Born – February 4th, 1969 (age 46), Karachi, Pakistan
Education – BSc Industrial and Business Economics (LSE), MA English Literature (King’s College London), MSc Development Studies (LSE)
Occupation – Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Author, Investor and Film Producer
Muzaffar Khan is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, author, investor and film producer. Khan enjoyed a successful career in the financial sector, which culminated in his role as Senior Strategist at Moore Capital Management LLC one of the largest and most successful hedge funds in the world. Khan retired in 2003 to become the Vice Chairman of ACOPS, an international environmental charity and consultant to the Man Environmental Capital Opportunities (Man ECO)division of Man Group, a British alternative investment management business with over $75 billion under management. Early in his career, he worked in private banking at Citibank and then as a foreign exchange trader at Barclays Capital. The main focus of his current work is Alchemy Ventures, a social enterprise he founded in 2004. The mission of the organization is to increase social mobility and reduce aspirational poverty in the world’s youth. Khan spends the majority of his time mentoring young people and touring universities around the world as a guest lecturer. His area of expertise is helping students start and build successful careers. His mentorship philosophy is encapsulated by ‘Racing Towards Excellence’, a book he co-authored with one of his mentees, Jan Sramek. He frequently acts as an advisor and strategic consultant to corporations and governmental organization as well as a success coach to a range of individuals, both in terms of their profession and age group. All his current income funds his non-for-profit work with his mentees. Apart from mentorship, he is passionate about the environment and is considered to be one of the word’s leading experts on carbon credits trading. He strongly believes that only with the involvement of the private sector will the global emissions problem get solved.
Early Life and Education
Khan grew up in London, attending Dulwich College, a private school for boys from the age of 12. He was the School Prefect, an avid horseback rider and played rugby for the school. He graduated in 1987 with a distinction in English. In 1991, he graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) with a Bachelors of Science degree in Industrial and Business Economics. In 1992, he completed his first Masters degree, graduating from King’s College London with an MA in English Literature. In 2007, he completed his second Master’s degree, graduating from the LSE with an MSc in Development Studies.
Khan’s career in the financial sector started with an internship in the international private banking division of Citigroup where he covered Middle East and Africa. He went on to work for Barclays Capital as an Emerging Market FX trader. He also spent some time working as a consultant to the English Trust Company Ltd, advising the director of the Asia division on economic and political issues in Asia, helping assess their impact on corporate finance deals that the division worked on in the Asia region.
In 1998 Khan joined the Moore Capital Management’s Emerging Market Division (MEM), quickly becoming the team’s senior strategist. The MEM portfolio team was one of the most profitable at Moore Capital Management, one of the largest hedge fund groups of the world. During his time at MEM, Khan devised many highly profitable strategies for the portfolio manager, Marc Cheval. The team was primarily focused on macro strategies. Over Khan’s five year tenure, the team enjoyed double digit returns every year. Assets under management grew from $250 million when Khan joined to $1 billion when he retired. In addition to his role as strategist, Khan monitored the overall risk of the portfolio.
Following his retirement from Moore Capital, Khan became the Vice-Chairman of ACOPS, an international environmental charity. At the time ACOPS had just received a $30 million grant to address the environmental challenges in the Russian arctic. His role consisted of policy setting, strategic direction, participation in all major executive decisions and all communication with international organizations and heads of state. After leaving this role he became a consultant to Man Global Securities and subsequently Man ECO, which is part of the Man Group of companies. Khan’s contributions included advising on a strategy to increase emerging market exposure and identifying companies the group could focus on that manage capital through trading in emission credits or have operations designed to generate emission credits under the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
In 2009 Khan co-authored a book called Racing Towards Excellence with his mentee Jan Sramek, a Goldman Sachs emerging markets trader. The foreword for the book is written by Sir Howard Davies. Sir Howard Davies is an independent director at Morgan Stanley and chairs the bank’s Risk Committee. He was the Director of the LSE (2003-2011), served as Chairman of the UK Financial Services Authority (1997-2003) and was the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England (1995-1997). Proceeds from Racing Towards Excellence book sales originally funded the non-profit website Oxbridge Admissions Info, which provides advice to students looking to apply to Oxford and Cambridge Universities. It has been used by over 100,000 students. Currently Khan uses his share of the royalties to fund his pro bono mentoring work with university students. About ‘Racing Towards Excellence’Racing Towards Excellence takes a pragmatic approach to outperformance and seeks to bridge the gap between school, university and employment by deconstructing the things that drive an individual. By considering a person’s analytical and esoteric driving forces in a well defined and intuitive framework, the book provides the tools that one needs to analyze one’s own behavior and uses the areas in which the person excels to nurture the areas in which the person wants to improve. In demystifying the interrelationship between the abstract and esoteric driving forces and the day-to-day habits that make up our lives, Khan and Sramek show how reconciling success and happiness is the key to outperformance and, more importantly, give the individual the tools they need to achieve it. Excerpt from the book ‘Inspiring people creates consistent outperformance. Inspiration can only come from the frontal lobe, the center of our advanced intelligence. Contrasting with motivation, inspiration is about seeing things with an open mind and working to discover what you love.’
Mentorship, Philanthropy and Public Speaking
Khan is passionate about developing talent, having directly mentored hundreds of students over the last two decades. His first two mentees were his younger brothers for whom he was a custodian while they were at boarding school in England. From the age of 25 he successfully helped them outperform in school and eventually got both of his siblings into top UK universities, a process during which he discovered his love for mentorship. After retiring from finance, Khan took a trip to Tibet and studied a range of eastern practices and philosophies, which help him with his work and inspire his unique teaching approach. He has devoted himself to coaching since he returned from Tibet, believing his true calling to be helping young people, who for whatever reason have the capacity to achieve yet are not fulfilling their potential.
After retiring from Moore Capital, Khan devoted himself to his lifelong passion of mentorship and in 2004 founded Alchemy Ventures Ltd, a social enterprise with a mission to increase social mobility and reduce aspirational poverty in the world’s youth. He remains the Managing Director and majority holder of the enterprise. Khan has been involved in a range of initiatives to improve access to top UK universities for underprivileged students. Longer term, his goal is to extend such programmes to working with companies to provide internships for students with non-traditional backgrounds. Since 2006 Khan has toured top schools and universities across the world delivering lectures on outperformance and career progression to students. His week to two week long programs are structured as a series of lectures followed by one-on-one CV sessions with students. To date he has helped over 1,000 students secure a summer internship or full-time graduate offer. Alchemy Ventures funds Khan’s lecture tours in schools and universities across the world.
Khan’s personal philosophy is that there has to be a symbiosis with the wealthiest portion of the population and the origins of their wealth. He is focused on cultivating a sense of moral responsibility in his mentees, so that they can contribute to creating a world with fair rules, integrity and mutual benefit. Apart from helping his mentees outperform in their own lives, Khan instils a sense for social entrepreneurship in them. He strikes a deal with each whereby they must launch pro social projects in order to pay forward the help they have received from him.
Between 2009 and 2012, Khan was principal and board member at Space Energy AG, a company seeking to harness the power of a new source of renewable energy – space solar power. Space Energy was focused on developing space-based solar power satellites that generate and transmit electricity to the Earth’s surface. Space Energy also develops surface-based solar farms across the world. The company was based in USA, China, Canada, Switzerland and UAE.
Most recently Khan has become involved in film production after working with several mentees in the industry. To date he has acted as an executive producer on ‘Is This Free?’ a British short comedy completed in 2011. The theme of the film was how remarkable situations can be created from a most unremarkable question.