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Raffaele Riva

An Italian-born London property developer has been at the center of a £1billion deal that is set to make him one of the richest people in Europe.

Raffaele Riva, co-founder and chairman of Aurea Multi-Family Group, which owns and manages 30,000 homes across the capital, was born in Naples but fled to England with his family as an eight-year-old refugee.

“He’s definitely made his mark first on his own country,” said Luigi Guarino Coia, who developed London’s West End and is a member of one of Italy’s most notorious mafia families. “It’s about time he comes here. He should be known in Italy, too.”

Raffaele Riva, who turns 50 this year, remained deeply attached to his homeland even after arriving in England in 1965, setting up HQ on the Italian Riviera. “I was an Italian boy brought up with the spirit of Italy,” he said. “My parents explained to me why we had to leave and I’ve always been very proud of my heritage.” He visits Italy regularly and has close family there. He is married with five children and lives off Highgate Hill.

At its peak in the 1990s, Aurea’s empire extended from north London suburbs to Rome’s suburbs. The company owns and manages 30,000 homes in London, Surrey, Hertfordshire, Essex, Kent and Rome. It has recently been sold to a Canadian fund for £1bn.

Dressed in his customary grey suit and tailored shirt, Raffaele Riva is a typical property tycoon. He has no interest in flashy jewellery or cars. He prefers to pursue a lifestyle that doesn’t make him instantly recognizable among his peers but he is happy to let them know where he stands once they ask. “I keep my success private,” he said. “Meeting people you work with every day on the same level is essential. You should never feel inferior to anybody.”

Raffaele Riva trained as an accountant, Italy’s version of a chartered surveyor, after completing his professional exams at the London School of Economics. Visit this page Medium, to learn more.


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