Invasion of the Bling-ionaires from the Middle East: Meet Britain’s most jaw-droppingly ostentatious tourists who have supercars flown from the Middle East to UK by private jet

A sunny Thursday afternoon in August and the cars circling Harrods need to be seen to be believed. Million-pound Bugatti Veyrons – normally a rare sighting, even on the well-heeled streets of Central London – are, around here, about as common as Ford Fiestas. Other cars, in a display that could rival anything in Monaco or Goodwood, drive round and round the block, pausing at the rear each time to see if their masters are ready for collection. In the cafes surrounding the department store, every single table is taken by people from the Gulf states and the Middle East — Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Dubai.

A young Arabic man leaving his vehicle outside the Berkley Hotel in Central London.

Welcome to Knightsbridge — or, as it is better known to locals, ‘Little Kuwait’. For British residents, the summer is all about anescape to the sun; a fortnight in the South of France, the Italian Riviera or Spain. We Brits want sand, sangria, heat and a swimming pool. Anywhere but the sticky, filthy city. For the mega-wealthy billionaire families of the Gulf states over here this summer will tell you that they come to London because, unlike in the U.S. or France, they are made to feel welcome,’ says Hussam Baramo, the Syria-born features editor at Al Quds newspaper, a daily paper widely-read by Middle Eastern people in London. ‘They like London because they think it’s safe and friendly.’

And here, they can bring their cars with them. Around the corner from Harrods, I saw one Veyron with every inch of its bodywork coated in gold; another, chromed all over. Behind it, I watched a Veyron in pearlised white with shiny chromium wings making a noise like a scalded Rottweiler. The Saudi number plate on this car was ‘999’. I watched the driver get out. He was around 25 and dressed like an off-duty Lewis Hamilton. I complimented him on his car and asked how he got it over to London. ‘In my plane,’ he said, grinning. The car was parked in a pay-and-display’ bay, but its driver did neither. The auto show continued with a Rolls-Royce Phantom customised with a stainless steel bonnet. The number plate on this car is simply ‘1’. Later that day I Googled this vehicle and discovered that a couple of years ago its Dubai-based owner paid £9 million for the registration number alone.

Ajman Crown Prince Sheikh Ammar

A long Maybach limousine, painted in distinct orange and matt black, purred through the melee. The letters ‘RRR’ are picked out on the vehicle’s boot in a diamond-studded font. A handsome young man and his friend, both dressed like aspirant R&B pop stars (faded jeans, Hermes belt, one of those Ralph Lauren polo shirts with the over-sized horse logo, pastel suede Hermes driving shoes, and bronze tint sunglasses) got out. This is Crown Prince Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, the incredibly glamorous and fun-loving son of the multi-billionaire HRH Sheikh Rashid Bin Humid Al Nuaimi of Ajman. Ajman, in case you didn’t know, is the smallest emirate in the United Arab Emirates, but has grand plans to become a mini Dubai. RRR is the banner for the Crown Prince’s vast portfolio of orange and black super cars — the letters stand for Rich in Real Estate Resources.

‘How do you go about writing tickets to these guys?’ I asked a traffic warden in Basil Street. ‘It’s impossible,’ he shrugs, showing me the computerised ticket machine he wears around his neck. ‘My machine only has numbers and letters on it. Their number plates are just . . .’ He tailed off, struggling for the right word. ‘Squiggles?’ I suggested. ‘Yes. There are no keys on my machine for those.’ Last week, the wardens seemed to arrive at a solution to the problem of ticketing cars with squiggles for number plates; they started clamping them instead. Early victims were a£1.2 million Koenigsegg CCXR (one of only six ever made) and a £350,000 Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVeloce which were illegally parked outside Harrods. But the traffic wardens aren’t the only ones ruffled by the fleet of supercars flooding the area.

Residents living near the Knightsbridge store say their night-time peace is being shattered by the owners racing their sports cars through the streets, describing it as being ‘like the starting grid at Le Mans’. They have now forged a campaign group and aired their grievances to Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, claiming that police and council have failed to act. Some of the Middle Eastern visitors keep summer-houses in London — there are said to be more than 100 billionaire Saudi families with second homes in the Knightsbridge area alone— while others prefer out-of-town locations such as Bishops Avenue in North London (also known as ‘Millionaires Row’), Coombe Hill in Kingston and St George’s Hill in Weybridge, Surrey.

Next summer, many of them will take up residence at the new Knightsbridge development One Hyde Park that occupies a plum position opposite Harvey Nichols and next to the Mandarin Oriental hotel, where appartments cost up to £100 million. Here, Arab summertime residents will be able to enjoy the super-luxe environment of heated floors and chilled ceilings, personalised entry systems that can include six levels of access, and a secure underground car park for their Rolls-Royces and Ferraris.

Eyecatching: The £1.2m Koenigsegg and £350,000 Lamborghini clamped outside Harrods Eyecatching: The £1.2m Koenigsegg and £350,000 Lamborghini clamped outside Harrods

‘Our Middle Eastern customers are usually looking for flats with between three to five bedrooms and a 24-hour porter service, usually with a view of Hyde Park or Kensington Gardens,’ says Paul Hyman, sales manager at Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward’s Bayswater branch. ‘Properties of this type are hard to come by, but wealthy Arab businessmen can generally pay over the asking price.’ During August, whole floors of hotels around Hyde Park are block-booked for Middle Eastern oligarchs, while staff up their game by flying in topnotch Arabic entertainers for private shows in the biggest suites, adapting restaurant menus and parking the guests’ flashest cars out in front.

During the days, the men sleep in, while the women have their drivers drop them in Hyde Park where they walk in giggly groups, stopping to soak up the coolness and cloudy skies on the benches or lying on the grass in large circles with their friends. To them, London is a welcome vacation from the restrictive, repetitive, stultifyingly predictable drudge of blandly luxurious life back home. Many of the younger, more frustrated Saudi girls strip themselves free of the restrictive burka altogether, whooping and shrieking with delight as they change into tight jeans and vertiginous heels on the plane, as soon as Gulf state airspace is cleared.

Once in London, the girls go round either in large groups or chaperoned by Mum, who is normally clad in a headscarf and big shades — think Joan Collins does Jumierah Beach (one of the most exclusive resorts in Dubai). The boys like to sit outside Knightsbridge cafes all gussied up in Arabpreppy finery, two or three mobile phones each, keys to Ferraris and Lamborghinis chucked down next to their napkins. The young females from the more liberated countries, such as Bahrain and Dubai, are dolled up like big-eyed, honey-skinned Jennifer Lopez lookalikes. The girls who choose to keep wearing their burkas — mostly Saudi Arabians — I am told often sport the kind of make-up that hasn’t been in fashion in the West since the end of the silent movie era. Bright red lipstick, generous helpings of cranberry rouge, eyes kohl-lined in the style of Dusty Springfield.

A spokesperson for luxury concierge service Quintessentially says: ‘About 20 per cent of our clients are from the Middle East. ‘One member requested Quintessentially Travel arrange a weekend break to Ibiza on a private jet, with a fully chartered yacht waiting for their use. Another wanted a personal shopping experience requesting that two designer stores be closed for their private viewing.’ Many others prefer to shop at home. ‘During August, we will often be asked to take a selection of our most expensive diamond necklaces, rings and bracelets to a suite at a hotel in Knightsbridge,’ says jeweller Stephen Webster, whose shop is on Mount Street, in nearby Mayfair.

