ChairmanNicolae Ratiu is Chairman of The Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation, Managing Director of Regent House Properties Ltd and senior advisor to the family’s group companies in UK, France and Romania, with a major portfolio in real estate and property development. Educated in the United Kingdom at Marlborough College, and New York University in the United States, with a BSc in Marine Transportation and Economics.
Major investments of the family group in Romania include the 180 ha Bucharest Industrial Park on the A1 autostrada at Bolintin; Campulung Industrial Park (the former ARO factory), Turda Industrial Park, Carol Park Residence apartments, the Lebada Hotel, further land holdings and interests in the production of road and rail construction materials, furniture and plywood.
Nicolae is the younger of two sons of the former Romanian politician Ion Ratiu. Born in Davos, Switzerland, Nicolae became more involved in Romanian issues in his early 40s in 1990 after the collapse of communism when his father returned to Romania to run for the presidency. His principle responsibility was the founding of the COTIDIANUL daily newspaper and its supporting printing company.
As Chairman of The Ratiu Foundation, a 33 year old British registered charity with its headquarters in London, Nicolae chairs a board of 5 Ratiu family members who award annually up to 100 grants, worth c. GBP 200000, in various fields (study, research and travel) Funding for projects is today focused on civil society and democracy-related initiatives.
A businessman and philanthropist, alongside the Ratiu Foundation, Nicolae is also trustee of a number of further charities in Romania and the UK, amongst which are The Romanian Cultural Centre in London, Pro Patrimonio (The National Trust of Romania), ADEPT, and The Relief Fund for Romania.
Through the Ratiu Foundation, Nicolae supports major cultural and educational programs in UK, Romania and US, among which are:
- The annual Romanian Film Festival in London
- The annual Ion Ratiu Democracy Award and Lecture in Washington, DC
- The traditional annual agricultural festival – Transilvania Fest
- The bi-annual Corneliu M Popescu Prize for European Poetry in Translation
Elisabeth RaţiuElisabeth Pilkington grew up in the Lancashire countryside of the UK, overlooking the industrial town of St Helens which four generations of Pilkington Brothers, the family glass manufacturing business, had transformed into the Mecca of UK flat-glass production. Her father, Colonel Guy Reginald Pilkington, served the family business as Group Personnel Director. He also served his local community for many years as Alderman of the St Helens Town Council. He was much involved in local community life: the regional Water Board, annual agricultural shows and rose growing were amongst his favourite activities. The family had distinguished forbears: Dr Richard Pilkington, a distinguished theologian during the early stages of the 16th century protestant reformation, is commemorated in a glass window in the dining hall of St John's College Cambridge. A Pilkington crusader ancestor is believed to have died on his way to Jerusalem, and is presumed buried in the Olt Valley in what is now Romania. Elisabeth's maternal grandfather established the internationally known Bristol and London-based art business Frost & Reed, known for the striking seascapes which the firm commissioned annually for printing and successful distribution throughout North America as well as the UK.
At the outbreak of WWII, Elisabeth served her country for two years as a Red Cross nurse in a Manchester army hospital followed by Social Science studies at London School of Economics. The School had been evacuated to Cambridge for the duration of the war, it was at this time she met the young Romanian postgraduate student and diplomat, Ion Raţiu, who was studying for a second degree in Economics on a British Council Scholarship following his refusal to return to Marshall Antonescu's Nazi aligned Romania in 1941.
The couple was married at the Savoy Chapel in London's West End in 1945. Elisabeth immediately took out Romanian citizenship, fully expecting to accompany her husband back to postwar Romania to campaign in the 1946 general election. But Ion, who had already showed disturbing signs of tuberculosis prior to their marriage, collapsed in the autumn of 1946 and entered a sanatorium in Davos, Switzerland. Here they were joined by their first son, Indrei, born in 1946, and shortly afterwards, in 1948, their second son Nicolae was born. Meanwhile, Elisabeth entered fully into the spirit of a Romanian household. She learned Romanian, and patiently practiced the art of preparing Romanian culinary specialties for a demanding circle of guests and relatives. Besides her family life, she found time to apply her social science skills working full-time as an almoner (social worker) for a leading London hospital. Elisabeth eventually developed her culinary interests into a multi-faceted business: a successful catering business, "Mary Feast", became a successful cookery school. Elisabeth in due course also edited and wrote a number of successfu...
