Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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# 94 Alwaleed Al Saud $14.4B

Random fact: Most of the staff he employs are women.

Overview

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud is the founder of Kingdom Holding, a Riyadh-based conglomerate that has investments in hotels, real estate and equities, including Citigroup, Snap and Twitter. He also controls 80% of Rotana, one of the biggest media companies in the Middle East, and owns stakes in Lyft and Careem.

As of :
Last change -$48.3M ( -0.3%)
YTD change -$229M ( -1.6%)
Industry Diversified
Biggest asset KINGDOM AB Equity
Citizenship Saudi Arabia
Age 64
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Alwaleed Al Saud's net worth of $14.4B can buy ...

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barrels of crude oil

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Alwaleed's most valuable asset is a 95% stake in publicly traded Kingdom Holding, which he holds directly, according to Saudi stock exchange data in February 2018. Most of his assets are closely held and included on the basis of “fair market” valuations provided by Alwaleed as of Feb. 11, 2019.

Upon his release from detention during Saudi Arabia’s corruption crackdown, Alwaleed made an agreement with the Saudi government. In a March 2018 interview, he said the confidential deal is a "confirmed understanding, going forward" and wouldn't elaborate. A representative for Alwaleed disputes media reports that he made substantial payments to the Saudi authorities. No payments are reflected in the calculation since none are confirmed to have been made.

Alwaleed owns land in and around Riyadh, a 420-room palace, the top three floors of Kingdom Tower, and other Saudi residences that he values at $3.1 billion. A 10 percent liquidity discount is applied to his figure to account for a lack of market transparency and a limited pool of potential buyers.

He values his stakes in companies throughout the Middle East at $538 million and investments outside of the region -- including shares in public companies such as Citigroup and JD.com -- at $1.51 billion. He also directly owns 21.7 million shares of Snapchat and 30.8 million shares of Twitter. The 4.2 million Twitter shares owned by Kingdom Holding are reflected in the value of Kingdom shares and not included separately.

He declined to provide details about the publicly traded investments, most of which couldn't be verified because he holds less than 5% of the companies.

Biography

Birthdate: 3/7/1955
Family: Divorced, 2 children
Education: Menlo College, Syracuse University

The self-proclaimed Warren Buffett of Arabia is one of the most public members of the Saudi royal family. The prince is the son of Prince Talal and Princess Mona El-Solh, daughter of Lebanon's first prime minister, Riad El Sohl. He is also a nephew of the late Saudi ruler, King Abdullah. Alwaleed split time between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon while growing up.

He moved to the U.S. to study business at Menlo College in California in 1975. He returned to Saudi Arabia after graduating and began investing in real estate with a $30,000 loan from his father. In his biography, "Alwaleed: Billionaire, Businessman, Prince," Alwaleed said he made his first billion dollars selling land and serving as a point man for multinational companies angling for local contracts.

He drew attention from the international investing community in 1991, when he invested $590 million in Citibank. He went on to invest in many publicly traded U.S. companies, including News Corp., Disney and Apple. He often invests personally alongside his publicly traded conglomerate, Kingdom Holding.

Alwaleed has accumulated an empire of luxury hotel properties. Today, he owns stakes in New York's Plaza Hotel, the George V in Paris and the Four Seasons hotel group. Famous for his eccentric, high-cost lifestyle, Alwaleed and his entourage travel on a Boeing 747 retrofitted with two bedrooms and a dining room that seats 14. When in Saudi Arabia, he lives in his 420-room, 370,000-square-foot palace in Riyadh.

On Nov. 4, 2017, Alwaleed was targeted in an anti-corruption crackdown spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He was detained alongside dozens of other Saudi businessmen at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh. After his release in January 2018, Alwaleed described his detention as a "misunderstanding" between him and the government and maintained his innocence of any charges. Saudi Arabia's attorney general has said the kingdom has collected more than $100 billion in cash and other assets from detainees.

Milestones
  • 1979 Graduates with a degree in business from Menlo College.
  • 1991 At request of CEO John Reed, boosts Citicorp holdings to $590 million.
  • 1996 Spends $303 million to buy and renovate Paris's George V hotel.
  • 2001 Gives $10 million to New York after 9/11 attacks. Money returned.
  • 2007 Kingdom Holding goes public on Saudi stock exchange, raises $860 million.
  • 2011 Announces world's tallest building: 3,281-foot Jeddah tower.
  • 2011 Invests $300 million in social media company Twitter.
  • 2015 Pledges to donate all of his fortune to charity.