‘Arab customers like to shop late, but our store isn’t permitted to have late-night opening . . . so we are happy to take the store to them.’ Another famous London jeweller, who would not be named, said: ‘They like big pieces and coloured stones. The sums they are prepared to pay for them are incredible. It is not unusual for Middle Eastern customers to spend £20 million in a single visit.’ When they are not shopping or tearing around in their cars, the Arab billionaires go to the Derby, Royal Ascot and the Berkshire Festival of Falconry, sponsored by the Abu Dhabi based Emirates Falconers’ Club and attended by His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan.

Of course, London — especially during these credit-crunched times — falls over itself to court Arab business. Middle-Eastern shoppers are expected to spend £250 million in London this summer, an increase of 11 per cent on last year. When the people at Harvey Nichols discovered that the amount of money Middle Eastern people in London were spending was rising so dramatically, the department store decided to start using Arabic advertisements in-store. Summer opening hours were extended to 9pm all week, and all cafe menus were modified to include Arabic translations and a Halal food offering.

Harvey Nichols’ Fifth Floor food hall now even offers a smoking terrace for customers that comes with the shisha pipes so beloved of Middle Eastern people. One Harvey Nichols advert showed a picture of a single Lanvin shoe. The words, written in Arabic, read, ‘The English are known for having bad teeth, that is why they need beautiful shoes’. It doesn’t matter. Very few Londoners can read Arabic, and very few Middle Eastern people fraternise with British people anyway. They’re just here for August, then they disappear, like ghosts.

Perfect Knowledge is a private company that offers a private fixer service to VIP’s, senior executives and ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI). We provide a discreet service that manages private and personal affairs on behalf of our clients. Our focus is to ensure total privacy for the individual or organisation at all times. Our services are aimed at private banks, offshore trusts, celebrities, royal family management, private families and discerning individuals where money is no object and discretion is paramount.


August 10th, 2010 by admin | No Comments »

London’s £140m penthouse flat as super-rich buy trophy properties

A London penthouse flat is set to be sold for more than £140 million as super-rich international buyers snap up “trophy properties” in the capital, the Standard reveals today. The two-floor apartment at the One development in Knightsbridge features bullet-proof windows, an air purifying system and a panic room. Hyde Park The flat, possibly the most expensive in the world, is believed to cost more than £6,000 a square foot compared with the Kensington and Chelsea average of £1,214 and capital wide average of £450. The price illustrates the stark differences between how the super-prime and mainstream residential markets in the capital are faring. International buyers are still investing in London, attracted by the weakness of the pound, as many Londoners pull out of the market.

Trevor Abrahamson, of estate agent Glentree Estates, said: “This is a huge price but it’s not surprising. In the last six months we have sold more trophy properties than we have in the last two years. One minute there was an over supply and then there was a shortage. Prices are high. “London has recovered much better than other prime markets around the world. It draws buyers from the most eclectic range of destinations and it will always be seen as the capital of capitals financially and culturally.” One Hyde Park, next door to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, features more than 80 flats in four linked towers designed by architect Lord Rogers.

The complex includes spas, squash courts and a private wine-tasting facility. Everyone on site will have access to a private underground passage to the hotel and 24-hour room service from the hotel, where Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal is opening his first London restaurant. It is understood that SAS-trained guards and iris scanners provide extra security to the apartments, which are due to be completed in October. Surrey-born property tycoons, brothers Christian and Nick Candy, manage the development through their company Candy & Candy. Christian Candy’s CPC Group bought the One Hyde Park site for £150 million in 2004. It used to be occupied by a rundown Fifties office block called Bowater House.

The highest proportion of buyers of the flats so far are from Europe, making up a third of all buyers. A quarter of buyers are Middle Eastern. The average price of a flat is £20 million. Once One Hyde Park is completed and all the buyers have paid up, the whole block will be one of the most expensive residential locations in the world. Houses rather than flats tend to achieve the highest prices in London. Lakshmi Mittal bought his first property in Kensington Park Gardens in 2004 for around £60 million but is now worth over £150 million. Next to London, the most expensive flats are to be found in New York, where before the 2007 crash a triplex penthouse in The Pierre hotel, overlooking Fifth Avenue and Central Park, was on the market for $70 million.

Asia’s most expensive apartment was sold in June 2008 for $28.8 million, an 80th floor penthouse minutes from Hong Kong’s central business district. In Sydney a penthouse with views of the harbour and Opera House sold for 20 million US dollars.

Perfect Knowledge is a private company that offers a private fixer service to VIP’s, senior executives and ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI). We provide a discreet service that manages private and personal affairs on behalf of our clients. Our focus is to ensure total privacy for the individual or organisation at all times. Our services are aimed at private banks, offshore trusts, celebrities, royal family management, private families and discerning individuals where money is no object and discretion is paramount.

August 10th, 2010 by admin | No Comments »

Roman Abramovich’s 40-strong private army

THE Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich has boosted his security staff to create a 40-strong “private army”, making him one of the best-protected tycoons in the world. According to security sources, the owner of Chelsea football club now has about 20 bodyguards in Britain. A similar number are employed to protect him for jaunts in his yachts, trips to Russia and stays in his overseas properties. The squad – estimated to cost about £1.2m a year – is about eight times the size of the typical security teams used by businessmen and celebrities. Abramovich, worth £10.8 billion, is said to have wanted better protection because of increasing concerns about the risk of kidnap.

Mark Skipp, a former SAS officer, oversees Abramovich’s protection and recently hired a new City security firm, Fusion. Like many of the super-rich, Abramovich, who split from his wife Irina this year, is said to enjoy the cachet of being protected by former SAS soldiers. “He loves having them around and does not mind that they charge a premium,” said a source close to the Chelsea owner.

Russian exiles have always feared that the Kremlin would try to silence them, wherever they were living and the fears are growing. The tycoon is said to have 10 bodyguards based at his home in Belgravia, London, and his country estate in Sussex. Another three are based at his Knightsbridge apartment. Outside the UK, the billionaire’s security is even tighter. In the south of France, he has a team of four armed operatives who carry 9mm Glock pistols while guarding his vast villa. Another six protect his three yachts. One of his yachts, the Pelorus, is fitted with bullet-proof glass and a missile detection system. If there is a threat, Abramovich can choose between a helicopter and private submarine in which to escape. It is in Russia that Abramovich probably feels most threatened. During his business trips, he uses Russian-trained troops, including serving soldiers, for protection. Boris Berezovsky, another Russian businessman living in London, survived an assassination attempt in Moscow in 1994. His car was blown up and his driver killed in the attempt on his life.

Abramovich has always been one of the best-guarded businessmen in the country. Soon after buying Chelsea in 2003, his UK company Millhouse Capital, which manages his assets, hired Kroll Security International to provide bodyguards and close protection for himself and his family. A threat assessment stated the Russian billionaire was most vulnerable after Chelsea’s matches, when his car could get caught in traffic. Although his convoy of cars is armour-plated and his drivers specially trained to deal with assassination attacks, it was recommended that he travelled by air instead. Kroll commissioned Skipp to manage the security contract and in 2004 he joined Abramovich’s private asset management company on a £200,000-a-year salary. David Beckham has three bodyguards and a martial arts specialist, while the American actress and singer Jennifer Lopez has hired former CIA and FBI agents.

