Tags: Alwaleed | Forbes | list | billionaire

Forbes, Prince Alwaleed Fighting Over Billionaire Rankings

By    |   Thursday, 07 March 2013 08:19 AM

Saudi Arabia richest man, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, claims he was short-changed in Forbes’ latest list of the world’s biggest billionaires, but the magazine is standing by its rankings in a nasty spat being played out in public.

Forbes said unnamed former employees of the prince told the magazine Alwaleed “systematically exaggerates his net worth by several billion dollars.”

In its article, Forbes said it couldn’t justify an estimate of Alwaleed’s wealth that would exceed $20 billion, a figure that drops him out of the coveted Top Ten list and places him at a more modest Number 28.

Editor's Note: How You Lost $85,000 During the Last Decade. See the Numbers.

Alwaleed responded to the diminished Forbes ranking by getting lawyered up — a press release from the Private Office of His Royal Highness said the prince “has retained counsel,” and requested he be removed from the list altogether.

“Prince Alwaleed has taken this step as he felt he could no longer participate in a process which resulted in the use of incorrect data and seemed designed to disadvantage Middle Eastern investors and institutions,” the palace press release stated.

Forbes writer Kerry Dolan, who covers the world’s wealthiest people for the magazine, said Alwaleed’s response is the culmination of “what is now a quarter-century of intermittent lobbying, cajoling and threatening when it comes to his net worth listing.”

“Of the 1,426 billionaires on our list, not one … goes to greater measures to try to affect his or her ranking,” Dolan wrote.

Alwaleed’s office pointedly stated he would continue to cooperate with the Bloomberg Billionaires index, launched last year as a competitor to the Forbes list. By Bloomberg’s more favorable calculation, the prince’s wealth is estimated at $28 billion and he is world’s 16th wealthiest person.

The Forbes and Bloomberg lists are compiled using different methodologies — while Bloomberg’s methods are transparent, Forbes’ methods are “somewhat vaguer,” according to Quartz

Forbes said Alwaleed would not comment on the Forbes response, but that his CFO, Shadi Sanbar, commented, “I never knew that Forbes was a magazine of sensational dirt-digging and rumor-filled stories.”

Editor's Note: How You Lost $85,000 During the Last Decade. See the Numbers.

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Saudi Arabia richest man, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, claims he was short-changed in Forbes’ latest list of the world’s biggest billionaires, but the magazine is standing by its rankings in a nasty spat being played out in public.
Alwaleed,Forbes,list,billionaire
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2013-19-07
Thursday, 07 March 2013 08:19 AM
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