To the British authorities in colonial Bahrain, Hussain Najadi was a rebel, a dangerous student activist and trouble-maker leading the agitation for independence. Today, he is Chairman and CEO of the AIAK Group, a corporate and advisory firm based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – and he still has that rebellious streak. Throughout a four-decade career of sensational highs and lows in global finance, sales and business, he has never abandoned his commitment to social justice and the human side of capitalism.
Best known for having founded, in 1975, Arab Malaysian Banking (AmBank), currently Malaysia’s fifth-largest banking group, he is also the founding strategic adviser to number of commercial and investment banks in Malaysia. He has pioneered numerous other business links between the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Europe, in whose diverse cultures and languages he is equally at home.
A lecturer and essayist, Mr. Najadi is a frequent speaker at conferences and forums. He founded and served as director of the Euro-Asian Center at the prestigious INSEAD business school at Fontainebleau, France (1977-85), while also chairing the initial gathering of developing countries at the Davos Economic Symposium (World Economic Forum), Switzerland.