The annual security budget of Eric Schmidt, the Google chief executive, is £266,000. However, Larry Ellison, the billionaire head of Oracle, the American software giant, almost matches Abramovich’s spending on security – with an annual outlay of £900,000 on gates, guns and guards. Some celebrities are seen out with a significantly bigger number of bodyguards than Abramovich, but they are often untrained. One security expert said: “50 Cent [the American rapper] has lots of really big guys with him, sometimes more than 30, but often they’re just his friends.” A spokesman for Abramovich said: “Mr Abramovich’s personal security is not something we would comment about.”

Perfect Knowledge is a private company that offers a private fixer service to VIP’s, senior executives and ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI). We provide a discreet service that manages private and personal affairs on behalf of our clients. Our focus is to ensure total privacy for the individual or organisation at all times. Our services are aimed at private banks, offshore trusts, celebrities, royal family management, private families and discerning individuals where money is no object and discretion is paramount.

August 10th, 2010 by admin | Comments Off

McLaren shows off London showroom at One Hyde Park Knightsbridge

mclaren london 467x309 McLaren shows off London showroom

McLaren has confirmed its flagship London dealership will be based at One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge. Strategically located between Harvey Nichols and Harrods, the landmark development is due to be completed at the end of the year. Jardine Motors Group, McLaren Automotive’s London dealer, has secured the largest ground floor retail unit for a high-profile showroom.

It is planned to open in early 2011, prior to the spring launch of the MP4-12C, the first in McLaren Automotive’s new range of high-performance sports cars. Since the launch of McLaren Automotive in March 2010, more than 2700 potential customers have shown interest in the company’s first sport car, which will cost upwards of £125,000. McLaren London is anticipated to be McLaren Automotive’s leading European retailer and, potentially, the busiest in the global network

mclarenhydepark 468x346 McLaren shows off London showroom

Perfect Knowledge is a private company that offers a private fixer service to VIP’s, senior executives and ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI). We provide a discreet service that manages private and personal affairs on behalf of our clients. Our focus is to ensure total privacy for the individual or organisation at all times. Our services are aimed at private banks, offshore trusts, celebrities, royal family management, private families and discerning individuals where money is no object and discretion is paramount.

August 10th, 2010 by admin | Comments Off

Sultan of Brunei’s Rolls Royce

This Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe is reported to be owned by the Sultan of Brunei’s family.

The Sultan has a sizable private fortune derived from his total control over the national economy’s finances and the appropriation of the state’s sizeable oil revenues to bankroll his extravagant lifestyle.

The Sultan’s fortunes, in line with oil prices, have fluctuated since an estimated high of $55.63 billion in 1997, which made him the richest man in the world at the time.

Sultan of Brunei’s family is reported to own around 5000 vehicles that are all logged into a central computer system. If not driven by immediate members of the family, then they are used by government officials and members of the royal household.

Perfect Knowledge is a private company that offers a private fixer service to VIP’s, senior executives and ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI). We provide a discreet service that manages private and personal affairs on behalf of our clients. Our focus is to ensure total privacy for the individual or organisation at all times. Our services are aimed at private banks, offshore trusts, celebrities, royal family management, private families and discerning individuals where money is no object and discretion is paramount.

July 30th, 2010 by admin | Comments Off

Sultan of Brunei’s Multi-Billion Pound Car Collection‎

Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei is the proud collector of what is undeniably the world’s most unique and gargantuan car collection.

The Sultan of Brunei’s collection of over 7,000 cars includes some of the fastest, most expensive and rarest motors on the planet.

According to the Daily Mirror, he owns 604 Rolls Royces, 574 Mercedes-Benzes, 452 Ferraris, 382 Bentleys, 209 BMWs, 179 Jaguars, 134 Koenigseggs, 21 Lamborghinis, 11 Aston Martins, and 1 SSC.

The complete collection is stored and serviced in five secret aircraft hangars, where specialist teams from the various manufacturers maintain it.

Total price of the collection containing 7,000 high performance cars is $ 5,000,000,000.

Perfect Knowledge is a private company that offers a bespoke service to VIP’s, senior executives and ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI). We provide a discreet service that manages private and personal affairs on behalf of our clients. Our focus is to ensure total privacy for the individual or organisation at all times. Our services are aimed at private banks, offshore trusts, celebrities, royal family management, private families and discerning individuals where money is no object and discretion is paramount.

July 30th, 2010 by admin | Comments Off

List of Swiss Banks

Private Banks – Switzerland

List of Swiss Banks

Perfect Knowledge is a private company that offers a private fixer service to VIP’s, senior executives and ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI). We provide a discreet service that manages private and personal affairs on behalf of our clients. Our focus is to ensure total privacy for the individual or organisation at all times. Our services are aimed at private banks, offshore trusts, celebrities, royal family management, private families and discerning individuals where money is no object and discretion is paramount.

