Corniche is the family office of the Farsi family: organising the investments and holdings of the family and acting as a platform to explore further opportunities.
The family office of the Farsi family is named Corniche to honour Dr Mohammed Said Farsi; a visionary civic leader and philanthropist who did much to shape modern Saudi Arabia, first as a planning officer and then, from 1972 until 1986 as mayor of the coastal city of Jeddah.
Under his leadership the population of Jeddah grew five fold and this rapid increase in the number of inhabitants inspired him to create a unique public space where the citizens of this bustling cosmopolitan metropolis could come together to enjoy their city; a broad and sweeping boulevard that traced a path along the coast.
As a piece of urban planning it transformed the character of the city, but more than that he turned it into an open air art gallery commissioning hundreds of major monumental works from the great modern masters, many of whom were his personal friends. It was a space of which the city could be proud, a space that he called the Corniche, evoking at once the beauty and the artistic legacy of the South of France.
At the time Jeddah’s Corniche was a bold, prescient move; and it has since matured into the most palpable and enduring legacy of his mayoralty, a legacy that continues to be a source of pride and pleasure for citizens of and visitors to Jeddah over a quarter of a century later.
Until the age of 15 lived in Jeddah but travelled widely with his father; thereafter Hani Farsi went to South Kent School Connecticut and then attended the American University in Washington DC, graduating with a BA/ Masters in International Affairs. He continues to play an active role at his alma mater and has served on the board of trustees since 1996.
Upon graduation he worked in the Washington office of Amnesty International and then moved to London in 1993 to catalogue the family art collection and begin management of the family’s assets. From 1993 until 2000 he sat on the board of the Donmar Warehouse Theatre, personally subsidising the acclaimed London Theatre and saving it from closure until Lottery funding was allocated. From 1998 he invested in the burgeoning field of London restaurants and membership clubs, building up the largest shareholding in the Soho House Group, before selling to Richard Caring, Caprice Ltd, in the summer of 2007. Hani Farsi became a British citizen in 2003.
Hani Farsi is also committed to continuing the philanthropic work of his father Dr M S Farsi, in whose honour founded the M S Farsi Foundation in 2009 to perpetuate his work in supporting the advancement of healthcare, cultural awareness, education and environmental protection. So far the MSFF has bestowed grants upon projects in Asia, Africa, Europe, Middle East and The United States.
Hani Farsi counts U.K. producer and former Columbia Pictures chief David Puttnam as a long-standing friend and equally as important, an invaluable advisor and mentor to his business and philanthropic interests. The relationship dates back to Farsi’s involvement in the development and construction of the Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge, London. Puttnam chaired the luxury hotel and spa’s independent board of investors on which Farsi sat for five years. Puttnam now sits on the Corniche board and is one of the company’s senior advisors across all its operational areas.