Reliance Industries CEO Mukesh Ambani has a reputation as a dealmaker, and indeed, he's gobbled up assets in telecom, petrochemicals, and energy as part of a strategy to rapidly expand the $45-billion-a-year conglomerate. But Ambani's dealmaking works both ways: Earlier this year he persuaded British oil giant BP to invest $7.2 billion for a 30% stake in 23 oil and gas assets controlled by Reliance -- the largest foreign direct investment India has seen to date. Ambani's wealth (he's worth an estimated $27 billion and recently moved into what's believed to be the world's first billion-dollar mansion) makes him a popular subject in the local press, but his business prowess is earning him accolades abroad. To wit: Bank of America in March nominated Ambani to be the first non-American on its board of directors.
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