Industry: Banking & Finance
Company: Wedge Group
Wealth: 2.4 Billion
Now 73, Issam Fares is the former deputy prime minister of Lebanon, as well as a multibillionaire entrepreneur.
In 1954, at the age of seventeen, Fares left his homeland and landed a job as a clerk at a catering and food services firm in Qatar. Two years later, he was heading Abela Group’s finances and subsequently managing its operations in Pakistan, Kuwait, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
When he turned 38, Fares went into business for himself and established a civil engineering and construction firm, and completed many notable projects including the world's longest international bridge, which connects Bahrain to Saudi Arabia.
He then sold the company to British Aerospace, and used the proceeds to buy up Houston-based investment firm, Wedge Group, a company that he heads today.
The Wedge Group has major interests in oil and gas field services, real estate, financial services and warehousing, concerns which have been very profitable over the past few decades and netted Fares billions of dollars. He also founded Wedge Alternatives Ltd, a financial services firm regulated by the UK’s Financial Services Authority.