|Biographical detail : ||A Saudi who rose from his humble origins of being orphan to owning one of the world’s largest private financial empires.
Suliman Olayan was driven by an intellectual challenge to prove that he can be as savvy and professional as any investment guru. He was head of his family business, which has holdings in Europe and the US as well as the Middle East, being one the biggest, and certainly one of the most professional Arab investors in the Western economies. His spectacular wealth came from his shrewd investments in stock markets particularly in late 1990s.
The son of a spice merchant was born in the desert of Arabia, Qassim, and studied in Bahrain. In the 1930s he worked at Aramco for 10 years in the storehouse. An excellent memory and insatiable curiosity are cited as some of his biggest assets. Later he steadily expanded his operations in a trucking and labour contractor. His holdings grew enormously from the time of the oil boom in the 1970s.
Suliman’s penchant for risk-taking was evident at an early age. He adopted and taught his family a frugal lifestyle and gave substantial sums to charity both in Saudi Arabia and America. He will be remembered for his integrity.