Who is Yasir Al-Rumayyan? The new king of global golf also chairs US$2.1 trillion oil behemoth


Yasir al-Rumayyan is the new king of global golf, chairing the board of the newly formed empire combining the PGA Tour, LIV Golf and the European Tour, adding another feather in the cap to the relatively unknown Saudi official who is behind several of the largest sports, corporate and political empires in the world.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump and Yasir al-Rumayyan, head of the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, look on from the second tee during the pro-am prior to the LIV Golf Invitational – Bedminster at Trump National Golf Club. Image: Getty
Key Takeaways
  • Al-Rumayyan’s principal role is as governor of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), the kingdom’s roughly $500 billion (assets) investment arm, which bankrolled LIV and holds billions of dollars worth of stakes in American companies like JPMorgan Chase, Meta and Microsoft.
  • Thanks to PIF’s controlling stakes in the respective businesses, al-Rumayyan is chairman of the Premier League club Newcastle United and Saudi Aramco, the oil giant which is the third-largest public company in the world at $2.1 trillion.
  • Stateside, the 53-year-old’s top position was as a board member of Uber, overseeing PIF’s 4% stake in the American firm worth nearly $3 billion, though al-Rumayyan departed Uber’s board earlier this year after a seven-year tenure.
  • But despite the lengthy resume, perhaps al-Rumayyan’s most crucial role is as confidante to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud; an anonymous source recently told the Athletic that al-Rumayyan is the chief “technocrat given the responsibility of putting Bin Salman’s vision into practice.”
  • A banker by trade, al-Rumayyan gradually gained power in the Saudi financial scene before officially becoming an advisor to the Saudi government in 2015 and taking over PIF in 2019, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Key Background

Al-Rumayyan oversaw the PIF’s infusion of billions of dollars of capital into LIV, poaching dozens of the world’s most prominent golfers last year away from the PGA Tour. The merger between golf’s biggest circuits came as a major surprise Tuesday considering the bitter legal dispute playing out between the PGA Tour and LIV.

The judge overseeing the antitrust case ordered al-Rumayyan to appear in court as part of the proceedings, though al-Rumayyan never testified as the tours dropped their respective lawsuits. Al-Rumayyan’s reportedly close relationship with Bin Salman has generated criticism given the Saudi leader’s drive to consolidate power and oversight of various human rights abuses, including the 2018 murder and dismembering of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which U.S. officials say Bin Salman ordered. Al-Rumayyan also served on Japan-based Softbank’s board from 2017 to 2020.


Crucial Quote

The PIF will pay “whatever it takes” to fund the new golf entity, al-Rumayyan said Tuesday on CNBC’s Squawk Box.

Surprising Fact

Elon Musk, the world’s second-richest person and the long-time CEO of Tesla, accused al-Rumayyan of “ass-covering” for supposedly going back on his word that PIF would provide funding to take the American car company private in 2018.

Al-Rumayyan told Musk he met with Bin Salman about the Tesla deal, Musk testified in a Delaware court in January, as Musk faced a unsuccessful lawsuit over a tweet claiming he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private—which turned out to be false. The PIF held about 8.2 million shares of Tesla as of October 2019 before selling nearly all of its stake by the end of 2019; that position would be worth about $25 billion now.

GOLF: JUL 30 LIV Golf Invitational Series Bedminster

Trump and al-Rumayyan hanging out.

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


Al-Rumayyan and former President Donald Trump palled around extensively at LIV’s July 2022 tournament at Trump’s New Jersey golf course, with images depicting the pair playing together at the pro-amateur event and rocking matching “Make America Great Again” hats.

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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