Malik Karim: The refugee fired by Credit Suisse who’s quietly breaking M&A records

Malik Karim: The refugee fired by Credit Suisse who's quietly breaking M&A records
Rise to the top: Malik Karim has gone from refugee to takeover boss Paul Dallimore

The receptionist at the bottom of Tower 42 repeats her instructions for the third time.

“Take the left escalator then the blue lift to 24, get out and turn right for the lift to 32 and then turn right again.” Got it.

The lifts are so fast my ears pop like the champagne corks that must have been going off lately at the offices I’m heading for.

Why the bubbles on the 32nd floor? Because Fenchurch Advisory Partners, the mergers and acquisitions boutique that resides there, has just had a record month, steering its clients through no fewer than six takeover deals.

The most recent was Axa’s high profile sale of its UK pensions and Sunlife protection operations to Phoenix Group.

But don’t feel dumb if you’ve never heard of Fenchurch. While fellow boutiques like Robey Warshaw regularly hit the news with the multi-billion megadeals they advise on, Fenchurch’s 22 dealmakers quietly ply their trade in the mid-sized market, solely for clients in financial services.

His actual wedding was to Azmina, who’s also from an East African family, in 1995. Like Karim, she’s an Ismaili, the branch of Islam that follows the Aga Khan.

They met in an airport queue en route to the inauguration of the Aga Khan University in Pakistan and married a year later.

Ruling this understated power broker is as calm and modest an executive as you’re likely to meet.

He is Malik Karim, one of the most successful Muslims — alongside our new Mayor — that modern London has created.

The office is an elegant, walnut-panelled affair with a long boardroom boasting a spectacular view over the City.

Greeting me, tall Karim beams proudly as he sees me gawp through the glass.

“Not bad, eh?” he says, shaking my hand. “This was the boardroom of Credit Suisse. I started my business here after they fired me.” What? “I was fired by Credit Suisse, and when I heard they were moving out of here shortly afterwards, I moved Fenchurch in.”

Read at the source: Jim Armitage – 10 June 2016 – London Evening Standard

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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