Our people's local knowledge helps us better understand the markets in which we operate. The team comprises more than 170 investment and operating professionals, all with strong transactional track records and good connections on the ground.
Founder and Group Chief Executive
Arif Naqvi established The Abraaj Group in 2002 and has served as its Group Chief Executive since inception, building it into one of the leading private equity firms in the world. Abraaj is widely recognized as a pioneer of global growth markets private equity with over 20 country offices including 5 regional hubs in Dubai, Istanbul, Mexico City, Nairobi and Singapore. Mr. Naqvi has over three decades of experience of investing in public and private companies and has led the Group’s investment strategy, resulting in some of the most notable private equity transactions across global growth markets over the last decade.
Mr. Naqvi is a Trustee of the Interpol Foundation and is on the Board of the United Nations Global Compact. He is also a Columbia Global Leadership Council member and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art in London.
Mr. Naqvi has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Oslo Business for Peace Award, the highest form of recognition given to individual private sector leaders for fostering peace and stability through business, and the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, a prominent civilian honor awarded by the Government of Pakistan. In 2011, Private Equity International named him as one of the 50 most influential people in the global private equity industry.
In 2008, Mr. Naqvi and his family established the Aman Foundation, the largest private social sector enterprise in Pakistan, which supports sustainable development in healthcare, nutrition and education.
Mr. Naqvi is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Ahmed Badreldin is responsible for and oversees The Abraaj Group’s investments in the Middle East and North Africa.
He joined The Abraaj Group in 2008 after eight years at Barclays Capital in London. Previously, he was with the oilfield services company Baker Hughes.
Mr Badreldin graduated in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration from the American University in Cairo and holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management in the UK.
He serves as Director of Integrated Diagnostics Holdings, Spinneys, Stanford Marine Group, Viking and OMS, and is a Board Member of Endeavor Egypt.
Carsten Jorgensen is a Partner at The Abraaj Group and heads up the firm's Credit Business, as well as the Real Estate Business. He is also a member of the Management Executive Committee at Abraaj.
Prior to joining Abraaj, Mr. Jorgensen was the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of LK Advisers, the MITTAL Family Investment office. He was previously the Head of Investments at IKANO Fund Management, owned by the KAMPRAD family.
Mr. Jorgensen started his career in banking in Denmark before moving to London. He holds a Certification in Business-Economics from the International Business College in Denmark.
Humayun Shahryar is a Partner and heads The Abraaj Group’s Investment Office. He has over 24 years of international experience in investment management, corporate finance, investment banking and business strategy.
Mr. Shahryar has been involved as a principal investor and in an advisory capacity in transactions across a number of sectors including Energy and Infrastructure, Financial Services, Logistics, Aviation, Internet Services, Media, Construction and Real Estate, Tourism and Hospitality and Food and Beverages. He has managed third party and proprietary investments across multiple asset classes including Equities (both public and private), Real Estate, Fixed Income and Commodities.
Before joining Abraaj in 2016, Mr. Shahryar was the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Auvest Group, a private investment and advisory firm which he ran for ten years. Prior to this role, Mr Shahryar was an Executive Director and Head of Direct Investments at Abraaj where he worked from 2002-2006. He was also a member of the Investment Committee and served on the Board of Directors at Abraaj.
Mr Shahryar’s previous roles were at Cupola Group and Mashreq Bank in Dubai and McKinsey & Company, Brisk Securities and Siel Limited in New Delhi. He holds a B.Sc. in Engineering from AMU, Aligarh, India.
Jacob Kholi is a Partner with The Abraaj Group and the regional Chief Investment Officer for Sub‐Saharan Africa. Mr. Kholi is a rotating member of the Firm’s Investment Committee and a member of the Regional Investment Screening Team in Sub‐Saharan Africa.
Mr. Kholi has over 18 years of venture capital and private equity experience, which he gained in West Africa with the CDC Group, Aureos and The Abraaj Group since 1995. Prior to this, Mr. Kholi worked for Shell in Ghana as a Financial and Management Accountant. He has also trained with KPMG in Ghana.
