Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Net Worth:$1.5 bil
Country Of Citizenship:Israel
Marital Status:married, 9 children
World's largest cutter and polisher of diamonds is trying to hold his empire together. Selling select properties, acquired via his Tel Aviv-traded conglomerate, Africa Israel Investments, to meet debt obligations; stock down 84% over the past year. High end diamond business slowing as demand dries up; jewerly stores in Russia holding their own as Russians flock to gems because of unsteady banking sector. Born in Uzbekistan, his Lubavitcher Jewish family fled to Israel in 1971. Made his name undercutting De Beers diamond cartel, striking his own deals with diamond-producing countries like Russia and Angola.