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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

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 investors, who 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.

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 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.

©2021 Simon Clark (P)2021 Penguin Audio

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very poor and simplistic book

This book raises many questions about the writers as I find some of their information very bias against Arif Naqvi. If you want to have a non-bias view of the downfall of Abraaj I recommend you to read "Icarus" by Brian Brivati.

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lack of humility when successful!!!

awesome book which teaches you how ego leads to fraud & illusions leading to destruction

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it's ok

it's really a shame as usually big frauds like this have crazy twists or reveals, this just felt like a regular fraud.

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  • DC
  • 03-11-21

Democracy in peril by Davos elites

Gripping story of how the self satisfied elites are duped by their own story and delusions

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here we go again

The Abraaj scandal hasn't attracted half as as much publicity as similar takes of greed and hubris, bit it's every bit as outrageous. This is good, detailed account, with a total evisceration of stakeholder capitalism right at the end of the epilogue. Good stuff.

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What impact had Abraaj?

The Key Man is a riveting account of the meteoric rise and crash of Arif Naqvi, the Pakistani guiding light behind Abraaj, an investment firm that for a time was the darling of the international development and impact investment world. Well researched story by two WSJ reporters, from Davos to the Karachi backstreets, of how Naqvi hoodwinked the global do-good elite with eloquent appeals which masked megalomanic excess and depravation. Alas the real losers are the 3rd world entrepreneurs and small companies who never got funded as a result.

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Excellently written and thought provokingly

Outstanding description of the rise and fall of an Impact Investing superstar. A must read for the Davos crowd + maybe more importantly Davos Wannabees...!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-04-22

Highly recommended

I couldn’t put the book down! Absolutely amazing read, especially if you’re in the industry!

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  • Bradley Shaw
  • 11-10-21

Impact Investing Gone Wrong

This should be seen as a cautionary tale of what can gone wrong in the world of Impact Investing. Incredible story and amazing research. Congrats to all involved in uncovering this mess.