Arif Naqvi

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Arif Naqvi
Born Arif Masood Naqvi
(1960-07-13) 13 July 1960 (age 58)
Karachi, Pakistan
Citizenship British
Alma mater Karachi Grammar School
London School of Economics
Title Founder and Group CEO of The Abraaj Group
Board member of The B Team, Business and Sustainable Development Commission, United Nations Global Compact[1]
Pakistan Human Development Fund[2]

Arif Masood Naqvi (born 13 July 1960 in Karachi, Pakistan) is a Pakistani businessman who is the founder and group chief executive of The Abraaj Group, a private equity investor operating in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Turkey and Central Asia. Naqvi founded the Group in 2002. It started with 60 million USD in assets under management and as of 2017, manages US$13.6 billion.


Arif Naqvi began his career with Arthur Andersen in London and American Express in Karachi. In the early 1990s, he joined the Olayan Group in Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom’s largest trading company. In 1994 he started an investment firm in Dubai called Cupola with $50,000 of his own savings.[3] In 1999, Naqvi purchased Inchcape Middle East, for $102 million, with $4.1 million in equity, making it the MENA region’s first leveraged buyout.[4] Naqvi then sold off pieces of the company for a total of $173 million.[citation needed]

In 2002, Naqvi founded Abraaj Capital, and in 2012 the company merged with Aureos Capital to become The Abraaj Group. As of March 2018, Arif Naqvi has stepped down as CEO of The Abraaj Group, as the Company has become the subject of multiple investigations regarding its fund management practices. It has not yet been determined whether criminal charges will be brought against Naqvi.

In July 2018 a criminal case was dropped after he came to an out-of-court settlement over a $48m cheque that bounced.[5]


In 2008, Naqvi and his family established the Aman Foundation, a local, not-for-profit trust in Pakistan, focusing on health, nutrition and education.[6]

In October 2012, Naqvi and Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, signed a five-year framework agreement on family planning and health in Pakistan.[7]

Recognition and board memberships[edit]

In 2007, Naqvi was granted the Sitara-i-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan, in recognition of his outstanding service in the field of public services.[8]

In 2011, he was named as one of the 50 most influential people in the global private equity industry by Private Equity International.[9] In 2012, Naqvi was appointed to the Board of the United Nations Global Compact by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.[10]

In 2014, Interpol Foundation for a Safer World appointed Naqvi to its Global Board of Trustees.[11] In this role, Naqvi will lead the I-CHECKIT initiative, one of the Foundation's five global initiatives, aimed at protecting industries vulnerable to the threat of identity fraud, such as airlines, hotels, passenger shipping companies, banks and financial institutions.

In 2015, Naqvi was awarded with the BNP Paribas Grand Prix for Individual Philanthropy by BNP Paribas.[12] In 2014, Arif Naqvi received the High-Impact Entrepreneur of the Year from Endeavor Global.[13] He was also a recipient of the Kennedy Centre's Gold Medal in the Arts award.[14]

As of January 2016, Naqvi is on the Global Leadership Council of Columbia University, a Board Member of Endeavor Global,[15] and is the Chair of the Middle East Centre Advisory Board of the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art in London.[citation needed]

Naqvi is a big proponent of the role of partnership capital in advancing sustainable development.[16][17] In 2016, Arif Naqvi joined The B Team, a global nonprofit initiative co-founded by Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz.[18]

Naqvi is also a Founding Commissioner of the Business & Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC), alongside Paul Polman and Mo Ibrahim[19]

Naqvi has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Oslo Business for Peace Award from The Business for Peace Foundation,[20] the highest form of recognition given to individual businessmen for fostering peace and stability.


  1. ^ "Brief Bios: Global Compact Board". United Nations Global Compact. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  2. ^ "PHDF Board of Directors". National Commission for Human Development. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  3. ^ MacBride, Elizabeth (23 November 2015). "The Story Behind Abraaj Group's Stunning Rise In Global Private Equity". Forbes. Retrieved 25 September 2017. 
  4. ^ Hamdan, Sara (27 April 2011). "Mideast Private Equity Pioneer Looks Beyond the Unrest". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 September 2017. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-07. Retrieved 2016-02-28. 
  7. ^ "Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation partners with the Aman Foundation to transform family health - Aman Foundation | Transforming Lives". Retrieved 2015-12-02. 
  8. ^ "President of Pakistan confers Sitara-e-Quaid-e-Azam on Al Abbar". Emirates News Agency. March 23, 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Abraaj's Arif Naqvi Appointed to UN Advisory Body Global Compact - Bloomberg Business". Retrieved 2015-12-02. 
  11. ^ Nick McDonagh (18 November 2014). "INTERPOL Foundation for a Safer World Appoints Arif Naqvi, Founder of The Abraaj Group, to its Global Board of Trustees" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-12-02. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts announces the 2014 Recipients of Gold Medal in the ArtsUAE - The Official Web Site - News". Archived from the original on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-12-02. 
  15. ^ "Arif Naqvi - Endeavor". Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2015-12-02. 
  16. ^ "Forging Partnerships, Creating Impact: A New Model for Business" (PDF). Reuters. 
  17. ^ Business Leaders: Sustainable Development Goals, retrieved 2017-11-26 
  18. ^ Andeson, Richard. "Branson launches group to tackle short-termism in business". BBC. BBC. 
  19. ^ "Commissioners | Business & Sustainable Development Commission". Business & Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC). Retrieved 2017-11-26. 
  20. ^ "Unsupported Browser". Retrieved 2015-12-02.