Home Business Saudi Prince Becomes Latest Billionaire Philanthropist

Saudi Prince Becomes Latest Billionaire Philanthropist

by AFP
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal at a press conference in Riyadh, July 1. Fayez Nureldine—AFP

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal at a press conference in Riyadh, July 1. Fayez Nureldine—AFP

Prince Alwaleed’s worth is estimated at $32 billion.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said Wednesday that he would leave his fortune to charitable projects in the coming years.

The size of his personal fortune, some $32 billion, dwarfs that of most other generous billionaires who have made similar pledges in the past.

Here some notable examples:

Melinda and Bill Gates: In 2000, the richest couple in the world at the time set up the Gates Foundation to raise billions of dollars to fight disease and fund education around the world. It was based in Seattle, Washington, and donated almost $4 billion in 2014.

Gates/Warren Buffet: In 2010, Gates, who founded the IT group Microsoft, and billionaire U.S. investor Warren Buffet launched the Giving Pledge, a campaign to get the richest people in the U.S. to give half their fortune to charities. Their effort went global in early 2013. Among the more than 100 billionaires who have committed themselves are Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Oracle boss Larry Ellison, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, Indian IT magnate Azim Premji (Wipro), Malaysian businessman Vincent Tan, British businessman Richard Branson (Virgin), German IT boss Hasso Plattner (SAP), activist investor Carl Icahn, and film producer George Lucas.

Forbes magazine estimates Gates’ fortune at  $72.9 billion and that of Buffet at $72.7 billion. In 2012, Buffet made a separate donation of $1.5 billion to the Gates Foundation.

Patrice Motsepe: The South African billionaire was the first African to respond to the Giving Pledge. His fortune, based in large part on the mining sector, is currently estimated by Forbes at $1.64 billion. Motsepe aims to help the poor, disabled and unemployed in South Africa. In 2014, he donated a billion dollars to fight the Ebola epidemic.

Vladimir Potanin: The Russian entrepreneur, with an estimated fortune of $14.5 billion at the time, signed up in 2013.

Viktor Pinchuk: The Ukrainian industrialist, whose fortune was then estimated at $3.7 billion, signed on as well.

Tim Cook: The head of Apple said this year that his entire fortune will go to charity after his death. It is currently estimated at around $120 million, plus stock options that have a current value of around $665 million.

Liliane Bettencourt: The French head of L’Oreal cosmetics, and her husband created the Bettencourt Scheuller Foundation in 1987. Scheuller was the name of her father, who founded L’Oreal. Among the charities funded by the foundation is the Solthis organisation that fights AIDS. Forbes puts her current worth at $40.9 billion.

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