Scoop: The grandees headed to Saudi Arabia's "Davos in the Desert"
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Never mind the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi — there's money to be made. That's the clear message sent by the list of grandees scheduled to attend the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia later this month.
Axios has obtained a "Draft Narrative Program" for the conference, marked "Not Final — Subject to Change." Any of the names on the program could therefore still pull out. Those names include heads of state, including Narendra Modi of India and Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil.
- The Trump administration is represented by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner. Former Treasury undersecretary David Malpass, now the president of the World Bank, is also on the list, as is former White House communications chief Anthony Scaramucci.
- Top financiers scheduled to attend include Michael Corbat, CEO of Citigroup, Tidjane Thiam, CEO of Credit Suisse, and Noel Quinn, CEO of HSBC. Fund managers include Ray Dalio of Bridgewater, Robert Smith of Vista, Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone, Larry Fink of BlackRock, Daniel Loeb of Third Point, and Barry Sternlicht of Starwood.
- Nine of the panels are moderated by journalists from Bloomberg. After Axios published this story, Bloomberg said in a statement: "Bloomberg is not sponsoring the event or participating in the program. We will be covering news from the conference, as we did last year."
- Masayoshi Son of Softbank is on the program; he's still trying to raise some $100 billion for Vision Fund 2, largely from Saudi Arabia.
- Also in attendance, for some reason: will.i.am.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with comment from Bloomberg.