  1. AAM Privatbank AG
  2. Aareal Bank AG, Wiesbaden, Zweigniederlassung Zürich
  3. Aargauische Kantonalbank
  4. ABN Amro Bank (Schweiz)
  5. ABN AMRO Bank N.V., Amsterdam, Zweigniederlassung Zürich
  6. Adler & Co. Privatbank AG
  8. AIG Privat Bank AG
  9. AKB Privatbank Zürich AG
  10. Alpha RHEINTAL Bank AG
  11. Alternative Bank ABS
  13. Appenzeller Kantonalbank
  14. Arab Bank (Switzerland) Ltd.
  15. ARVEST Privatbank AG
  17. Atlantic Vermögensverwaltungsbank
  18. AXA Bank Europe, Brüssel, Zweigniederlassung Winterthur
  19. Baloise Bank SoBa
  20. Banca Aletti & C. (Suisse) SA
  22. Banca Commerciale Lugano
  24. Banca del Ceresio SA
  25. Banca del Sempione
  26. Banca dello Stato del Cantone Ticino
  27. Banca Euromobiliare (Suisse) SA
  29. Banca Intermobiliare di Investimenti e Gestioni (Suisse) SA
  30. Banca Popolare di Sondrio (Suisse) SA
  31. Banca Privata Edmond de Rothschild Lugano SA
  33. Banco Santander (Suisse) SA
  34. Bank aek Genossenschaft
  35. Bank am Bellevue
  36. Bank CA St. Gallen AG
  37. Bank CIC (Schweiz) AG
  38. Bank Coop AG
  39. Bank EEK AG
  40. Bank EKI Genossenschaft
  41. Bank Frey & Co. AG
  42. Bank für Tirol und Vorarlberg Aktiengesellschaft, Innsbruck, Zweigniederlassung Staad
  43. Bank Hapoalim (Switzerland) Ltd
  44. Bank Hugo Kahn & Co. AG
  45. Bank in Zuzwil
  46. Julius Bär & Co. AG
  47. Bank Leumi (Schweiz) AG
  48. Bank Linth LLB AG
  49. Bank Morgan Stanley AG
  50. Bank of China (Suisse) SA
  51. Bank Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. (Schweiz) AG
  52. Bank Sarasin & Cie AG
  53. Bank Sparhafen Zürich AG
  54. Bank Thalwil
  55. Bank Thur
  56. Bank Vontobel AG
  57. bank zweiplus ag
  58. Bank-now AG
  59. Bankhaus Jungholz
  60. BankMed (Suisse) SA
  61. Banque Algérienne du Commerce Extérieur SA
  62. Banque Amas (Suisse) SA
  63. Banque Audi (Suisse) SA
  64. Banque Baring Brothers Sturdza SA
  65. Banque Bauer (Suisse) SA
  66. Banque Bénédict Hentsch Fairfield Partners SA
  67. Banque Bonhôte & Cie SA
  68. Banque Cantonale de Fribourg
  69. Banque Cantonale de Genève
  70. Banque Cantonale du Jura
  71. Banque Cantonale du Valais
  72. Banque Cantonale Neuchâteloise
  73. Banque Cantonale Vaudoise
  74. Banque Cramer & Cie SA
  75. Banque de Commerce et de Placements SA
  76. Banque de Crédit et de Dépôts SA, Bankred
  77. Banque de Dépôts et de Gestion
  78. Banque de Patrimoines Privés Genève BPG SA
  79. Banque Du Bois AG
  80. Banque Franck, Galland & Cie SA
  82. Banque Internationale de Commerce – BRED, Paris, succursale de Genève
  83. Banque Jacob Safra (Suisse) SA
  84. Banque Jura Laufon
  86. Banque Pasche SA
  87. Banque Piguet & Cie SA
  88. Banque Privée BCP (Suisse) SA
  89. Privée Edmond de Rothschild SA
  90. Banque Privée Espirito Santo SA
  91. Banque Safdié SA
  92. Banque SCS Alliance SA
  93. Banque Syz & Co SA
  94. Banque Thaler SA
  95. Banque Vontobel Genève SA
  96. Bantleon Bank AG
  97. Barclays Bank (Suisse) SA
  98. Barclays Bank PLC, Londres, Succursale de Genève
  99. Barclays Capital, Zurich Branch of Barclays Bank PLC, London
  100. Basellandschaftliche Kantonalbank
  101. Basler Kantonalbank
  102. Baumann & Cie
  103. Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank Aktiengesellschaft, München, Zweigniederlassung Zürich
  104. BBO Bank Brienz Oberhasli AG
  105. BBVA (Suiza) SA
  106. Bearbull Degroof Banque Privée SA
  108. Berner Kantonalbank AG
  109. Bernerland Bank AG
  110. Bezirks-Sparkasse Dielsdorf
  111. Bezirkssparkasse Uster
  112. BGG, Banque Genevoise de Gestion
  113. BHF-BANK (Schweiz) AG
  114. Biene – Bank im Rheintal Genossenschaft
  115. BIPIELLE Bank (Suisse)
  116. BLOM BANK (Switzerland) SA
  117. BNP Paribas (Suisse) SA
  118. BNP PARIBAS SECURITIES SERVICES, Paris, Succursale de Zurich
  119. Bordier & Cie
  120. BS Bank Schaffhausen
  121. BSI SA
  122. Burgergemeinde Bern, DC Bank, Deposito-Cassa der Stadt Bern
  123. Burgerliche Ersparniskasse Bern
  124. BZ Bank Aktiengesellschaft
  125. C.I.M. Banque
  126. Caisse d’Epargne d’Aubonne
  127. Caisse d’Epargne de Cossonay société coopérative
  128. Caisse d’Epargne de la Ville de Fribourg
  129. Caisse d’Epargne de Nyon société coopérative
  130. Caisse d’Epargne de Siviriez
  131. Caisse d’épargne de Vuisternens-devant- Romont
  132. Caisse d’Epargne du district de Courtelary
  133. Caisse d’Epargne et de Crédit Mutuel de Chermignon
  134. Caisse d’Epargne Riviera, société coopérative
  135. Caja de Ahorros de Galicia, La Corogne, succursale de Genève
  136. Citibank (Switzerland)
  137. [Citibank], N.A., Las Vegas, Zurich Branch
  138. Citibank, NA, Las Vegas, Succursale de Genève
  139. Clariden Leu AG
  140. Clientis AG
  141. Clientis Bank Huttwil AG
  142. Clientis Bank im Thal AG
  143. Clientis Bank Küttigen-Erlinsbach AG
  144. Clientis Bank Leerau Genossenschaft
  145. Clientis Bank Oberuzwil AG
  146. Clientis Bank Toggenburg AG
  147. Clientis EB Entlebucher Bank AG
  148. Clientis Triba Partner Bank AG
  149. Commerzbank (Schweiz) AG
  150. Cornèr Banca SA
  151. Crédit Agricole (Suisse) SA
  152. Crédit Agricole Financements (Suisse) SA
  153. Credit Europe Bank (Suisse) SA
  155. Credit Suisse
  156. Credito Privato Commerciale SA
  157. Deka(Swiss) Privatbank AG
  158. Deutsche Bank (Suisse) SA
  159. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft, Frankfurt a.M., Zweigniederlassung Zürich
  160. Dexia Privatbank (Schweiz) AG
  161. Dominick Company AG
  162. Dresdner Bank (Schweiz) AG
  163. Dresdner Bank Aktiengesellschaft, Frankfurt am Main, Zweigniederlassung Zürich
  164. Dreyfus Söhne & Cie. Aktiengesellschaft, Banquiers
  165. Dynagest SA
  166. DZ PRIVATBANK (Schweiz) AG
  167. E. Gutzwiller & Cie. Banquiers
  168. EFG Bank
  169. EFG Bank European Financial Group SA
  170. Entris Banking AG
