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At Banque Havilland, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Was Known as ‘The Boss’

A private bank in Luxembourg provided special treatment, including advice on how to attack Qatar’s financial markets.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed

Photographer: Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

Financier David Rowland, who used Britain’s Prince Andrew as an unofficial door opener, has another close relationship with a member of royalty. This one lives in the Middle East, and executives at Rowland’s Banque Havilland referred to him as “the Boss.”

A trove of emails, documents and legal filings reviewed by Bloomberg News, as well as interviews with former insiders, reveal the extent of the services Rowland and his private bank provided to one of its biggest customers, Mohammed bin Zayed, better known as MBZ, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates. Some of the work went beyond financial advice. It included scouting for deals in Zimbabwe, setting up a company to buy the image rights of players on the Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City Football Club and helping place the bank’s chairman at the time on the board of Human Rights Watch after it published reports critical of the Persian Gulf country.