The Key Man
How the Global Elite Was Duped by a Capitalist Fairy Tale
Two Wall Street Journal reporters expose a man who Bill Gates and Western governments entrusted with hundreds of millions of dollars to make profits and end poverty who now stands accused of masterminding one of the biggest, most brazen frauds ever
Arif Naqvi was charismatic, inspiring and self-made. The founder of the Dubai-based private-equity firm Abraaj, he was the Key Man to the global elite searching for impact investments to make money and do good. He persuaded politicians he could help stabilize the Middle East after 9/11 by providing jobs and guided executives to opportunities in cities they struggled to find on the map. Bill Gates helped him start a billion-dollar fund to improve health care in poor countries, and the UN and Interpol appointed him to boards. Naqvi also won the support of President Obama''s administration and the chief of a British government fund compared him to Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible.
The only problem? In 2019 Arif Naqvi was arrested on charges of fraud and racketeering at Heathrow airport. A British judge has approved his extradition to the US and he faces up to 291 years in jail if found guilty.
With a cast featuring famous billionaires and statesmen moving across Asia, Africa, Europe and America, The Key Man is the story of how the global elite was duped by a capitalist fairy tale. Clark and Louch''s thrilling investigation exposes one of the world''s most audacious scams and shines a light on the hypocrisy, corruption and greed at the heart of the global financial system and asks important questions about the relationship between business, politics and philanthropy.
Praise for The Key Man
An unbelievable true tale of greed, corruption and manipulation among the world's financial elite and how the World Bank, Bill Gates and the governments of the US, UK, France, and many more fell victim to the world's largest private equity Ponzi schemeHarry Markopolos, the Bernie Madoff whistleblower
This splendid cautionary tale lays bare the vulnerabilities of the world of high finance, where even the grandees of Davos were marks for the kid from KarachiJohn Helyar, coauthor of Barbarians at the Gate
Spellbinding. You won't want to put the book downEileen Applebaum, coauthor of Private Equity at Work
An emphatic indictment of the 'expert class' people who think agility with numbers is somehow equivalent to wisdom and moralityDuff McDonald, author of The Golden Passport
The rigour and colossal effort that went into this book transpires on each page. There is no dull moment. It is 300 pages of reading pleasure mixed with serious discomfort at what is being presentedLudovic Phalippou, professor of Financial Economics at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
A highly readable reminder of how greed and gullibility so often go together, and why we need good investigative journalism to keep reminding us that if the pitch (and the person doing the pitch) look just too good to be true there is probably something fishy going on behind the scenesProfessor Sir David Omand, former director of GCHQ and author of How Spies Think
A rip-roaring account of one of the biggest frauds in corporate historyOwen Walker, award-winning FT journalist and author of Built on a Lie
A riveting account of the intertwining of brilliance and greed... Should be a mandatory read at all schools of journalism and business schools. It's a rare tour de force from which both can learnBusiness Standard, India
A scorching epilogue... This is tough stuff and this is a tough book that should contribute to much greater scepticism about the bloated financial systemThe Sunday Times
Clark and Louch have done an outstanding job in untangling the knots that usually keep the secretive world of private equity out of reach for most peoplePakistan's Dawn
It's a sorry tale, one that raises important questions about our ability to deliver 'ethical' capitalismChris Blackhurst, The National
Impeccably researched and sumptuous in its detail...It is a page-turner, built around a riveting portrait of the key man of the title. Mr. Naqvi who comes across as a teeming mass of contradictionsThe Economist
This excellent book, which is more true crime than finance, describes in cinematic detail how Naqvi and his colleagues pumped up valuations, moved money between the company, its funds and their personal accounts, and lied about performanceReuters
Gripping... The account raises questions over whether 'impact investing' and 'stakeholder capitalism' are less about poverty alleviation for the world than guilt alleviation for the Davos eliteGuardian
For an astonishing story of how the global economy can be manipulated, read the devastating account in The Key ManDavid Ignatius, Washington Post
A pacy and deeply-reported taleFinancial Times