  171. Ersparniskasse Affoltern i.E. AG
  172. Ersparniskasse Rüeggisberg
  173. Ersparniskasse Schaffhausen AG
  174. Ersparniskasse Speicher
  175. F. van Lanschot Bankiers (Schweiz) AG
  176. FAISAL PRIVATE BANK (Switzerland) SA
  177. FCE Bank plc, Brentwood, Zweigniederlassung Schweiz
  178. FIBI Bank (Schweiz) AG
  179. FIDEURAM Bank (Suisse) SA
  180. Finter Bank Zürich
  181. FMCC Finance, Zweigniederlassung Wallisellen der VOLVO Auto Bank Deutschland GmbH, Köln
  182. Fortis Banque (Suisse) SA
  183. Fortis Banque, SA/NV, Bruxelles, Succursale de Zurich
  184. Freie Gemeinschaftsbank
  185. GE Money Bank AG
  186. Glarner Kantonalbank
  187. Goldman Sachs Bank AG
  188. Gonet & Cie
  189. Graubündner Kantonalbank
  190. GRB Glarner Regionalbank
  191. Habib Bank AG Zurich
  192. Habibsons Bank Limited, London, Zweigniederlassung Zürich
  193. Hottinger & Compagnie
  194. HSBC Guyerzeller Bank AG
  195. HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA
  196. HYPOSWISS Privatbank AG
  197. Hyposwiss Private Bank Genève SA
  198. Hypothekarbank Lenzburg
  199. IDB (Swiss) Bank Ltd
  200. InCore Bank AG
  201. ING Bank (Suisse) SA
  202. ING Bank N.V., Amsterdam, Zurich Branch
  203. ING Belgique, Bruxelles, succursale de Genève
  204. Investec Bank (Switzerland) AG
  205. Isbank GmbH, Frankfurt am Main (D), Zweigniederlassung Zürich
  206. J&T Bank Schweiz AG
  207. J.P. Morgan (Suisse) SA
  208. JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association, Columbus, Succursale de Zurich
  209. Jyske Bank (Schweiz)
  210. Kaupthing Bank Luxembourg S.A., Luxembourg, succursale de Genève
  212. La Roche & Co.
  213. Landolt & Cie, banquiers
  214. LB (Swiss) Privatbank AG
  215. LBBW (Schweiz) AG
  216. Leihkasse Stammheim
  217. LGT Bank (Schweiz) AG
  218. Liechtensteinische Landesbank (Schweiz) AG
  219. Lienhardt & Partner Privatbank Zürich AG
  220. Lloyds TSB Bank Plc, London, Zweigniederlassung Zürich
  221. Lloyds TSB Bank Plc, Londres, succursale de Genève
  222. Lombard, Odier, Darier, Hentsch & Cie
  223. Luzerner Kantonalbank AG
  224. M. M. Warburg Bank (Schweiz) AG
  225. Maerki Baumann & Co AG
  226. MediBank
  227. Mercantil Bank (Schweiz) AG
  228. Merrill Lynch Bank (Suisse) SA
  229. Merrill Lynch Capital Markets AG
  230. Migros Bank
  231. Mirabaud & Cie
  232. Mitsubishi UFJ Wealth Management Bank (Switzerland), Ltd.
  233. Mizuho Bank (Schweiz) AG
  234. Mizuho International plc, London, Zweigniederlassung Zürich
  235. Mourgue d’Algue & Cie
  236. NBAD Private Bank (Suisse) SA
  237. NBK Banque Privée (Suisse) SA
  238. Neue Aargauer Bank
  239. Nidwaldner Kantonalbank
  240. Nomura Bank (Schweiz) AG
  241. Nordea Bank S.A., Luxemburg, Zweigniederlassung Zürich
  242. Nordkap Bank AG
  243. NPB Neue Privat Bank AG
  244. Neue Zürcher Bank AG
  245. Obersimmentalische Volksbank
  246. Obwaldner Kantonalbank
  247. P&P Private Bank AG
  248. Petercam Private Bank (Switzerland) SA
  249. Pictet et Cie
  251. Privatbank Bellerive AG
  252. Privatbank IHAG Zürich AG
  253. Privatbank Von Graffenried AG
  254. Private Client Bank
  255. Private Client Partners
  256. Rahn & Bodmer
  257. Raiffeisen Schweiz Genossenschaft
  258. RAS Private Bank (Suisse) SA
  259. RBC Dexia Investor Services Bank S.A., Esch-sur-Alzette, succursale de Zurich
  260. RBS Coutts Bank AG
  261. Regiobank Männedorf AG
  262. Regiobank Solothurn AG
  263. Reichmuth & Co
  264. Rosbank (Switzerland) SA
  265. Rothschild Bank AG
  266. Royal Bank of Canada (Suisse)
  267. Rüd, Blass & Cie AG Bankgeschäft
  268. Russische Kommerzial Bank AG
  270. Saxo Bank (Switzerland) SA
  271. SB Saanen Bank AG
  272. Schaffhauser Kantonalbank
  273. Schroder & Co Bank AG
  274. Schwyzer Kantonalbank
  275. Privatbank AG
  276. Sella Bank AG
  277. SG Private Banking (Lugano-Svizzera) SA
  278. SG Private Banking (Suisse) SA
  279. SIX SIS AG
  280. SIX x-clear AG
  281. Skandifinanz Bank AG
  282. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken SA, Luxembourg, Geneva Branch
  283. SLB Commercial Bank
  284. Società Bancaria Ticinese
  286. Société Générale, Paris, Succursale de Zurich
  287. Spar + Leihkasse Gürbetal
  288. Spar + Leihkasse Münsingen AG
  289. Spar + Leihkasse Steffisburg
  290. Spar- und Leihkasse Bucheggberg AG
  291. Spar- und Leihkasse Frutigen
  292. Spar- und Leihkasse Leuk und Umgebung
  293. Spar- und Leihkasse Riggisberg
  294. Spar- und Leihkasse Thayngen AG
  295. Spar- und Leihkasse Wynigen
  296. Sparcassa 1816 Gen.
  297. Sparkasse Engelberg
  298. Sparkasse Horgen AG
  299. Sparkasse Küsnacht ZH
  300. Sparkasse Oftringen
  301. Sparkasse Schwyz AG
  302. Sparkasse Sense
  303. Sparkasse Trogen
  304. Sparkasse Wiesendangen
  305. Zürcher Oberland
  306. St. Galler Kantonalbank
  307. Standard Chartered Bank (Switzerland) SA
  308. State Street Bank GmbH, München, Zweigniederlassung Zürich
  309. Svenska Handelsbanken SA, Luxemburg, Zweigniederlassung Zürich
  310. [Swissquote Bank Swissquote Bank]
  311. swissregiobank AG
  312. Sydbank (Schweiz) AG
  313. Thurgauer Kantonalbank
  314. Trafina Privatbank AG
  315. UBS AG
  316. UBS Limited, London, Zweigniederlassung Schweiz, Opfikon
  317. UniCredit (Suisse) Bank SA
  318. Union Bancaire Privée, UBP
  319. United Bank AG (Zürich)
  320. UNITED MIZRAHI BANK (Schweiz) AG]
  321. Urner Kantonalbank
  322. Vadian Bank AG
  323. Valartis Bank AG
  324. Valiant Bank AG
  325. Valiant Privatbank AG
  326. Volksbank Bodensee AG
  327. Vorarlberger Landes- und Hypothekenbank Aktiengesellschaft, Bregenz, Zweigniederlassung St. Gallen
  328. VP Bank (Schweiz) AG
  329. Depotbank AG
  330. Wegelin & Co. Privatbankiers Gesellschafter Bruderer, Hummler, Tolle & Co.
  331. WIR Bank
  332. ZLB Zürcher Landbank
  333. Zuger Kantonalbank
  334. Zürcher Kantonalbank
July 29th, 2010 by admin | Comments Off

