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!