Charity worker from shipping dynasty leaves estate worth £5m

Iver Salvesen had a heart attack in Tanzania.
Iver Salvesen had a heart attack in Tanzania.
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A MEMBER of a shipping dynasty who died suddenly while volunteering in Africa left a £5 million fortune.

Iver Salvesen – whose family founded the Christian Salvesen transport and logistics firm – died from a heart attack while working for a charity in Tanzania.

He had just returned from a jog with fellow volunteers when he collapsed and died on the way to hospital.

The 47-year-old, who was married with three children and lived near Stow, Selkirkshire, was the great great-grandson of Christian Salvesen, who founded the shipping company.

Mr Salvesen, who was born in Haddington, was on his first expedition with the Edinburgh-based Vine Trust, helping to build homes for orphans in the Moshi district when he died last July.

His death came soon after his cousin Jeremy Salvesen, from Elie, Fife, died in April 2014 at the age of 51 in a skiing accident in the French Alps.

His published will has revealed he left an estate worth £5,033,634 that will be inherited by his wife Wendy and family. Papers show the bulk of his wealth was made up of land and property in the Borders and Perthshire.

He had personal effects worth £2500, cash and shares worth around £400,000, and two prized Purdey shotguns valued at £45,000.

Mr Salvesen was the son of Major Robin Salvesen and his wife Sari, Robin being the last person with a Salvesen surname to serve on the board of the huge company now owned by French firm Norbert Dentressangle.

He ran an ecological construction business, Ecofitter, and had built Scotland’s first straw house for one of his workers at his 600-acre farm.

Paying tribute to her husband after his death, Mrs Salvesen said: “He was one of seven children. He loved the Borders and he was so into renewables. He had gone to Tanzania with his elder sister building homes for orphans.

“That was the kind of person he was – always trying to help and make a difference.”

His brother Tom said: “He was one of those slightly larger than life characters who was very into making sure that people got involved, got active and made things happen.

“That was the style of character he was.

“He was quite social and enjoyed having a smile on his face and other people having a smile on their face.”

Vine Trust chief executive Willie McPherson described Mr Salvesen as a “super fellow”. He added: “While participating in a Vine Trust expedition to construct homes for orphaned children in the Moshi district of Tanzania, Iver tragically took ill and died after an early-morning jog with fellow volunteers.

“Iver, with his background in construction and ecological techniques, was part of the Trust’s 100 homes programme and was keen to bring his expertise to hand to make it as successful as possible.

“It is an absolute tragedy and we are all shocked by the tragic events.”

Following a private funeral in Melrose, Roxburghshire, a memorial service was held in St Mary’s Parish Church, Haddington.

newsen@edinburghnews.com