Karim Shariff is the Vice Chairman of Teneo Capital in Dubai.
Mr. Shariff began his professional career at Lehman Brothers, where he spent nine years through 2001 in Lehman Brothers’ Emerging Markets, Global Power, and M&A Groups, having completed over $50 billion in M&A and capital- raising transactions involving companies principally in Asia and South America. During these formative years, Mr. Shariff spent considerable time in China and Thailand, as well as Brazil and Argentina. Partly because of his early emerging markets’ exposure, Mr. Shariff was among the first employees seconded to Lehman’s inaugural effort in India in 1994.
In 2001, Mr. Shariff co-founded, with five of his former Lehman colleagues, Marco Polo Network, currently the largest independent platform for electronic trading of securities listed and traded on emerging market exchanges, whose shareholders include the New York Stock Exchange Group and the International Finance Corporation. Mr. Shariff helped establish and sponsor VITEOS Fund Services, a fund administrator based in Mumbai, now a holding of an affiliate of Credit Suisse’s global prime brokerage business.
In 2005, Mr. Shariff established the Saffron Scholarship Fund, a permanently endowed scholarship fund at Amherst College, whose aim is to improve the access, depth, breadth, and quality of education afforded to Indian students while encouraging them at the outset to return with that newfound knowledge to India and to make an impact.
In November, 2008, Mr. Shariff was held captive for 44 hours at The Oberoi in Mumbai during that city’s terrorist attacks; he was miraculously and daringly rescued by Indian paramilitary troops. He then spent some time thinking about his experiences in India and the Middle East and the misunderstandings that persist. Six months later, Mr. Shariff founded Majlis Investment Management, whose focus is identifying and developing multi-strategy, multi-asset class global investment opportunities alongside substantial private clients across the Middle East, East Africa, and the Sub-Continent.
Born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Mr. Shariff is an American citizen. A fourth generation East African, Mr. Shariff spent his early childhood in a multi-generational household in Tanzania and Kenya. Mr. Shariff holds a B.A. degree from Amherst College, graduating magna cum laude in economics and chemistry. In his graduating class, Mr. Shariff was awarded the Amherst College Economics Prize, in recognition of his undergraduate thesis—an algorithm assessing the effectiveness of IMF-lending programs—subsequently purchased by the World Bank Group. Mr. Shariff also holds an M.A. degree from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University; he arranged to pursue jointly an MPPM from the Yale School of Management where he graduated with distinction in finance.
Mr. Shariff speaks four languages, enjoys photography, creative writing, African art, and plays tennis.