Shaikh Hamad bin Jasim was an extremely powerful figure in Qatar until Shaikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani took the reins from his father – Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani – as Amir in June 2013. After that point, Shaikh Hamad bin Jasim was stripped of his two ministerial portfolios and pushed out of his role as head of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) – the Gulf state’s $100-200bn sovereign wealth fund. Shaikh Hamad bin Jasim is credited with designing Qatar’s activist foreign policy as well as spearheading the development of an extensive portfolio of sovereign investments abroad. His vast personal wealth allows him to continue his role as a leading Qatari investor.
During his tenure at QIA, the anglophile former prime minister focused much of the fund’s efforts on investments in the UK. Indeed, it grew into a major player in Britain’s economy, where it spent billions on stakes in Barclays Bank, the London Stock Exchange, the Chelsea Barracks site (a prime piece of London real estate), J Sainsbury (a prestigious supermarket chain), and became the de facto owner of luxury department store Harrods. Other property investments in London include the Shard – Western Europe’s tallest office building. (CONTINUED - 925 WORDS)