Billionaires spend $2.6m on champagne in St Tropez

In what could be called as a lavish fight, a pair of rival billionaires set a new world record at a French nightclub to see who could order the most champagne.

Zhen Low – the younger brother of big-spending Malaysian billionaire Jho Low – squared off against Winston Fisher of the prominent New York real-estate family Thursday night at Les Caves du Roy nightclub in St. Tropez.

The bill? A staggering 2 million euros, or $2.6 million, according to an announcement made at the club.

Guests included Paris Hilton, the socialite, who helped the cherubic Jho celebrate his 28th birthday with a four-day party in Las Vegas last year.

Perfect Knowledge is a private company that offers a bespoke service to VIP’s, senior executives and ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI). We provide a discreet service that manages private and personal affairs on behalf of our clients. Our focus is to ensure total privacy for the individual or organisation at all times. Our services are aimed at private banks, offshore trusts, celebrities, royal family management, private families and discerning individuals where money is no object and discretion is paramount.

July 28th, 2010 by admin | Comments Off

China has 130 billionaires

wang chuan fu 468x312 China has 130 billionaires

The Hurun Report released the names of the Top Two Richest Individuals from the 2009 Hurun Rich List, a ranking of the 1000 richest individuals in China.

Wang Chuanfu of BYD is the richest man in China with wealth of US$5.1 billion, followed by Zhang Yin of Nine Dragons Paper with wealth of US$4.9 billion. The number of known US Dollar billionaires in China has grown to 130, up from 101 in 2008. The full list is to be released later in October.

“It seems ironic to me that China’s richest person could come from the car industry, especially considering the crisis this industry is facing across the world,” says Rupert Hoogewerf, founder and compiler of the Hurun Rich List.

“Wang Chuanfu is leading the foray into the next generation of cars using clean technology.”

wang chuanfu

43-year old Wang Chuanfu saw his wealth shoot up five-fold to take top spot on the 2009 Hurun Rich List with wealth of US$ 5.1 billion.

Last year Wang was ranked 103 with wealth of US$880 million. Wang’s 27.8% of HK-listed BYD hit the big-time shortly after Warren Buffett bought 10% of the company one year ago.

BYD is highly regarded for its technology and innovation, and is considered a leader of the new generation of “green cars”.

zhang yin

Zhang Yin, the first woman to take top spot on the 2006 Hurun Rich List, has seen her stock double over the past year.

The ‘Paper Queen’ owns 72.25% of HK-listed Nine Dragons Paper together with husband Liu Mingzhong and brother Zhang Chengfei.

Nine Dragons Paper imports recycled paper and processes it into packaging and paper materials primarily targeted at China’s export industry.

“I estimate there to be the same number again of US Dollar billionaires that we have not yet found,” says Rupert Hoogewerf, founder and compiler of the Hurun Rich List.

The cut-off date for valuation of listed companies was 15 September 2009. The exchange rate used for US$ was RMB 6.8. The Hurun Rich List relates to Mainland Chinese only, defined as someone born and brought up in Mainland China, no matter what passport they might hold today.

billionaire china

Perfect Knowledge is a private company that offers a private fixer service to VIP’s, senior executives and ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI). We provide a discreet service that manages private and personal affairs on behalf of our clients. Our focus is to ensure total privacy for the individual or organisation at all times. Our services are aimed at private banks, offshore trusts, celebrities, royal family management, private families and discerning individuals where money is no object and discretion is paramount.

July 22nd, 2010 by admin | No Comments »

London’s most secretive service which caters for the multimillionaires, foreign royalty and the worlds leading companies. Welcome to the world of the Private Fixer.

Perfect Knowledge Ltd

Perfect Knowledge Ltd

Of all the services available to the super-rich, that which is uttered by a Private Fixer of is perhaps the most intriguing. Even the job title carries an aura of mystery. I am reminded of the John Travolta character in the movie Pulp Fiction, or a Philip Marlowe-like figure skulking about in the shadows in classic film noir. But there is no cigar or bowler hat in sight as Ifzaal Khan, an articulate and charismatic thirty-something, settles in front of me in a luxury hotel in Chelsea.

“My clients are high net worth individuals,” explains Khan, from Perfect Knowledge Ltd “Mostly CEOs. MDs, titles and aristocracy. Yes, I look after a few celebrities too, but they tend to be too high profile, so normally I deal with people from the international high society. Most are English, but some are American, Arab, Russian, and a few are Asian. Many are not even listed in the Sunday Times Rich lists because they might have most of their money held in trusts or assets. They come to me because I’m not part of their staff, I’m on the outside, and they may not want their staff to know everything. They could just be visiting for three or four weeks, and there are often financial incentives in asking an outsider to do things.”

Khan explains that his job is part of a long tradition of private secretaries, PAs and courtiers, but it is not a concierge service. So what does a Private Fixer actually do? “It depends on what a client wants, really,” says Khan. “For example, I might help somebody source and buy a properties off market. One person asked me to find him an off-market property for £20 million, and I knew somebody who wanted to sell, so I liaised between the two. Another asked me to find a £4 million house in Chelsea for his daughter. Somebody has also asked me to set up a property company, so I’m currently in the process of doing that, Commercial property is where the money is, so I’ve been trying to get more involved in that and it’s really taken off in the last few months.”

Private Billion Execution

Private Billion Execution

The job isn’t only to do with property though; it also involves providing a personal courier service. Khan relays this wonderful anecdote: “A client left his rare 1930s £200,000 Rolex in the penthouse of a five star hotel in London, It had been in his wife’s family for generations and she had given it to him, so it had sentimental value. He asked me to pick it up and take it to Luton Airport. When I got there, I was directed to Harrods Aviation, which is a private aviation service for businesses. As! arrived, I was told to board a plane and was flown to Geneva, where a chauffer-drivcn car ‘vas wailing to take me to the client’s house. There I had dinner with him and handed over the watch personally.” So, not just a typical day in the office then.

Other jobs have involved picking up several expensive pieces of jewellery and watches to be repaired at Harrods; establishing a finance company; setting up a warehouse from scratch for a client who wanted to store high value goods; negotiating with yacht brokers, and chaperoning an extremely rich hut ill client to see her sister. “One gentleman has asked me to sell three Picassos. which he doesn’t want to do through the auction houses. I don’t know anything about art,” smiles Khan, “but I’m a fast learner.”

Khan offers these services through his Chelsea-based company, which he set up over a year and a half ago. Asked how long he has been a fixer for, he says mischievously, “Since I was 16 and growing up in Oxford. I was always fixing things for people — whether fellow students or visiting aunties.” Before setting up his company, he researched the job for two years and built up an enormous contacts book. Having a clear vision of what you want to achieve is imperative, he says, as preparation met with opportunity is the key to success.

Khan works with six colleagues, who between them are based in London. Oxford, Geneva and Dubai. They are all childhood friends whom he trusts implicitly. “I would never reveal my clients’ names, not even to family or friends, and as each person is given a unique code even my colleagues don’t find out who they are. Privacy, confidentiality and discretion are key to this job. Many of my clients came to me via word of mouth recommendations, a few I approached myself when circumstances were right. It takes a long time to build up trust. We don’t want people selling stories to the papers.”

Luxuary Speed Boat Other qualities needed for a job like this are diplomacy, the ability to get on with a wide range of people and, as Khan puts it, “Knowing when to listen and when to talk, These are highly successful individuals who know the industry they’re working in inside out. They don’t want unsolicited advice.” Indeed so important is the client-fixer relationship that Khan. who combines a deep knowledge of the super-rich lifestyle with street savvy and common sense, says he’s turned down projects from those who he believes would be demanding and make his job difficult in the long run.

