Harper Business Books: Setting the Agenda on Work, Leadership, and Growth

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  • On Sale:

    Jul 6, 2021
  • ISBN:

    9780062996213
  • Pages:

    368
  • Size:

    6" x 9"
  • For Booksellers:

    Catalog Page

Book Title and Author Byline

The Key Man

The True Story of How the Global Elite Was Duped by a Capitalist Fairy Tale

Product Description and Author Information

About the Book

In this compelling story of lies, greed and tarnished idealism, two Wall Street Journal reporters investigate a man who Bill Gates and Western governments entrusted with billions of dollars to make profits and end poverty but masterminded one of the biggest, most brazen frauds ever.

Arif Naqvi was charismatic, inspiring, and self-made—all the qualities of a successful business leader. The founder of Abraaj, a Dubai-based private-equity firm, Naqvi 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 $1 billion fund to improve healthcare in poor countries and the UN and Interpol appointed him to boards. As Pope Francis blessed a move to harness capitalism for the good of the poor, Naqvi won the support of Obama’s administration and investors, who compared him to Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible.

In 2018, Simon Clark and Will Louch were contacted by an anonymous whistleblower who said Naqvi had swindled investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars and offered bribes to sustain his billionaire lifestyle. Digging into the claims, Clark and Louch uncovered hundreds of documents and exposed the wrongdoing. In April 2019—months after their exposé broke—Naqvi was arrested on charges of fraud and racketeering, and faces up to 291 years in jail.

Populated by a cast of larger-than-life characters and moving across Asia, Africa, Europe and America, The Key Man is the story of how the global elite was duped by a capitalist fairytale. Clark and Louch shine a light on efforts to clean up global capital flows even as opaque private equity firms amass trillions of dollars and offshore tax havens cast a veil of secrecy which prevents regulators, investors and citizens from understanding what’s really going on in the finance industry.

About the Authors

Simon Clark

Simon Clark is a Wall Street Journal reporter based in London. His investigative reporting has led him to the poppy fields of Afghanistan, the copper mines of Congo, and to many banks in the City of London. He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2016. He lives in Lewes, England.

Will Louch

Will Louch is at law school in London. He was previously a Wall Street Journal reporter covering private equity in London and New York. Before that, he was based in Brussels where he wrote about European politics. He lives in London.