HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) and Chairman of Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, received at Kingdom Resort in Riyadh on Sunday 9th March 2014, Former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, who is presently a Senior Partner of the Law Firm Baker Botts. Mr. Baker is also the Honorary Chairman of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University and serves on the board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Mr. Baker was accompanied by a delegation that included Mr. James A. (Jamie) Baker IV - Partner, Baker Botts, Mr. Andy Baker - Partner Baker Botts. Head of Baker Botts, Mr. John Lonsberg- Partner Baker Botts in Dubai. Head of Middle East region and Mr. Vern Cassin- - Partner Baker Botts.
The meeting was attended by a delegation from HRH’s Private Office that included Dr. Nahla Nasser Alanbar, Private Executive Assistant to HRH the Chairman, Ms. Amani Algahtani, Assistant Executive Manager to HRH Palace, Ms. Hassna Alturki, Department Head Travel & External Affairs, Mr. Hani Agha, Senior Manager Travel & External Affairs, Mr. Fahad Bin Saad Bin Nafel, Executive Assistant to HRH the Chairman and Dr. Samir Anabtawi, Academic Advisor to HRH the chairman.
The delegation from KHC included Mr. Mohammed AlMujadidi, Senior Executive Manager, Office of HRH the Chairman Mr. Naief Alzuhair, Manager, Website and Social Media.
The meeting began with Prince Alwaleed greeting Mr. Baker, after which the two discussed issues of mutual interest pertaining to their respective countries. They also touched upon social and economic issues as well as the situation in the Middle East. Moreover, Prince Alwaleed stressed the importance and vital need for furthering the dialogue between East and West. Mr. Baker commended Prince Alwaleed on his many efforts, given that HRH plays a significant role in bridging the gap between cultures and in developing economic, and social ties to promote peace and better understanding. Prince Alwaleed hosted a dinner in honor of Mr. James Baker and delegation.
In 2010, Prince Alwaleed received Mr. James Baker and in the same year His Highness received Mr. Edward P. Djerejian, the Baker Institute's Founding Director. Moreover, in 2007 Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation supported the James Baker III Institute, Rice University.
HRH has significant investments in the US in the financial sector via Citigroup, in the media and entertainment sector through Newscorp and 21st Fox Century and 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 the Social Media and Technology sector via Twitter.
His Highness first invested in Citigroup in 1991, and is the largest individual shareholder in the company. In 2008, Prince Alwaleed participated in a $12.5 billion private offering of convertible preferred securities of Citigroup. The new 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). Prince Alwaleed has 7% (voting shares) through KHC in Newscorp and 21st Fox Century and KHC is 95% owned by Prince Alwaleed, is the second largest shareholder in Newscorp and 21st Fox Century after the Murdoch family. Moreover, 21st Fox Century owns 19% stake in Rotana that is chaired by Prince Alwaleed.
The New York Plaza that is owned 25% 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 substantial interest.
Furthermore, Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation funded University Centers 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).