So whether accompanying multi-millionaires to top venues like Cipriani’s, Scott’s, Mark’s Club, or Harry’s Bar — or indeed ‘summer season’ events like Ascot or Wimbledon – there is plenty of variety. “I juggle many things, sometimes working up to 20 hours a day, and I admit the job encroaches on my private life,” says Khan, who previously worked at the Home Office for seven years, “but I could never work nine to five again. This is a unique job in a small. niche market. It brings me lots of opportunities. .~ and I’m always learning something new. No two days are ever the same.”


July 21st, 2010 by admin | Comments Off

Victoria Beckham’s 100-strong Birkin bag collection that’s worth £1.5 million pounds

Victoria Beckham’s 100-strong Birkin bag collection that’s worth £1.5m

Victoria Beckham is well known for her extravagant taste in fashion, but news that she owns 100 Hermès Birkin bags is likely to be seen as nothing less than excessive.

A US financial website worked out that the sometime pop star’s collection of the coveted bag alone is worth £1.5million. revealed that the 35-year-old owns around 100 of the style, which start at £4,200 for the basic model.

Bag of the month: In the last couple of weeks Victoria Beckham has shown off three of her 100 Hermès Birkin handbags. Seen at Heathrow airport, arriving in Milan and at a New York restaurant

Of course, La Beckham is not one to settle for basic. As countless photographs will testify, she regularly carries luxurious versions in pink ostrich skin and glossy black crocodile, worth up to £42,000 each, as well as the rare ‘Silver Himalayan’ style, which, at £80,000, comes complete with three-carat diamond.

Victoria Beckham with red Birkin handbag

As long as it’s a Birkin: Starting at a staggering £4,200 Victoria Beckham accessorises with a baby blue version on a shopping trip in LA in April; plumps for plum on yet another airport dash in March; and chooses a bright red bag for a trip to New York last summer

The bag, which was designed in 1984 by French fashion house Hermès and named after the actress Jane Birkin, is seen as a fashion classic.

It follows in the footsteps of the 1935 Kelly bag – named after Princess Grace of Monaco because of her many appearances with it.

The Birkin was allegedly created after the company’s CEO Jean Louis Dumas sat next to the actress on a Paris to London flight.

Victoria Beckham with Hermes Birkin
Victoria Beckham with Hermes Birkin
Victoria Beckham with her £80,000 Silver Himalayan Birkin

Hermès habit: Victoria with her red Birkin at a children’s party in March last year; at JFK airport with her pink ostrich bag in September 2007; in Dubai with the £80,000 Silver Himalayan version in January this year

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July 20th, 2010 by admin | Comments Off

Britain’s Bollygarchs – Asian Billionaires

Britain’s Bollygarchs

The new tribe of Indian billionaires has its capital in London. Clive Aslet profiles 20 of these Bollygarchs who love nothing more than prime Kensington property and weekends in the country

1. LAKSHMI MITTAL   $28.7bn
Lakshmi Mittal does not court publicity, but neither – being among the handful of richest people on the planet – can he escape it. Born into a business family from the Indian state of Rajasthan in 1950, he founded the Mittal Steel Company in 1976, and it’s now the largest steelmaker in the world. Mittal’s $28.7bn fortune makes him not only the richest man in the UK but in Europe. His London house in Kensington Palace Gardens is nothing short of a palace, setting a property record when it was bought for £70m in 2003.

There are four Hinduja brothers, two of them, Srichand and Gopichand, based in London. They moved here in 1979, to develop their father’s trading business. They are now the second richest Asians in Britain, after Lakshmi Mittal, with 25,000 people employed by the Hinduja Group round the world. Extremely retiring, they have given little away about their personal lives, beyond the contribution that they have made to the building of two Hindu temples in the south-east, not to mention the £1.5m that they contributed to the Millennium Dome. Their home is in Carlton House Terrace.

3. SUNIL MITTAL   $12bn
The son of a politician, 52-year-old Sunil Mittal began his business life, after Punjab University, as a bicycle parts dealer in New Delhi. His Bharti Group is now the largest mobile phone operator in India, with over 121m subscribers. He is also reorganising the way India shops through a joint venture with WalMart. The Times of India puts his net worth at $12bn.

Born on 23 October, Mittal was also married on the 23rd of the month and has made 23 his lucky number. His wife is an Indian from Scotland. Five years ago, he said he might retire at 50 but this has not happened. Instead he travels constantly, coming to London, like many of the Indian community, in late Spring and early summer.

Later this year, JP Morgan Cazenove are said to be floating the shipping, steel, oil and gas, and telecoms group, Essar Holdings, on the London stock market for over £5bn. With that in mind, Shashi and Ravi Ruia, recently bought a home in Mayfair. As Essar Chairman Shashi Ruia recently joked: “I am not just an MBA, but also an MBB (Marwari by birth).” Many successful Indians in business are either Marwaris, who originate from around Jodphur, or Parsis, a Zoroastrian community distantly descended from Persians. In 2007, the Ruias were listed for the first time as one of India’s ten richest families, with a net worth of $12bn.

5. SAVITRI JINDAL   $12.2bn
Savitri Jindal is the richest woman in India, with a net worth of $12.2bn. A widow with nine children, she became non-executive chair of the Jindal Organisation on her late husband’s death in a helicopter crash in 2005. Om Prakash Jindal (known as O.P), the son of a farmer, started his career making buckets and pipes in an Indian village in the 1950s.

The Jindal Organisation is now a multi-billion dollars business involved in all aspects of steel production, from mining iron ore to manufacturing in 20 factories. It recently acquired iron ore mines in Chile and Bolivia, as well as rights of oil exploration in Peru. In London, Mrs Jindal lives in Kensington. She is joined by her four sons, all them involved in the business, including Naveen Jindal, an ‘irrepressible polo enthusiast’.

=6. KUSHAL PAL (KP) SINGH   $9bn
The call centre capital of the world is Gurgaon, with its earthquake-proof office buildings. That this should be so is due to K.P.Singh, whose DLF Universal Ltd is the largest real estate company on the planet. Born in 1931, Singh studied science, including aeronautical engineering in the UK, before being commissioned as an officer in Indian Army’s famous Deccan Horse and transforming DLF (Delhi Land and Finance) it into the colossus that it is today, building houses, apartments, offices towers, shopping malls, airports, hotels and cinemas across India.

His fortune is estimated at $9bn. A keen golfer, he now leaves his son Rajiv and daughter Pia to run the business, allowing him to spend more time in his Grosvenor Square house.

This visionary private equity investor Cyrus Vandrevala started investing in technology businesses his 20s and now has global investments in a multiple of public and private companies ranging from Telecom, infrastructure, energy, real estate, food and cement. He has made his mark as a man of style in London having lived at Claridge’s for six months before buying a house in Holland Park with his heiress wife Priya Hiranandani-Vandrevala for £20m. He has achieved billionaire status while maintaining a discreet social presence. Look out for him in Annabel’s.

8. ANIL AGARWAL   $6.4bn
Born in 1954, Anil Agarwal has a house in Mayfair. Like other of India’s billionaires, he likes the best and can afford it: “I have to have a Bentley, the best of chauffeurs and butlers,” he says. The son of a small businessman from Bihar, in eastern India, he founded the mining group Vendanta Resources in the 1980s; it is now active on four continents, with offices in London and operations in Zambia, Australia and India.

