Founder, Executive Chairman
Mr. Michael began his career at CIBC World Markets, in Toronto, where he established and successfully managed the firm’s first commodity and foreign exchange proprietary trading desk. Subsequently, he held senior commodity and foreign exchange trading positions at Lehman Brothers, Standard Bank and Graham Capital Management. More recently, Mr. Michael acted as Chairman and CEO of a DIFC based investment banking firm. Mr. Michael has successfully founded and managed both investment firms and traditional companies. Mr. Michael holds an Honors in Business Administration (HBA) degree from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario.
Founder, Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Shahin has 25+ years experience in the global physical and financial precious metals markets. He began his career at CIBC World markets in Toronto on the spot gold desk before moving to Republic National Bank (RNB) in New York as Chief Dealer; at the time, RNB had the largest gold desk in the world. Mr. Shahin then held a similar position at Lehman Brothers in New York prior to joining Rudolf Wolff and Co, in London, a founding member of the London Metal Exchange. In 2000, Mr. Shahin moved to Dubai with ARY Traders where his strong governance polices, risk management programs and hedging/trading strategies enabled ARY to become one of the major physical gold trading firms in the region. Mr. Shahin served on the DMCC Gold Advisory Board, 2002-2007; and holds a BSc. in Civil Engineering from University of Texas at Austin.
Mark Olson, CPA, CA, CFA
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Olson began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a premier global services provider. In 2002, he joined Bank of Bermuda, a subsidiary of HSBC servicing a variety of clients in the hedge fund industry. In 2006, Mr. Olson returned to Canada to manage the corporate reporting for Zi Corporation and Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners LP., publicly traded companies engaged in the software and renewable energy sectors. In addition, Mr. Olson has worked on a number of consulting engagements in the hedge fund and technology sectors. Mr. Olson has received the designations of Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst.
Founding Partner (Asia)
Mr. King is a 25+ year veteran of the real estate industry with over 10 years of corporate finance and financial engineering experience. Mr. King began his career in real estate brokerage in the U.S. before returning to China in 2003 to advise Lehman Brothers on its first real estate development project in Shanghai. In 2005, he joined Willie International where he became a Managing Director and led numerous M&A transactions. Mr. King also served as an independent director for Glory Future Group and assisted with the takeover of Tack Fat Holdings where he served as Executive Director. Mr. King holds a B.A. Economics from Santa Clara University and M.S. International Finance from the University of San Francisco.
Founding Partner (UAE)
Mr. Zaman has over 30 years of experience in the international banking industry. He began his career at ANZ Grindlays Bank (now merged with Standard Chartered Bank) and held various senior-level positions at Bank of Credit & Commerce International (BCCI), RAK Bank, Mashreq Bank and Finance House. While at Mashreq Bank, Mr. Zaman pioneered bank financing for the UAE jewelry trade. In 2006, Mr. Zaman joined Damas Jewellery as CEO where he lead the company’s IPO and gained further insight into the jewelry and bullion trade in the Gulf. Mr. Zaman later joined Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank as the Head of Corporate Credit and most recently oversaw the bank’s credit risk management.
Managing Partner (Mauritania)
Mr. Sarabi has over 30 years of experience in management, financial services, investments and consulting. Mr. Sarabi worked extensively in Kuwait, Jordan, Oman, the UAE and Syria, with over 15 years of experience in the financial markets sector. Mr. Sarabi established financial services companies in Dubai, Amman and Damascus on behalf of IFA Financial Services of Kuwait with a combined start-up capital of USD $21 million. Mr. Sarabi also has experience in governmental and economic development projects, and served as deputy project manager for the creation of the Dubai Financial Market ( DFM) and the Emirates Clearing Company. Mr. Sarabi holds a B.S. in Marketing and Finance from Kuwait University and an MBA from Husson University in Maine.
Managing Partner (Brazil)
Mr. Calazans began his career at ABB where he managed projects for the biggest power plants in Latin America. Later, Mr. Calazans launched his own business allowing him to develop a solid network in Europe, Far East and the Americas and was involved in many M&A projects, export deals and financial structures for large corporations in numerous industries. Mr. Calazans is a director at Confederated Aviation, an aviation freight company which will link Brazil with Europe and the Middle East. As CEO of Gryphon Consulting, he closed million-dollar contracts for major Brazilian corporations to reduce their tax implications. Mr. Calazans holds a degree in electrical engineering from Mackenzie University in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Managing Partner (Canada)
Mr. Biniaris is a Toronto based 25-year veteran of Canada’s institutional derivatives marketplace and alternative asset management industry. Mr. Biniaris began his career with Dean Witter Reynolds prior to joining REFCO Futures where he was head trader of Canada’s largest institutional futures trading operation that included the amalgamation of Goldman Sach’s Canadian futures business. He has extensive market knowledge of commodity and interest rate futures, along with 12 years of experience in alternative investments focusing on unique derivatives based strategies. Mr. Biniaris holds a B.A. Economics from McGill University.
Global Head of Client Services
Mr. Courtright is a 20-year veteran of the financial services industry. He began his career at Accenture, a global management consulting and technology services company, as a Senior Program Manager. Mr. Courtright then joined St. Croix Asset Management as a Principal responsible for domestic and international hedge fund operations. Most recently, Mr. Courtright was President of a commodity pool operator/commodity trading advisor firm and President of a registered investment advisor firm. He has launched several investment funds including a gold bullion fund and a gold/silver mutual fund.
Global Head of Technical Services
Mr. Alasmar began his career in the gold jewelry industry in Kuwait 30+ years ago after completing his metallurgical studies in Spain. Mr. Alasmar has extensive technical and regional experience in the gold trade developed while working in several middle-eastern countries. In 2000, Mr. Alasmar joined ARY Gold Testing Laboratory as Co–Founder and Chief Technician. Mr. Alasmar is an expert on regional regulations and legal requirements for establishing gold testing laboratories. He has set-up and operated the first ISO 9001 certified laboratory in Dubai.
Business Development Manager
Mr. Prior began his career with Swiss Bank Corporation structuring and syndicating international credits. In 1986, he joined Nederlandsche Middenstands Bank (now ING Group), where he worked on portfolio restructurings for major European banks. In 1988, Mr. Prior moved to Sao Paulo to establish NMB’s debt trading desk in Brazil. He later joined ING Capital to run the emerging markets fixed income trading group. Mr. Prior also has experience raising capital for emerging asset management companies. In 2000, Mr. Prior moved to Dubai where he managed several family businesses and provided business development assistance to a newly established commodities fund.