Advice to those seeking riches in London's property market - team up with your brother. On the evidence of five sets of siblings currently active in the capital, the logic appears irrefutable. The eldest pair, Peter and John Beckwith, 49 and 47 respectively, have survived the lot - the crash in 1974-75, the early 1980s recession and the reprise in 1990, by which time they had sold their stake in London and Edinburgh Trust for £80 million. Now they have reappeared with two new ventures, Portfolio Holdings and Riverside Leisure, the latter they aim to float next year. Like many of their younger rivals, the Beck with's skills are well matched; Peter trained as a solicitor, John as a chartered accountant.
Perhaps their nearest equivalent in the next generation are Michael and Peter Freeman, both Oxford-educated solicitors. Argent, their property group, came to the market in May with a £140 million capitalisation, valuing their stake at over £12 million. Next in line are the Tchenguiz brothers, whose company, Rotch Properties, was behind the development of west London's Windsor Plaza. The financial acumen of Vincent, 37, together with the deal-making skills of Robert, 34, has brought the brothers an estimated fortune of £38 million.
Less well known are Richard and Ian Livingstone, who recently sold their private company, Strategic Properties, for a £20 million profit after the repayment of borrowings. They are currently considering their next move.
Finally there are the Bourne brothers - Robert, a 44-year-old accountant, and Graham, 41 - who, with a sense of timing worthy of the Beckwiths, sold their Local London group at the height of the market in 1989 for £111 million.
Scenting recovery, they returned last year with a new vehicle, Ex-Lands, in which they have a pair of famous brothers as shareholders - Maurice and Charles Saatchi, whose presence should serve as a reminder that, following the experience of late-80s Saatchi and Saatchi, not all fraternal ventures are commercially infallible.