998, for his commercial and philanthropic achievements in the Fiji Islands.
The Gilmours spend as much time as possible at their residence on Wakaya Island. The rest of the year, they divide between their apartment on the island of Manhattan in New York and their house on the island of Palm Beach, Florida, where they reside.