Industry: Construction & Industry
Company: American University in Cairo (AUC)
Wealth: 2.8 Billion
Nadhmi Auchi is an Iraqi Kurd but has been living in the UK since 1980. There, he is chairman of the Anglo-Arab Organisation, and a British citizen.
Owner and manager of a string of construction and trading companies in Iraq, he was jailed by Saddam Hussein's regime and left the country in 1980. By then he had founded General Mediterranean Holdings, based in Luxembourg, which has grown into an international powerhouse with activities in banking and finance, real estate, construction, hotel and leisure, industrial, trading and pharmaceuticals, communications, IT and aviation.
Its interests today span across the Mediterranean and beyond with over 120 companies employing some 7,000 staff with representation in the Middle East, Northern Africa, Europe, the Americas, the Caribbean, the Asia Sub Continent and the Pacific Rim. The Group's consolidated assets now exceed $4.2bn.
On the 20th anniversary of the founding of GMH, Nadhmi Auchi was presented with a painting of the Houses of Parliament signed by the prime minister, the leaders of the opposition parties and 130 ministers and members of Parliament in recognition of his outstanding achievements within and outside the UK.
However, the construction magnate continues to be dogged by controversy - in 2003 he was convicted in France of receiving illegal commissions, and given a 15-month suspended sentence.
Auchi is involved with a number of charities in the UK and in the Arab world. In September 2006, he established the Nadhmi Auchi Young Arab Leaders Fellowships at the American University in Cairo (AUC). The programme is open to qualified Egyptian and other Arab college graduates to attend a graduate programme at AUC on a full tuition-free basis.
The fellowships are provided to individuals of intellectual distinction, excellence in qualities of mind and person, as well as exhibiting promise of effective service to the world. The initiative is designed to develop a new generation of leaders who can fill leadership positions in Egypt and the Arab world.