Fife businessman leaves £13 million fortune to staff

Rae Grieve
Rae Grieve

A successful Fife businessman has left his £13 million fortune to his former employees and friends.

Alexander Raeburn Grieve, known as Rae, founded property company Lundin Homes as well as building up one of Scotland’s leading Aberdeen Angus Herds at his farm in Lundin Links.

He died from a heart condition in April aged 83, after building his fortune, but never married or had children.

In his recently published will he instructed that his £13.3 million estate be placed into a trust, with 13 people named as beneficiaries.

These include Moira Birrell, the sales manager at Lundin Homes, Alistair Cormack, who worked for many years as the stockman at his farm and Alan and Tom Spence, his fellow directors at the property company.

His doctor, an accountant and his cousin Margaret Black and her children were also named.

Mr Grieve’s fortune consisted his farm and land valued at £5 million and more than £4.5 million in bank accounts.

He also owned three Bentleys, a Ferrari and a Range Rover with a combined value of £418,000. His other assets included a £2.3 million investment portfolio and his prized herd of pedigree Aberdeen Angus cattle, worth £284,000.

He was a self made man who became one of the leading house builders in Scotland through his ability to identify land suitable for development and through his strong leadership qualities.

From his farm base at Carlhurlie, Lundin Links, he also established an award-winning herd of Aberdeen Angus in the extremely competitive world of pedigree livestock.

He was born in 1932 and raised in East Wemyss where his father worked as a chaffeur, and he attended Buckhaven High School before going on to study agriculture in Edinburgh.

After leaving college he worked with the National Coal Board, setting up a planned maintenance scheme for plant and equipment in the East Fife collieries.

He then joined Associated Electrical Industries which was building two large plants at Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes for telecommunications equipment, recruiting 3000 employees.

He was offered promotion, which would involve moving south, but chose to remain in Fife, joining builders, George Wimpey, the main contractor for the two plants.

Thus began his long involvement in the building industry and he demonstrated his expertise in buying land for development, helping Wimpey’s Scottish land bank and house building programme to expand at an unprecedented rate.