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56. Jahm Najafi

jahm najafi
Age 59
Occupation Chairman, The Najafi Companies
Nationality Iranian/American
Position Last Year New

Jahm Najafi is an experienced investor who is instrumental in developing founders and management. In his 30-year career, he has bought more than 30 businesses, many of which were in underserved areas or changing quickly.

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He is the CEO and owner of Najafi Companies, an international private investment firm with holdings in sports, media, technology, consumer, and real estate sectors across several countries. With internally generated capital, the firm makes highly selective investments in companies with solid management teams. Additionally, Najafi serves as Vice Chairman for the Phoenix Suns, Vice Chairman of McLaren Racing, and Governor on the board of the National Basketball Association.

Najafi’s personal story has inspired him to be active in the community: at age 12, he immigrated to the U.S. from Iran without speaking English and learned by watching a lot of T.V. – including the NBA finals (especially the Suns against the Celtics in 1976).

Today, he is a Director on the Smithsonian Institution National Board. He has served on several philanthropic boards and civic organizations, including the University of California – Berkeley Foundation Board, Phoenix Symphony, Phoenix Metropolitan Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Phoenix Country Day School, and Arizona State University’s Committee for Design Excellence.

He founded Social Venture Partners Arizona (a pooled philanthropic fund). Najafi has also formed Mission Advancement (a SPAC committed to acquiring a company that shares his commitment to diversity and equity) and, separately, together with his wife, Cheryl, has committed $10 million to the NBA Foundation to further the Foundation’s mission to drive economic empowerment for Black communities through employment and career advancement.

Najafi received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master in Business Economics from Harvard University. He is active with the Chief Executive and Young Presidents’ Organizations Gold.

McLaren Group announced today that it had signed a deal to attract significant new long-term investment into McLaren Racing led by MSP Sports Capital, the US-based sports investment group, to help drive its plan to return to the top in Formula 1 and continue its growth as a global sports franchise. MSP is co-investing with its strategic partners UBS O’Connor, LLC. and The Najafi Companies.

Jahm Najafi commented on his McLaren investment:

As a partner in MSP, I am delighted that The Najafi Companies has significantly increased our support of MSP and its investment in McLaren. This investment reflects the strength of our relationship, as well as the confidence we have in the McLaren Racing team platform. I am delighted to accept the role of vice-chairman and look forward to contributing to the growth and success of McLaren Racing.

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