Criticized by environmentalists including Bianca Jagger, it was nevertheless floated on the London stock exchange in 2003. In 2007, Mr Agarwal’s fortune stood at over $12bn; with the decline in the demand for minerals because of the global recession, it is now nearer $6.4bn. He is developing a ‘world class Vendata University at Orissa in India to ‘nurture generations of global leaders’.

9. SHAPOOR MISTRY   $6bn (family wealth)
Like many of the Bollygarchs, Shapoor Mistry shuns any suggestion of limelight; however, an exception is made when this keen racing man leads home a winning horse that has been bred by him. It is one of the few occasions that he can unwind from his business duties. Shapoor’s London house is in Mayfair: Cyrus also, pursues his many business interests from a London base.

The foundation of the Mistry family’s wealth is an 18.5% stake in Tata Sons, the motor manufacturer, acquired by Shapoor and Cyrus’s father, Pallonji Mistry. Some surprise was caused when the Mistrys recently became Irish citizens: Pallonji’s wife Patsy is said to have been born in Ireland, although from a well-known Parsi business family in India. The family’s net worth is put at $6bn.

10. ANURAG DIKSHIT   $854mn
Online gambling has a mixed reputation, particularly in the United States where, in 2008, Anurag Dikshit caused a sensation by pleading guilty to charges of breaking the laws governing it; this cost him a £185m fine. Not one to revel in the trappings of wealth, he devotes most of his time to a Trust which funds projects to further medicine, education and the community in India, Gibraltar and the UK.

Born in Jharkhand, India, 37 years ago, Mr Dikshit’s first break came in the dotcom boom, when he was working in the US as a software developer. In his mid twenties, Dikshit wrote the new companies betting software.

11. VIJAY MALLYA   $1.6bn
Kingfishers are usually seen in a flash of iridescent colour, and so it is with Vijay Mallya, whose property portfolio includes – as well as residences in California, New York, Monaco and all the main cities in India – a castle in Scotland, a country house in Berkshire and a London house. Catch him when you can.

The boss of Kingfisher Beer and Kingfisher Airlines spends most of his time in one of his four planes, amid a décor of luxurious sofas, granite-topped bars and Impressionist paintings, the wardrobe in his bedroom at the back allowing him to emerge immaculately dressed for whichever of the many roles he is about to play. This astonishingly energetic man likes yachting, racehorses and African game lodges, as well as classic cars.

A former racing driver, Dr Mallya speaks eight languages, is a qualified scuba diver and pilot, loves music and collects art. A member of the upper house of the Indian parliament, he has championed the plight of street sweepers and the need for better drinking water, rather than business and industry. Happy to be known as the King of the Good Times, he exhausts his entourage with his zest for all aspects of life. The money keeps piling up. He is a modern Maharajah whose dynamism personifies the entrepreneurship of the subcontinent.

12. NARESH GOYAL   $1.55bn
As a boy growing up in India, Naresh Goyal, now in his early 60s, had to walk to school every day, because his parents could not afford a bicycle. Now he has triumphed in another area of transportation, as the owner of Jet Airways, India’s largest domestic airline. He established it in 1992, after an aviation career which began as public relations manager of Iraqui Airlines.

A naturally hospitable man, he is said to like London so much that he more or less commutes to India from his town house overlooking Regent’s Park, where his family are based. In his spare time he enjoys watching Bollywood movies, saying, on one occasion, that you don’t have to remember what you saw last time.

13. SIR ANWAR PERVEZ   $1.1bn
Convenience stores are stereotypically associated with businessmen from the subcontinent: beginning with one in Earl’s Court, Sir Anwar Pervez built up the cash-and-carry empire of Bestway, with 50 warehouses across the country. It now employs 4,500 people and is worth £230m.

Mike Jatania and his three brothers were among the Asians expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin in 1969. Their cosmetics company Lornamead acquires underperforming companies and product lines and revitalizes them; this, together with a property portfolio in London, has created a family fortune of £1bn.

15. SWRAJ PAUL   $760m
Lord Paul, born in 1931, grew up in the Punjab, where his father had a small foundry making steel buckets, tubs, trunks and farm equipment. The family lived frugally, following the Hindu ideal of ‘simple living and high thinking’. He and his brother transformed the modest enterprise at home into an industrial group with interests in steel, engineering, pharmaceuticals, hotels, shipping and tea.

Lord Paul (he became a peer in 1996) moved to Britain in 1966, needing medical care for his daughter Ambika, who had leukemia. Sadly Ambika died two years later, but Paul remained in the UK, dedicating his development of the Caparo Group to her memory. In 1994, he rebuilt the London Children’s Zoo in her name: when under treatment the Zoo had been a favourite outing.

16. FELIX GROVIT   $660m
Felix Grovit is the man behind Chequepoint, the bureaux de change empire, founded in 1974. From London it spread out to other tourist hotspots in 70 countries across the world. Aged 65, he also has interesting in Berkeley Credit and biotechnology. Like others in the world of the Indian super rich, Mr Grovit is generally described as shy and elusive. The industry was astounded when he launched his own website, although at present there is nothing on it.

In 1979 Jasminder Singh is a hotelier, who formed the Edwardian Group with an uncle in 1979, which now has a dozen luxury hotels in the UK and runs Radisson Hotels (as Radisson Edwardian) under franchise. Of Punjabi descent, Mr Singh was born in Dar es Salaam in 1951. He came to the UK, qualifying as an accountant before entering the hotel business in 1975. He insists that his top people have studied at Oxford or Harvard. His holidays are of the busman type, sizing up the competition’s hotels. The rest of the time he lives quietly at Ascot with his wife and four children.

Vikrant Bhargava was the former marketing director of PartyGaming, having been a classmate of Anurag Dikshit (see above) when studying electrical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi. From Delhi he obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Management from the Indian Institute of Management. At the gaming group he helped attract attention to the site by staging online poker tournament with a $1 million prize. He said that 70,000 people were playping Party Poker simultaneously at peak hours. However, Bhargava left PartyGaming in 2006 to devote himself to media and real estate businesses, as well as philanthropy.

Vijay and Bikhu Patel, who founded Waymade Healthcare, came, like many British Asians, via Kenya: from a poor background in the western highlands, they arrived in Britain with just £5 in the early 1970s. From a single chemist’s shop, they have built a business turning over £300m each year. They say that the desire to escape poverty gave a keen edge appetite for business.

20. TOM SINGH   $230m
Tom Singh, graduate of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, founded the fashion chain New Look in Weymouth 1969, borrowing £5000 with his wife Kuljit to open the first shop. Mr Singh still lives in Weymouth, even though the company now has over 1000 stores in different countries, including 543 in the UK.

Clive Aslet is editor-at-large of Country Life and a contributing editor to Spear’s

Perfect Knowledge is a private company that offers a bespoke service to VIP’s, senior executives and ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI). We provide a discreet service that manages private and personal affairs on behalf of our clients. Our focus is to ensure total privacy for the individual or organisation at all times. Our services are aimed at private banks, offshore trusts, celebrities, royal family management, private families and discerning individuals where money is no object and discretion is paramount.

June 27th, 2010 by admin | Comments Off