Mr. Kholi holds a MSc. in Finance and Financial Law degree from the University of London, an Executive MBA in International Business from the Paris Graduate School of Management (PGSM) and a BSc. in Administration (Accounting) degree from the University of Ghana Business School. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana.
Mark Bourgeois is Partner, Global Head of Investor Engagement and CEO of Abraaj North America. As Global Head of Investor Engagement for Abraaj, Mr. Bourgeois will spearhead the Group’s global fundraising efforts and client facing strategies. He will also oversee the Group’s interactions with U.S. and Canadian stakeholders as CEO of Abraaj North America.
With more than 25 years of experience in the alternative investments industry, Mr. Bourgeois joins Abraaj from Atlantic-Pacific Capital where he most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer.
Prior to joining Atlantic-Pacific, Mr. Bourgeois was the Global Head of Distribution and the Chief Executive Officer of the Americas for Credit Suisse Asset Management. He has also held senior leadership roles in Lehman Brothers and UBS Private Funds Group. In each case, Mr. Bourgeois was responsible in leading a dedicated team to engage global investors via a solutions based approach.
Miguel Ángel Olea
Miguel Ángel Olea is responsible for the Group's activities in Latin America.
His international experience includes posts as Director of International Finance at Mexico’s Ministry of Finance and as Chief of Staff for the Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs (MFA). During his time with the MFA, Mr Olea reached the rank of Ambassador and was Deputy Chief Negotiator in the group that negotiated Mexico’s accession to the World Trade Organization. From 1991 to 2001, he was one of the two Managing Partners at OPCAP, a private equity fund for SMCs in Mexico City.
Mr Olea holds Master’s degrees in Engineering Management and in Operations Research, both from Stanford University.
Mustafa Abdel‐Wadood is a Partner and Global Head of Private Equity. He is a Board Member of The Abraaj Group, a member of the Firm’s Investment Committee, and a member of the Management Executive Committee.
Mr. Abdel‐Wadood joined The Abraaj Group from EFG‐Hermes, where he was Chief Executive Officer for the UAE and prior to that Head of Investment Banking. Before this, he co‐founded Sigma Capital and served as its Managing Director. Prior to that role, he spent eight years at the Orascom Group as Director of Development and Investments and was a founding Board Member of Orascom Telecom which became a leading publicly-listed emerging markets telecom operator.
Mr. Abdel‐Wadood has served on the Boards of several publicly listed and private companies. In 2002, the World Economic Forum named Mr. Abdel‐Wadood a 'Global Leader for Tomorrow' and in 2007 named him a ‘Young Global Leader’. He is also a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization.
He graduated in Business Administration from American University and holds an MBA from Georgetown University.
Narayanan Rajagopalan is Partner and Chief Financial Officer at The Abraaj Group. He joined the firm in 2005 and has held a number of roles at the Group, including Chief Compliance Officer and Head of Risk.
Prior to joining the Group, Mr Rajagopalan worked for more than 15 years at international and regional companies, including Unilever, Inchcape, Cupola and Dubai Holding, where he held roles in financial management, taxation, governance and corporate planning.
Mr Rajagopalan graduated in Commerce from Calcutta University. He is an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
Omar Lodhi heads Asia for The Abraaj Group, a global growth markets private equity investor with US$9.5 billion under management.
With over 20 years of investing experience, Mr. Lodhi joined Abraaj in 2005 and has since led the Firm's investments into several underlying businesses spanning a wide variety of sectors including consumer downstream, education, healthcare, industrials and oil & gas services.
Prior to joining Abraaj, Mr. Lodhi spent several years with UBS in both Hong Kong and London. He is based out of Singapore and is a graduate of both the London School of Economics and the Harvard Business School.
Saad Zaman is a Partner in the Energy Infrastructure Team based in Dubai.
Prior to joining The Abraaj Group, Mr. Zaman was the Founder CEO of Burj Capital, a Dubai based investment firm with a focus on renewable power, including development of wind and solar power projects in South Asia.
