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Sir Robert Waley Cohen, KBE (8 September 1877 - 27 November 1952) was a British industrialist and prominent leader of Anglo-Jewry.


Early life

He came from a prominent Jewish family, being the grandson of Jacob Waley and a cousin of Arthur Waley. (His son was Sir Bernard Waley-Cohen.) He was educated at Clifton College and Emmanuel College, Cambridge.[1]


He joined the Shell Company, 1901 and negotiated its merger with the Royal Dutch Oil Company, 1906. He was a director of the merged company and chief assistant to its managing director.

He was the petroleum adviser to the Army Council during World War I, for which he received a KBE, 1920. He retired from Shell in 1928 but became chairman of the African and Eastern Company in 1929. He negotiated a merger with the Niger Company into the United Africa Company, 1929; resigned 1931.

Although he was generally opposed to Zionism, he was the main creator of the Palestine Corporation (a conglomerate with various diverse business interests).[2]

He was Vice-Chairman of University College, London and President of the United Synagogue.


External links

  • [1] Royal Dutch/Shell Group and Sir Robert Waley Cohen; Chemistry in Israel, Bull. Isr. Chem. Soc., Issue 15, Apr. 2004, p 35-38.


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