The Key Man :How the Global Elite Was Duped by a Capitalist Fairy Tale

4.60 (5 Ratings by Goodreads)
The Key Man

The Key Man :How the Global Elite Was Duped by a Capitalist Fairy Tale

4.60 (5 Ratings by Goodreads)
Published: 8 July, 2021
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'Impeccably researched and sumptuous in its detail... It's a page-turner' The Economist

'This book tells the story brilliantly... Well-paced and cleverly organised. It also draws some devastating conclusions' The Sunday Times

'Gripping' Guardian

In this compelling story of greed, chicanery and tarnished idealism, two Wall Street Journal reporters investigate a man who Bill Gates and Western governments entrusted with hundreds of millions of dollars to make profits and end poverty but 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.

'An unbelievable true tale of greed, corruption and manipulation among the world's financial elite' Harry Markopolos, the Bernie Madoff whistleblower

'A pacy and deeply-reported tale' Financial Times

A scorching epilogue... This is tough stuff and this is a tough book that should contribute to much greater scepticism about the bloated financial system * The Sunday Times *
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 contradictions * The Economist *
A pacy and deeply-reported tale * Financial Times *
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 elite * Guardian *
For an astonishing story of how the global economy can be manipulated, read the devastating account in The Key Man * David Ignatius, Washington Post *
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 learn * Business Standard, India *
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 people * Pakistan's Dawn *
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 performance * Reuters *
It's a sorry tale, one that raises important questions about our ability to deliver 'ethical' capitalism * Chris Blackhurst, The National *
Spellbinding. You won't want to put the book down * Eileen Applebaum, coauthor of Private Equity at Work *
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 scheme * Harry Markopolos, the Bernie Madoff whistleblower *
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 presented * Ludovic Phalippou, professor of Financial Economics at Said Business School, University of Oxford *

A rip-roaring account of one of the biggest frauds in corporate history

* Owen Walker, award-winning FT journalist and author of Built on a Lie *
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 Karachi * John Helyar, coauthor of Barbarians at the Gate *
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 scenes * Professor Sir David Omand, former director of GCHQ and author of How Spies Think *
An emphatic indictment of the 'expert class' people who think agility with numbers is somehow equivalent to wisdom and morality * Duff McDonald, author of The Golden Passport *
Business books are usually boring, but this one is well paced and cleverly organised. It also draws some devastating conclusions about our over-financialized economies; in particular the authors target the $4 trillion private-equity industry, which, if anybody has the courage to notice, should hereafter be subject to rigorous reform. -- Brian Appleyard * The Sunday Times *
In a scorching epilogue the authors draw all the right conclusions . . . This is tough stuff and this is a tough book that should contribute to much greater scepticism about the bloated financial system. But it probably won't. Money talks, or rather as Bob Dylan sang, it swears. -- Kazim Alam * Dawn Newspaper, Pakistan *

Simon Clark is a Pulitzer-nominated journalist at The Wall Street Journal in London. A British citizen, he has been a journalist since 2000, reporting on a wide range of financial, economic and political subjects such as the poppy fields of Afghanistan, the copper mines of Congo and the banks in the City of London.

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.

Type Book
ISBN 9780241439104
Number Of Pages 352
Item Weight 573 g
Product Dimensions 162 x 240 x 33 mm
Publisher Penguin Books Ltd
Format Hardback