Eccentric Hobbies of Billionaire Dealmakers

M&A is a stressful business that needs to be relieved in some way. You'll be surprised to learn what some dealmakers choose to do in their spare time.

The world of business and commerce is home to many high-flyers, men and women involved in the heady field of mergers and acquisitions, deal making and private equity, and all that stress has to be relieved somewhere. Politicians, too, have a busy life, and it is no surprise to find that these people often take up a hobby to pass the time. It may be a surprise to read what some of these hobbies entail! Let’s have a look at some:

Tony Blair – The former UK Prime Minister is an avid coin collector, a hobby that he shares with many other famous people, among them actress Nicole Kidman. In fact, Blair got into trouble for keeping a valuable set of Russian coins given to him as a gift when in Parliament, and was made to pay the market value.

Richard Branson kiteboarding
Richard Branson winning at life

Richard Branson – The Virgin Mobile boss is famous for his eccentricities, including kiteboarding, his favorite pastime, and pursuing a dream to fly in space. That’s not to mention attempting to circumnavigate the world in a hot air balloon.

Leon Black – The private equity giant is also big in the art collecting world, and has amassed a $750 million collection that includes works by Raphael, Van Gogh and Picasso, among others.

Warren Buffett and Bill Gates – These two mighty businessmen are good friends and enjoy playing bridge together, and also enter tournaments, with some success. A sharp mind in the boardroom is clearly helpful when playing cards!

Mark Zuckerberg – Truly eccentric, the founder of Facebook lives by a sustainable decree, meaning that he will only eat what he has found and killed.

Larry Ellison
Larry Ellison keeping it real
Image courtesy of SFGate

Larry Ellison – Another giant in the business world, the CEO of Oracle, one of the richest in the world with a net worth of some $50 billion and more, is also famous for his yachting exploits, including entering the America’s Cup.

William Barron Hilton – Of Hilton Hotels fame, the former co-chairman likes nothing better than to take to the air in one of his planes or helicopters, a passion shared by a number of like-minded hedge fund managers and corporate big-wigs.

William Clay Ford – Executive Chairman of the Ford Motor Company, Ford is a black belt in the ancient martial art of Taekwondo, and is reputably a formidable opponent as much as he is when in the boardroom.

Guy Laliberté – perhaps not a household name, but you may have seen his shows: he’s the CEO of the spectacular Cirque du Soleil and, like Buffett and Gates, enjoys a game of cards, his choice being poker. However, even more eccentric is that the Canadian is an experienced space tourist!

Unusual hobbies, it seems, are a great way of letting off steam and relaxing when not deal making, banking or indulging in your everyday life as an investor, and some more unusual than others!

Debbie Stephenson

Debbie Stephenson is Communications Manager at Safe Food Production Queensland.