Cover art for The Key Man
Penguin, October 2021
Softcover, 352 pages
23.4cm × 15.3cm × 2.5cm

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

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Two Wall Street Journal reporters expose 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 a man with immeasurable dreams- to end world suffering, poverty and disease. His vision- capitalism for good; profit and progress.

Naqvi was The Key Man to the global elite searching for impact investments - that would make money and do good - in what they called 'emerging markets'. He persuaded Western governments that he could help stabilise the Middle East after 9/11 by providing jobs and trade. When China rejuvenated the ancient Silk Road trading routes, Naqvi guided executives to business opportunities in cities they struggled to find on the map. He teamed up with Bill Gates to create a $1 billion dollar fund to improve healthcare in poor countries, managed huge sums for the American, British and French governments and sat on boards at the UN and Interpol. As the pope blessed the movement to harness capitalism for the good of the poor, Naqvi won the support of Obama's administration and Prince Charles. He was even earmarked by Western academics as a future leader of his homeland, Pakistan. One of his investors compared him to Tom Cruise in Mission- Impossible.

The only problem? In 2019 Arif Naqvi was arrested on charges of fraud and racketeering and faces up to 291 years in jail.

This is the true story of the fascinating investigation into the smoke and mirrors world of Arif Naqvi by Wall Street Journal reporters Simon Clark and Will Louch. Months after they exposed the alleged fraud in 2018, the British police arrested Naqvi as he stepped off a plane at Heathrow Airport and charged him with money laundering and misappropriating hundreds of millions of dollars. In this jaw-dropping account, they expose the alleged fraud at the core of Naqvi's global operation and offer a window into the secretive world of investing and the Davos elite, a world populated by powerful leaders and billionaires who talk publicly about making the world a better place.

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