HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) received at his office in Riyadh Mr. Jose Fernandez, US Assistant Secretary of State, the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. Mr. Fernandez was accompanied by Mr. Thomas Williams, Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S Embassy, Ms. Roya Vakil, Financial Economist, Bureau of Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs, Mr. Angus T. Simmons, Economic Counselor for the U.S Embassy, and Mr. Jonathan Fischer, Economic Officer for the U.S Embassy. The meeting was also attended by Ms. Heba Fatani, Senior Executive Manager, Corporate Communications and Dr. Nahla Alanbar, Private Executive Assistant to HRH the Chairman.
During their meeting HRH and Mr. Fernandez discussed business and economic issues, and the current status of the global economy. They also discussed Prince Alwaleed’s investments in the US in light of being one of the largest foreign investor there.
HRH and HH Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel Vice Chairwoman of Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation that is chaired by Prince Alwaleed were on a recent trip to the United States. During their visit to New York, Prince Alwaleed granted interviews to prominent US media entities to discuss various topics such as his investments, the current status of the global economy and the Middle East. Moreover, during the US trip Prince Alwaleed and Princess Ameerah hosted an historic gathering of leading scholars and global thought leaders on Islam and the West at Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University with a theme of “Collaborative Education for a Globalized World”. Participating in the forum were leading global scholars who serve as Directors of the six Prince Alwaleed Academic Centers located at the world’s most prestigious universities. In addition, Princess Ameerah was the featured speaker at a thought-leader dinner in Boston in the presence of HRH and Former President Jimmy Carter. The Gala dinner hosted by Prince Alwaleed, honored the dedicated work of the six Prince Alwaleed Centers.
In October 2011, HRH and HH received Ambassador Stephen A. Seche, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Arabian Gulf in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at his office in Riyadh. The two discussed women’s empowerment and Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation’s role in supporting this initiative. Moreover, the discussions revolved around the University Centers funded by Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation in the US for bridging the gap between East and West. These include a $20 million donation to Harvard University to create the University-wide Islamic Studies Program and $20 million donation to Georgetown University to create the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding both supported in 2005. In addition in 2004, Alwaleed Foundation also made a $5 million donation to establish the Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) at the American University in Beirut (AUB) and donated $10 million to finance both the construction of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HUSS) building in the new campus of the American University in Cairo (AUC).
Furthermore, HRH received and held a dinner in honor of Mr. Larry Summers, Former Secretary of the Treasury of the United States and Former Director of the White House, United States National Economic Council for President Barack Obama. The meeting was also attended by Mr. Alberto Verme, CEO of Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Citigroup.
In May 2011, Prince Alwaleed was on a trip to the United States of America and during his visit to New York he met with Mr. Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of New York and Founder of Bloomberg at the New York City Hall. Prince Alwaleed also attended the 15th Microsoft CEO Summit held at the Microsoft Conference. HRH’s visit was in response to an invitation from Mr. Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft to attend the event. During the same trip Prince Alwaleed granted interviews to prominent US media entities to discuss various topics such as his investments, the current status of the global economy and the Middle East.
HRH has significant investments in the US in the financial sector via Citigroup, in the media and entertainment sector through News Corporation, in the hotel sector through the Fairmont New York Plaza one of New York’s most distinctive landmarks, Four Seasons hotel via the management of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in which KHC hold a 47.5% interest, and in retail via SAKS Fifth Avenue.
Prince Alwaleed first invested in Citigroup in 1991, and is the largest single shareholder in Citigroup. In January 2008, Prince Alwaleed privately participated in a $12.5 billion private offering of convertible preferred securities of Citigroup. The direct investment was made alongside an exclusive group of leading international investors. The Prince converted the preferred shares in 2009 into common shares (voting shares) at $3.25 per share (32.50 after 10:1 reverse stock split).
HRH is the second largest shareholder in News Corp and also the beneficial owner of approximately 7 percent of News Corporation’s Class B Common Stock. The New York Plaza that is owned 50% by HRH through KHC underwent a $400 million renovation and reopened a few years ago. The hotel is managed by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International (FRHI) in which KHC holds a 40% interest.