Mohammed Shafik Gabr
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Mohammed Shafik Gabr

Industry: Banking & Finance

Company: World Bank

Country: Egypt

Wealth: 2.1 Billion

The chairman of ARTOC Group for Investment & Development, Egyptian businessman, philanthropist and art collector Mohammad Shafik Gabr is renowned in elevated circles as a consummate networker.

He counts royalty and political leaders from around the globe as personal friends, and when Arabian Business travelled to Cairo earlier this year to meet Gabr, he allowed us a glimpse into this world.

"One thing I'm very proud of is over the years although I've had my challenges and difficulties, I have created a network of good friends all around the world," he told us. "I have always been a bridge-builder, and been able to create an environment where people can have dialogue and form partnerships."

This approach has served him well in business, too. When Gabr joined ARTOC in 1980, the name stood for ‘Arab Trade & Oil Company'. Today it stands for success, and ARTOC Group for Investment and Development is a multi-disciplined investment holding company with assets under management of $1.1bn. The group has interests in steel, art advisory, petroleum, electronics, real estate, flight services, construction, consumer products and publishing.

On our visit, Gabr also displayed the caution for which he has become known - and which has served him well over the last three decades.

"We double check, triple check, and quadruple check - we're very boring about that," he said. "You can stick a toe out, or you can stick a foot out, but don't stick your whole body out. And never invest in something you don't understand."