Residence: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Nationality: Saudi Arabia
Education: Elementary School
Occupation: Chairman of National Agricultural Development Company (NADEC)
Net worth: $7.7 billion (2011)
Awards: King Faisal International Prize
Sheikh Sulaiman bin Abdulaziz Al Rajhi was born in 1920 and is a Saudi Arabian corporate figure and billionaire. Since 2011, his net-worth was estimated be $7.7 billion, courtesy of Forbes, which makes him the 120th richest person in the world.
AL Rajhi has received several awards including the King Faisal International Prize in 2012 for donating half of his wealth to charity, starting an Islamic Bank and supporting charity work and implementing national projects.
Al Rajhi was born in Al Bukairayah, located in Al-Qassim province in Saudi Arabia, and later grew up in the Nejd desert where he and his brother decided to launch their business at the age of 10, by charging pilgrims who rented their camel caravan to pass across the desert to the cities of Medina and Mecca. In 1945, he managed to pool enough capital to open a grocery store and later open a currency exchange agency. His hard work and dedication led to the co-founding of one of the world’s largest Islamic Banks in the late 1950’s called Al Bank with his brothers Abdullah, Saleh, and Mohammed. He was a major shareholder of the bank up until July 2013, when he sold his 19.7% shareholdings ( estimate worth $5.5 billion as of July 2013).
Mr. Raji is now focused on philanthropy and initiated his own foundation known as the Sulaiman Bin Abdul Aziz Rajhi Charitable Foundation dedicated to educational, social, health-related, religious and human services-related causes. In May 2911, he announced that he was giving a reported half of his wealth to charity and the other half to his children. Al Rajhi still holds positions in Saudi Arabia-based publicly listed companies; as Chairman of National Agricultural Development and Vice Chairman of Yanbu Cement.
AL Rajhi and his brothers managed to grow and expand their corporation, The Al Rajhi brothers, by taking advantage of the flood of immigrant workers to Saudi Arabia during the 1970’s oil boom. In the early 1980’s, Al Rajhi along with his brothers were given clearance to open Saudi Arabia’s first Islamic bank, one that would observe religious tenets such as a ban on interest
Al Rajhi is a father of at least 23 children.
His family is considered to be Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest non-royals, and among the world’s leading philanthropists.
Mr. Rajhi built a university called the Sulaiman Al Rajhi University in his hometown, a non-profit university that offers scholarships to less fortunate students. The university’s main focus is on health and Islamic banking but contains other faculties as well.
He announced that he was donating half of his fortune to charity in May 2011.