Previously, Mr. Zaman held leading roles at Citi and Dubai Islamic Bank Group (DIBG). At DIBG, Mr. Zaman was CEO of Investment Banking and International Business, where he was responsible for international footprint growth and managed its USD 2 billion investments and private equity platform, which included several asset classes including Power. Mr. Zaman led the establishment of Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan as well as the acquistion of Bank of Khartoum in Sudan. Prior to DIBG, Mr. Zaman headed the Investment Banking Business for the Middle East and Levant at Citigroup based in Dubai. He also served as Managing Director, Citi Islamic Investment Bank. He started his career at ANZ Grindlays Bank in 1991.
Mr. Zaman holds a Bachelors Degree in Finance and Commerce.
Selcuk Yorgancioglu oversees The Abraaj Group’s investments in Turkey and Central Asia. Mr. Yorgancioglu has over 25 years of experience in investment management, corporate finance and investment banking.
Mr. Yorgancioglu led Abraaj in many of the notable private equity transactions in the region such as Abraaj’s acquisition of Fibabanka – one of Turkey’s most prominent banks with a strong focus on commercial, corporate and SME customer segments and Hepsiburada.com – Turkey’s leading e-commerce player. Mr. Yorgancioglu also led Abraaj in exits from Acıbadem Healthcare Group and Acıbadem Insurance.
Mr. Yorgancioglu joined The Abraaj Group in 2008 from Deutsche Bank, where he was the Chief Executive Officer for the operations in Turkey. Prior to that, Mr. Yorgancioglu was a Managing Director for Deutsche Bank’s emerging markets investment banking team in London for seven years. Mr. Yorgancioglu also held senior leadership positions in investment banking with Turkey’s Finansbank Group and ABN AMRO-Rothschilds in Amsterdam and London.
Mr. Yorgancioglu serves as a board member for Endeavor Turkey and he is a World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council member. He is also a member of TUSIAD (Turkish Industry and Business Association).
Mr. Yorgancioglu graduated with a BA in Economics from Istanbul University and holds an MBA in Finance from the University of New Haven.
Sev Vettivetpillai is a Partner and Executive Board Member of The Abraaj Group and Global Head of Thematic Fund Businesses, responsible for the Group’s Healthcare, Real Estate, Energy Infrastructure and Private Credit strategies, as well as leading the efforts on launching new products and strategies for the company.
Mr. Vettivetpillai is one of four permanent members of the Investment Committee responsible for review and approval of all Abraaj investments across the platform. He has more than 25 years of experience within the growth markets private equity arena, with extensive experience in the areas of setting up successfully new teams in new geographies and products, strategic investment management, fundraising, deal structuring, valuation, due diligence and portfolio management.
Mr. Vettivetpillai was the Founder of the Aureos Group, where he held the position of Chief Executive Officer from 2003 until 2012, and Chief Investment Officer from 2001 and built the largest emerging market focused private equity business investing in SMEs. He successfully led the management buy-out in 2009 and subsequently merged the organization with The Abraaj Group in 2012.
In 2013, Sev Vettivetpillai received a Special Recognition Award for Outstanding Leadership in Private Equity Africa, in London. This was an individual award in recognition of his leadership in African private equity.
Mr. Vettivetpillai sits on many boards as an independent/nominee director including the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA).
Prior to joining Aureos, Mr. Vettivetpillai was a Senior Investment Executive at CDC Group plc, London, between 1996-2001.
Mr. Vettivetpillai is a CFA Charter holder and completed a BEng (Hons) in Civil Engineering from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, UK.
Tas Anvaripour is a Partner in the Energy Infrastructure Team.
Prior to joining Abraaj, Ms. Anvaripour was the Chairperson at THEMIS, a project development and transaction advisory company focusing on economic (power and transport), industrial (heavy industries, oil and gas), and social infrastructure projects in the transitioning countries of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Before joining THEMIS, Ms. Anvaripour was the CEO of Africa50, an infrastructure delivery initiative sponsored by the African Development Bank. Prior to this position, as Director of Business Development at the African Development Bank, she led the design, structuring, fund raising and establishment of Africa50 among other initiatives. She was also the Head for Private Infrastructure Finance where she was in charge of African Development Bank’s private sector investments in the Energy, Transport, Water, and ICT sectors.
