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Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal - Citigroup (Billionaire)

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Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal - Citigroup (Billionaire)

Post by selfmadevip on Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:01 am

Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal - Citigroup (Billionaire)

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Born: 7 March 1955
Age: 53
Country Of Citizenship: Saudi Arabia
Residence: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Middle East & Africa
Net Worth: $20.3 billion
Fortune: Self made
Source: Investments
Industry: Investments
Marital Status: Married, 2 children
Spouse: Princess Ameera
Education: Menlo College, Bachelor of Arts / Science Syracuse University, Master of Science
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Prince Al-Walid bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, born 7 March 1955 and commonly known as Prince Al-Walid, is a member of the Saudi Royal Family, and an entrepreneur and international investor. He has amassed his fortune through investments in properties and stocks. As of 2007, his net worth is estimated at US$20.3 billion, and he is ranked by Forbes as the 13th richest person in the world. He has been nicknamed by Time magazine as the Arabian Warren Buffett.

Al-Walid was born to Prince Talal, son of the founding king of Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz Al Saud, and Princess Mona El-Solh, daughter of Riad El-Solh, the first Prime Minister of modern day Lebanon and a leader of Lebanese independence. He is also a cousin of Prince Moulay Hicham of Morocco, whose mother is Mona's sister.

Al-Walid completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration at Menlo College in 1979 and a Masters in Social Science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University, in 1985. He was also awarded an honorary PhD from the University of Exeter. He is twice divorced. As of 2006, he is married to Princess Ameera and has two children: Prince Khaled and Princess Reem. Despite being the nephew of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, he has stayed outside of the core of political power in Saudi Arabia, instead building a large international corporation called the Kingdom Holding Company, through which he makes his investments.

Al-Walid began his business career in 1979 upon graduation from Menlo College. Funded by a $30,000 loan from his father and a $300,000 mortgage on his house, he initially brokered deals with foreign firms wishing to do business in Saudi Arabia. This was followed by land deals in the 1980s, along with major investments in the Saudi banking industry, which proved to be undervalued at the time.

The Prince's activities as an investor came to prominence when he bought a substantial tranche of shares in Citicorp in the 1990s when that firm was in difficulties. With an initial investment of $550 million to bail out Citibank caused by underperforming American real estate loan and Latin American businesses, his holdings in Citigroup now comprises half of his wealth worth US$10 billion. He has also made large investments in AOL, Apple Inc., Worldcom, Motorola, News Corporation Ltd and other technology and media companies.

His real estate holdings have included large stakes in the Four Seasons hotel chain and the Plaza Hotel in New York. He sold half of his shares in the latter in August 2004. He has made investments in London's Savoy Hotel and Monaco's Monte Carlo Grand Hotel. He currently holds a 17% stake in Euro Disney SCA, the organization which manages and maintains the Disneyland Resort Paris in Marne-la-Vallee, France.

In January 2005 Al-Walid purchased the Savoy Hotel in London for an estimated GBP A'A 250 million, to be managed by Fairmont Hotels, in which Al-Walid owns an estimated 16% stake. In January 2006, in partnership with the U.S. real estate firm Colony Capital, Kingdom Holdings acquired Toronto, CA-based Fairmont Hotels for an estimated $3.9 billion.

As of 2007, he was believed to be in talks with Robert Earl, founder of Planet Hollywood, about taking a controlling stake in the English Premier League's Everton FC

Al-Walid is heavily involved in charitable activities across the Middle East, Asia and Africa, and is estimated to donate more than $100 million annually to charity . Much of this expenditure is in the field of educational initiatives to bridge gaps between Western and Islamic communities by funding centers of American studies and research in universities in the Middle East and centers of Islamic studies in American universities.

In 2001, he offered New York City a donation of $10 million towards relief efforts after the September 11, 2001 attacks. This was rejected by Mayor Rudy Giuliani because Al-Walid suggested that the attacks were an indication that the United States 'should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause.

In 2002, Al-Walid donated $500,000 to the George Herbert Walker Bush Scholarship Fund, established by the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, to honor former President George H. W. Bush.

In December 2005, Al-Walid donated $20 million each to Harvard University and Georgetown University to finance Islamic studies. The gift to Georgetown, which set up the Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in his honor, was the university's second-largest donation in history, and the gift to Harvard was among its 25 largest.

In 2006, the Al-Walid donated $10 million to the Weill Medical College of Cornell University establishing the HRH Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Institute for Computational Biomedicine (ICB). This institute studies complex genomic and cellular systems as they relate to medicine and biology by using mathematical models, physics and high-speed computing.

In July 2005, he donated $20 million to the Louvre Museum, the largest gift ever to the world's largest museum. It will help to fund the construction of a wing for the Louvre's vast collection of Islamic art. The wing will consist of a freeform, glassy structure that will bring a modern touch to a neoclassical courtyard. The design for the new wing would involve covering much of the Louvre's Cour Visconti, a neo-Classical courtyard, with a contemporary sail-like roof made up of small glass disks. Officials put the total cost of the wing, by the architects Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti, at $67 million and predicted it would open in 2009.

In October 2005, he donated 30 million riyals ($5.3 million) in the form of goods and cash to support relief and reconstruction efforts in wake of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.
He also gave $2 million dollars to invest in Pakistan, regions which benefited from this were; Kahuta, Jhelum Valley and the mountainside region of Swat.

In August 2007, Al-Walid visited Mali to inaugurate the new building he financed to house the headquarters the Fondation Pour l'Enfance, an organization dedicated to improving the living conditions of Malian and African children, presided by the current First lady of Mali, TourAfA Lobbo Traore, and founded in the 1990's by her husband, President Amadou Toumani TourAfA , while he was a private citizen. The new headquarters are in Bamako, Mali.

Al-Walid is not part of the ruling executive within the House of Saud and has generally kept out of politics. However, he has recently started to make overt political statements in his press releases and interviews. His views can be seen as critical of Saudi traditionalism, proposing reforms to elections, women's rights and the economy. He has also openly criticized operation of the state-owned oil company, Saudi Aramco. He is vocal about women's rights and hired the first female airline pilot in Saudi Arabia, Hanadi Hindi.

He has also taken a notable pro-American stance, backed up by his $10 million financing of American study programmes at the American University in Cairo.

Al-Walid is a Lebanese citizen through his mother and in recent years, he has been involved in Lebanese politics, backing President Emile Lahoud against since assassinated Lebanese billionaire Rafik Hariri and investing in luxury resorts and pan-Arab Lebanese media (al-Nahar, LBC International). His effort to be a leader in the Lebanese Sunni community has been relatively unsuccessful so far.

Al-Walid now owns the yacht Kingdom 5KR, which is the 282' yacht originally built as the "Nabila" for Saudi billionaire, Adnan Khashoggi. She subsequently posed as the Disco, the yacht of James Bond villain Largo in the film Never Say Never Again. The yacht was later sold to Donald Trump, who renamed it Trump Princess. Al-Walid bought the yacht after Trump's second bankruptcy.

Already an owner of a Boeing 747 jet converted to private use, at the 2007 Dubai Air Show Al-Walid was confirmed by Airbus to be the prospective owner of the first private Airbus A380, the world's largest aircraft.
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Re: Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal - Citigroup (Billionaire)

Post by davegrus2000 on Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:30 pm

I've been always curious to read his success story.
Thank you for sharing. :)
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Re: Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal - Citigroup (Billionaire)

Post by spage on Fri May 09, 2008 9:23 am

Very interesting. Thanx very much! :D
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