Top 5 Middle East Most Influential Financiers

March 3, 2009 by Guest Contribution

By Hassan:



Prince Alwaleed bin Talal

Founder and Chairman / Kingdom Holding Co.

As a barometer of the vertiginous rise and fall of the Gulf’s fortunes, few investors can rival Prince Alwaleed. The Saudi billionaire burst on the scene helping to bail out Citicorp in 1991 and became fantastically wealthy as the U.S. bank recovered. Many of the Gulf’s sovereign wealth funds no doubt had Alwaleed’s experience in mind when they poured billions of dollars into troubled Western banks over the past 15 months.


190x300almubarekkhaldoonkhalifaKhaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak

Chief Executive / Mubadala Development Co.

Mubadala Development Co. is tiny compared with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the giant sovereign wealth fund, but it plays a huge role in Abu Dhabi’s development strategy. That makes Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak an important man in the wealthiest of the United Arab Emirates. As CEO since 2005, Al Mubarak has been investing Mubadala’s $10 billion in a bid to diversify the emirate’s oil-based economy. That he can call on Abu Dhabi’s oil wealth gives him greater firepower than the firm’s assets suggest.

190x300naqviarifArif Naqvi

Founder and CEO / Abraaj Capital

Arif Naqvi has been stirring things up in the Middle East ever since he pulled off the region’s first leveraged buyout a decade ago. Even in today’s tumultuous times, the head of the Middle East’s largest private equity firm, Dubai-based Abraaj Capital, shows no sign of easing up. “With the collapse of stock markets and the global economic crisis, great regional companies in everything from the oil and gas industry to infrastructure and health care — that we once considered unattainable — should be available at attractive prices,” says the optimistic Naqvi, 48.


190x300althanijassimSheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani


The Qatar Investment Authority is a relative newcomer to the world of sovereign wealth funds, having been founded only four years ago, but under the leadership of its hard-driving CEO, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani, the estimated $60 billion fund is fast making its presence felt.

190x300alsaadbaderBader Al Sa’ad

Managing Director / Kuwait Investment Authority

As manager of the Kuwait Investment Authority’s estimated $228 billion in assets, Bader Al Sa’ad has no shortage of capital-hungry suitors knocking on his door. Answering the calls is fast stretching even the KIA’s deep pockets, though.

Al Sa’ad led the KIA in investing a combined $5 billion in Citigroup and Merrill Lynch & Co. in January 2008, only to face political furor at home several months later when the two banks’ stocks tanked. More recently, Al Sa’ad has had to turn his attention to the domestic market. After the global financial turmoil sent Kuwaiti stocks plummeting in October — the market fell by a total of 38 percent last year — the KIA, at the government’s request, came up with a plan to buy as much as 10 percent of the Kuwaiti bourse to help stabilize the nation’s financial system.

Source: Institutional Investor,

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10 Responses to “Top 5 Middle East Most Influential Financiers”

  1. keynesian09 says:

    A broken clock is right twice a day! Alwaleed was hailed as the brightest investor when he invested in Citicorp in 1991. He significantly added to his positions in Citigroup and made a big bet with other Sovereign Wealth Funds and the stock is currently at $1.20. Is he still considered the amazing investor he once was? Was he simply lucky in 1991? Or has his ego taken him down?


  2. S.a says:

    I think you should rename the article to Top 5 beat takers.


  3. Salbader says:

    keep an eye out for Arif Naqvi..

    Applause to Capitalist09 for presenting him in with the other investment giants as i believe he deserve to be there.


  4. Analyst says:


    Yes I agree Arif Naqvi is a successful PE guy who I think will continue to lead this sector with his Abraj Capital. I am curious, what is the reason that makes you point out Arif Naqvi?


  5. Salbader says:

    Ive been on the lookout for good private equity firms and one that stood out from the crowd was Abraaj capital with their stream of successful deals..
    Plus i was impressed with the guys dedication when he stated: “I spent the last 15 years of my life planning for the next 2..!”

    which shows after you see the list of shareholders in the company!!


  6. [...] Aside from improving the global economy, Bader M. Al-Saad was successful in implementing the “Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild” theme to the Kuwait Investment Authority during his six-year tenure as the Managing Director, and I applaud him for that. His efforts were recognized as the Institutional Investor listed him as one of the Top 5 Middle East Most Influential Financiers. [...]

  7. [...] Business leaders from around the world gathered at Davos, Switzerland for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum under the theme: “Improve the State of the World: Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild.” Bader M. Al-Saad was successful in implementing the “Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild” theme to the Kuwait Investment Authority during his six-year tenure as the Managing Director, and I applaud him for that. His efforts were recognized as the Institutional Investor listed him as one of the Top 5 Middle East Most Influential Financiers. [...]

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