KARACHI: Arif Naqvi, Founder and Group Chief Executive of The Abraaj Group, has received the 2013 Oslo Business for Peace Award at a ceremony in the Oslo City Hall, Norway.
Mr Naqvi is the first Pakistani national and the first Chief Executive from the global private equity industry to receive this award. The award was presented to Mr Naqvi by the Governing Mayor of Oslo, Stian Berger Rosland, and the Chairman of the Business for Peace Foundation, Per L Saxegaard.
The Oslo Business for Peace Award is one of the highest forms of recognition given to global business leaders for fostering peace and stability through creating shared values between business and society.
The search for honourees is a joint effort undertaken between the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oslo-based Business for Peace Foundation. The 2013 Award Committee consists of Nobel Peace or Economics Prize Laureates: Professor Muhammad Yunus, winner of the Nobel prize in Peace in 2006; and Professor Michael A. Spence, winner of the Nobel prize in economics in 2001. Mr Naqvi has been chosen as an honouree because of his work in promoting a stakeholder culture and his strong conviction that the relationship between business and society - just like the relationship between business and finance - should be both mutually beneficial and value accretive.
On receiving the award, Mr Naqvi said: “It is an honour to have been chosen as a recipient of this award. Previous honourees, as well as this year’s recipients, include global leaders in responsible, sustainable and ethical business practices and I am humbled to be amongst their company and to share in their achievements.
“We all have a duty to conduct and manage our businesses to the highest possible standards. My colleagues and I have always believed that a sustainable investment approach focusing on stakeholders as well as shareholders can create social benefits alongside strong financial returns. Engaging with communities is a core part of our approach when investing in growth markets as many outcomes depend on collaboration between multiple stakeholders - specifically business, government and civil society.”
The Abraaj Group is a leading investor operating in the growth markets of Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Turkey and Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. The Group currently manages $7.5 billion across 25 sector and country-specific Funds encompassing private equity (majority and significant minority investments with ticket sizes of between $10 million to $100 million) and real estate (primarily yield-generating) investments.
The Abraaj Group is committed to the highest environmental, stakeholder engagement and corporate governance standards and is a signatory of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment and the United Nations Global Compact. Arif Naqvi was appointed to the United Nations Global Compact Board by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2012. In 2008, Mr Naqvi and his family established the Aman Foundation, a social sector enterprise in Pakistan, which supports sustainable development in healthcare, nutrition and education.
Over and above its own proprietary initiatives in the field of education for employment and entrepreneurship, The Abraaj Group also supports best in class organisations focused on job creation and community engagement. The Group allocates 5 percent of its net management fee and 5 days of volunteer time per employee to these initiatives and has over the last three years contributed over 8,000 volunteering hours.