Indrei RaţiuIndrei Raţiu is educator, former journalist and broadcaster (BBC, Rediffusion, London Evening Standard), involved in launching INSEAD’s now world-class Executive Development programs. A former consultant in management development to IBM, Schlumberger, BP, ICI, and the World Bank, Indrei cofounded, ICM – InterCultural Management Associates, Paris; Pro Patrimonio (the Romanian Heritage Foundation.), Transilvania Fest Association and the Raţiu Center for Democracy, Romania. A former trustee of the Rainford Trust, UK, he is currently a trustee of the Raţiu Family Charitable Foundation, UK, and a board member of the International School in Cluj, Romania. Indrei holds degrees from Cambridge University and INSEAD.
Kitty WillisKitty is a wife and mother of three children. She has worked in the Counselling world in England for the past 15 years. She is a Psychotherapist, Counsellor, Supervisor and Trainer and works with children and young people as well as adult clients. Kitty is interested in the psychological assistance offered to trafficked survivors. She is particularly interested in the overlap between spirituality and counselling. She is also a member of the Anglican Church and an Associate of a religious order. In the past she has been a school governor and worked as a PA.
Her father was Romanian and was a cousin of the Ratiu Family. She has been involved with RFF for 5 + years which she enjoys and is challenged by.
Ioana Raţiu-RăileanuIoana Raţiu-Răileanu is a trustee of the Raţiu Family Charitable Foundation. She is an expert in communication and international marketing for luxury goods, previously employed by Estée Lauder UK and France, Sonya Rykiel, Karl LAGERFELD, Révillon, Charles Jourdan, Payot Cosmetiques, Rochas; directly involved in the creation and international promotion processes.
Ioana has been awarded the Grand Trophy at The Leipzig Cosmetics Trade Fair, 1981 for the Sonya Rykiel 7-ème Sens body lotion, The Oscar Cosmetics Award for the “Most original masculine perfume” French Line, Révillon, 1985, The Oscar Award for the “Best poster campaign” French Line, Révillon, 1985, the Epica Award for the “Best publicity campaign”, cosmetics section for Payot Cosmetiques, 1994.
Ioana is member of Cosmetic Executives Women, Fashion Group France and board member of Pro Patrimonio France. Daughter of the famous director George Georgescu, she is involved in organising events in honor of her father’s memory and the International Contest for Performing Artists, Tulcea.
Ioana has a son, Alexandru Raţiu and is married to the well known essayist and RFI journalist Petre Răileanu. She lives in Paris and Bucharest.
Dan Dan, Dr.Dan Dan, MD is a trustee of the Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation. He is a graduate of the Institute of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, with postgradual training in General Medicine (Emergency Hospital, Bucharest), Internal Medicine (Memorial Medical Center, Savannah, Georgia), Cardiology (Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio) and Cardiac Electrophysiology (Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia). Since 2008 he is Electrophysiologist at the Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta, Georgia, between 2008 and 2010 he acted as Director of Clinical Electrophysiology Research for the Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta. Dan has experience in teaching and training cardiology and EP fellows, in rounding and lecturing fellows and residents and has developed training programs with lectures and curriculum for EP staff for 10 years aiming for HRS board certification for Allied Professionals. He published extensively and participated in numerous conferences and scientific reunions worldwide. Dan is a fellow of AMA, ACC and American Autonomic Society.
Richard Pollitzer, Director
Richard is a long standing friend of the Ratiu family. He was fortunate enough to participate in that extraordinary journey back to Bucharest with Ion Ratiu in January 1990 and to witness some of the memorable events that followed, including ultimately attending Ion Ratiu's burial in Turda 10 years later. Born and raised in England, his family originally came from Budapest in the mid-19th century , and founded Beck & Pollitzer in London at that time. Coincidentally, the family also had pre-war connections with the Pilkington business via the late Sigmund Pollitzer and glass engraving.
He has worked as a stockbroker for over 35 years, looking after private individuals and their family interests. He is also involved with several charitable trusts, both as a trustee and advisor.