The Trea­sure of Al Thani

Forbes - - New Bil­lion­aire Ob­ject Of De­sire Score­card -

thanks to the Panama Pa­pers, it has be­come ob­vi­ous just how fab­u­lously wealthy Qatar’s for­mer prime min­is­ter is.

WHAT THE WORLD KNOWS about Ha­mad bin Jas­sim bin Jaber Al Thani, the im­pos­ingly mus­ta­chioed mem­ber of the Qatari royal fam­ily, is mostly con­fined to his ac­tions as a politi­cian. From 2007 to 2013 he served as prime min­is­ter of the coun­try his great-un­cle founded 45 years ago. While in power, Al Thani dealt with is­sues that in­cluded bor­der dis­putes be­tween Saudi Arabia and Bahrain (two of his coun­try’s near­est neigh­bors) and the hu­man-rights cri­sis in Dar­fur (where the Qataris had in­vest­ment in­ter­ests).

Be­yond his political pro­file, Al Thani jeal­ously guards de­tails about his life. Un­til re­cently lit­tle more than his age (he’s 56) was ver­i­fi­able—but then the Panama Pa­pers leak re­vealed a copy of his pass­port as well as doc­u­ments de­tail­ing his own­er­ship of sev­eral off­shore com­pa­nies that in turn own the yacht Al Mirqab, one of the largest plea­sure crafts ever built. It re­port­edly has a he­li­pad, Jacuzzi, movie the­ater, gym and spa. Such add-ons make the Al Mirqab worth about $300 mil­lion.

Be­yond that, FORBES un­cov­ered a se­ries of Al Thani’s stock pur­chases. Typ­i­cally we don’t in­clude roy­als in our rank­ing of bil­lion­aires—it’s too hard to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween as­sets owned by the state and those owned in­di­vid­u­ally— but in this case it’s clear Al Thani is worth at least $1.3 bil­lion. Con­sti­tut­ing most of his for­tune: a 3% stake in Deutsche Bank worth al­most $800 mil­lion, plus nearly $220 mil­lion of stock in Gulf Ware­hous­ing, a Qatar-based lo­gis­tics com­pany.

Nei­ther Al Thani nor his rep­re­sen­ta­tives could be reached for com­ment. THERE’S NOW one more place to sit down in New York’s Guggen­heim Mu­seum: Ital­ian artist Mau­r­izio Cat­te­lan has cre­ated an 18-karat-gold toi­let for one of its bath­rooms.

The 55-year-old Cat­te­lan is renowned for his ir­rev­er­ent works: His statue of a hand giv­ing the mid­dle fin­ger stands in front of Mi­lan’s stock ex­change, and when art col­lec­tor Peter Brant com­mis­sioned him to cre­ate a sculp­ture of his su­per­model wife, Stephanie Sey­mour, Cat­te­lan de­liv­ered a nude bust in­spired by hunt­ing tro­phies. (Cat­te­lan pro­duced it in an edi­tion of three so other men could also have a tro­phy wife.)

As for Cat­te­lan’s new gold throne—a sly art-his­tor­i­cal wink to “Foun­tain,” the signed uri­nal Mar­cel Duchamp cre­ated in 1917— Guggen­heim vis­i­tors can ei­ther ad­mire it from afar or ex­press their opin­ion of the work in the most ba­sic way: The toi­let is func­tional.

Net worth: $10.2 bil­lion the man who suf­fered the big­gest loss dur­ing the oil bust—some $16 bil­lion at the bot­tom of the mar­ket—stands to gain more than anyone else from its resur­gence.

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