Sulaiman Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi
|Sulaiman Abdulaziz Al Rajhi|
|Residence||Jeddah, Saudi Arabia|
|Occupation||Chairman of Al Rajhi Bank
Chairman of National Agricultural Development Company (NADEC)
|Net worth||$7.7 billion (2011)|
|Awards||King Faisal International Prize|
Sheikh Sulaiman bin Abdulaziz Al Rajhi (born 1920) is a Saudi Arabian corporate figure and billionaire. He is the chairman of Al Rajhi Bank, one of the largest companies in Saudi Arabia and the largest Islamic bank in the world. As of 2011, his wealth was estimated by Forbes to be $7.7 billion, making him the 120th. richest person in the world.
Sulaiman Al Rajhi was born in Al Bukairiyah, located in Al Qassim province in Saudi Arabia, and grew up in the Nejd desert where he and his brother Saleh began their business by changing money for pilgrims taking camel caravans across the desert to the cities of Mecca and Medina.
Sulaiman Abdulaziz Al Rajhi holds the largest individual stake in his family's Al Rajhi Bank, which has consistently reported the most profitable operations amongst all of Saudi Arabia's banking groups. A co-founder of the bank, with older brother, Saleh, he is currently the chairman of what is nationally recognized as the Tadawul's most venerable institution.
The Al Rajhi brothers’ business growth and expansion was fed by the flood of migrant workers to Saudi Arabia during the 1970s oil boom. The Al Rajhis helped them send their earnings home to places like Indonesia and Pakistan. In 1983, the brothers won permission to open Saudi Arabia’s first Islamic bank, one that would observe religious tenets such as a ban on interest.
The Al Rajhi family continue to be Al Rajhi Bank's majority share holders though Sulaiman and his brothers have diversified family investments into gypsum, agriculture, steel, and other industrial sectors.
The Al Rajhi family is considered, by most in Saudi Arabia, as the country's wealthiest non-royals, and among the world's leading philanthropists. His flagship SAAR Foundation (fronting a network of charities, think tanks, and supporting business entities) achieved prominence as the key subject of a March 20, 2002 raid by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as a part of Operation Green Quest. The Operation Green Quest raids led to the convictions of two people, including Abdurahman Alamoudi, who worked for the SAAR Foundation. Alamoudi admitted that he plotted with Libya to assassinate the Saudi ruler and was sentenced to 23 years in jail.
He established the Sulaiman Al Rajhi University in his hometown, a non profit university. The university's main focus is on health and Islamic banking, but contains other faculties as well.
In May 2011, he announced he was donating most of his $7.7 billion fortune to charity.
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