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Simon Clark on Investigating the Key Man and a Billion Dollar Fraud

In this OODAcast, we talk with Simon Clark. Simon a British journalist and writer. He previously worked at the Wall Street Journal. His investigative reporting has led him to the poppy fields of Afghanistan, the copper mines of Congo and to many banks in the City of London. He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2016.

Simon is the author of the “The Key Man: The True Story of How the Global Elite Was Duped by a Capitalist Fairy Tale “. The book tells the story of Arif Naqvi and his Dubai-based private-equity firm Abraaj and how he attracted  billions of dollars in investment and shared the stage and social scene with the world’s global elite in what would become one of the most audacious large scale frauds of recent times. The book also made my Top 10 Security, Technology, and Business book list for 2021.

We discuss the rise and fall of Arif and specifically look at the tragedy of root causes that shifted Abraaj from the beacon of emerging economy investments to a shell game of alleged deep investor fraud. We also spend time discussing why Arif was able to attract so much attention and the role transparency could have played in discovering the fraud sooner.

Podcast Version:


Simon’s Book:

The Key Man: The True Story of How the Global Elite Was Duped by a Capitalist Fairy Tale

Book recommendation:
Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty

Matt Devost

Matt Devost

Matthew G. Devost is the CEO & Co-Founder of OODA LLC. Matt is a technologist, entrepreneur, and international security expert specializing in counterterrorism, critical infrastructure protection, intelligence, risk management and cyber-security issues. Matt co-founded the cyber security consultancy FusionX from 2010-2017. Matt was President & CEO of the Terrorism Research Center/Total Intel from 1996-2009. For a full bio, please see