Prince Khaled is regularly pictured with the world’s top businessmen, runs a rapidly growing holding company and counts the likes of Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince and architect of the kingdom’s ambitious economic reform programme, as a friend. But if you were to make judgements about the 38-year-old prince based on those attributes alone, you might be in for a surprise. His main passions — outside his central role as founder and chairman of KBW Investments — are entrepreneurship, angel investing and sustainability, but he is perhaps first and foremost a family man, as well as being an avowed vegan and a campaigner against cruelty to animals.
“I want to be successful and to be a better person than I was yesterday, and hopefully to leave this planet in a better state than it was when I arrived,” Prince Khaled says, in an answer to a question about what drives him.
If success is his yardstick, then Prince Khaled should be well satisfied with the performance of KBW Investments, a holding company with stakes in ten construction-related firms that is seeing impressive growth rates. At the heart of the KBW Investments portfolio lies Raimondi, a 150-year-old Italian crane manufacturer that was bought by the company in 2014 for an undisclosed amount. For a young Saudi prince with a passion for tech investments, Raimondi might have seemed an odd choice. But after a friend put Prince Khaled in touch with Ahmed Alkhoshaibi, now the group CEO of KBW Investments and the prince’s right-hand man, the two put their heads together and decided that Raimondi was the perfect first step into the world of construction.
Another area of real interest for Prince Khaled is the public-private partnership (PPP) model, which is relatively new in the Middle East. KBW Investments has already signed off on Dubai’s first PPP project — an automated car park on the banks of the Creek — and is working closely with the Jordanian government on two more deals, which will help replace the country’s hugely inefficient standard streetlights with light-emitting diodes (LEDs), thus enabling considerable electricity savings.
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