Ms. Anvaripour honed her deal origination and portfolio management skills at the Asian Development Bank, Manila, Arthur Andersen LLP, New York and PriceWaterHouse Coopers, Chicago.
In 2014, Ms. Anvaripour was decorated as a Commander, National Order of Merit of the Republic of Ivory Coast. She holds a BSc in Finance from Ankara University in Turkey and an MA in Economics and Policy Management from Columbia University, United States.
Tom Speechley is a Partner at The Abraaj Group, a leading private equity investor operating through more than 20 offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Turkey with global hubs in London and New York.
Mr. Speechley joined the Group in 2006 as an Investment Director and since then has been responsible for investments in a number of countries across global growth markets. In addition to overseeing various parts of the Group’s investment activities, Mr. Speechley has previously held membership on the main Board of Abraaj, its Investment Committee and management executive committee. Mr. Speechley has also been responsible for overseeing the creation of new funds and has led the expansion of Abraaj into several new growth markets. In 2012, as Chief Executive Officer of Aureos Capital, Mr. Speechley co-led the integration of Aureos into The Abraaj Group. In 2013, he opened the firm’s New York office from where, as Head of Global Markets, he was responsible for capital raising for the Group globally, a position he held until 2016.
Prior to joining Abraaj, Mr. Speechley had a successful career in law in London and New York and became partner with two leading international law firms based in London.
Mr. Speechley is a member of the Board of Directors of the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA), a Global Board member of Junior Achievement (JA Worldwide), a global organization which invests in young people to help them develop essential workplace skills, and a senior advisor to Endeavor, a global organization dedicated to supporting high impact entrepreneurs across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. Mr. Speechley is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in the United Kingdom, a global network of people committed to enriching society through ideas and action. He is the author of two books on Acquisition Finance and whilst a student at university, Mr. Speechley coded a series of ten educational software programs that were used in the UKs national curriculum.
Mr. Speechley has a First Class Honors degree in Law from the University of Sheffield, UK, where he was a Falconer Prizeman.
Wahid Hamid is a Partner at The Abraaj Group, Member of the Global Investment Committee and Member of the Executive Board at the Firm.
Before joining Abraaj, he was Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development at PepsiCo and a member of the firm’s Executive Management Committee. At PepsiCo, he led close to US$ 5 billion of acquisitions across global growth markets and critical strategy initiatives, including resetting PepsiCo’s strategy in China. He was a Board Member of PepsiCo Americas and CFO of PepsiCo Americas Foods, a US$ 20 billion business segment with operations stretching from Canada to Argentina, and including the Frito-Lay and Quaker brands.
Previously, Mr. Hamid spent 15 years with Boston Consulting Group, where his last role was Senior Partner and Managing Director in New York. During his tenure at BCG, he led the firm’s consumer goods and retail practice across Asia Pacific.
He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Asia Society and various partner company boards, including Fan Milk International.
Waqar Siddique is a Board Member of Abraaj Holdings and serves on various management committees of the Group, including the Executive Committee.
Mr. Siddique is Chairman of the Board of Directors of K-Electric and a Member of the Board of Governors of the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi. He is also a Trustee of the Aman Foundation, a not-for-profit organization established by Arif Naqvi, the Founder and Group Chief Executive of The Abraaj Group. He also represents The Abraaj Group on the Boards of a number of companies including as the Chairman of Stanford Marine Group (SMG).
Mr. Siddique previously served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Cupola Group which concluded a landmark private equity deal when it acquired Inchcape Plc’s marketing interests in the Middle East. Prior to that role, he worked with the Treasury of Mawarid Holding Company, one of the leading business conglomerates based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and PwC in Pakistan as a Senior Consultant.
Mr. Siddique started his career in 1982 after earning his MBA degree and has developed a specialization in Operations, Risk Management and Governance over the last 30 years.