Born on: 7th Mar 55
Born in: Saudi Arabia
Marital status: Married
Occupation: Chairman and CEO of Kingdom Holding
An internationally prominent businessman and investor, Saudi Prince Al-Walid bin Talal is perhaps the largest single foreign investor in the United States economy. With a net financial worth of approximately $20 billion, he is also one of the world’s wealthiest men. After graduating from Menlo College in 1979 he returned to Saudi Arabia with hopes of benefiting from the phenomenal oil boom then underway. Instead, he made considerable profit in the fields of real estate and construction, after which he set his sights on the banking sector.
In 1991, Prince Al-Walid announced his $590 million investment to bailout Citicorp which many thought would turn out to be a ruinous decision earned him the title of the ‘Arabian Warren Buffet’. The company’s tremendous success in the ensuing years made it the cornerstone of Prince Al-Walid’s fortune. Known to live an indulgent life, the Prince doesn’t hesitate to treat himself like a king. If his $130 million palace in Riyadh doesn’t astonish you, his $500 million personalized Airbus A380 also called the ‘Flying Palace’ will definitely send you into a frenzy. The Prince’s appetite for cars seems unparalleled and his collection of more than 300 cars of the best breed is simply jaw dropping. Prince Al-Walid’s superiority and domination extends to water as well with his 557-feet and third largest private yacht in the world called the Kingdom 5KR. A prolific philanthropist, Prince Al-Walid besides attempting donations of $10 million towards the Twin Towers Fund also donated $20 million each to America’s Georgetown and Harvard universities. In addition, he has donated substantial funds toward health, education, food aid, and HIV/AIDS research in Africa. Prince Talaal once again justified his smart businessperson stature as he recently invested $300 million in the social networking site Twitter. He explained “Our investment in Twitter reaffirms our ability in identifying suitable opportunities to invest in promising, high-growth businesses with a global impact.”