CFI.co Meets the Chairman of Farazad, Investments, Inc.: Korosh Farazad
It is not often one finds the words banking and ethics in the same sentence. However, ethics is a core value and a founding principle for Farazad Investments Inc (FII). The founder and Chairman of the company, Korosh Farazad, adheres to strict market integrity and deploys an unconventional approach to structured financing.
This unique approach has been at the forefront of the firm’s success. It also paved the way for international recognition from regulatory bodies that now actively seek out Mr Farazad’s expertise. Regulatory compliance is a necessity that should be adopted by all reputable firms. KYC (Know Your Customer) checks and anti-money laundering practices are all common terminology firmly incorporated into today’s business language. This has had a positive impact on business transactions as it enables lenders to identify the end receiver and avoiding the bad practices common in the past.
FII fully supports regulated practices and complies with all the guidelines issued by regulatory bodies, thus ensuring that all transactions are likewise fully compliant. Internal due diligence on all transactions is conducted as a matter of course, along with comprehensive KYC checks.
It was back in the early nineties that Mr Farazad started his first job as an investment banker for a small cap IPO company, based in New York and with subsidiary offices in Maryland. He was an ambitious stock broker trainee, learning from the giants in the market and watching them rise and fall, like a bad trading day on Wall Street. Mr Farazad took an immediate interest in gaining a deeper understanding of the markets. After several years working the US markets, he had both the confidence and skillset to take a chance on his own. In 1996, Mr Farazad founded Farazad Oil Company Inc. and initiated his focus on the financing of oil wells in Mississippi and Louisiana.
This first step and venture into the world of business soon led to the expansion of operations. Key relations were developed with the world’s leading financial institutions and global oil suppliers. The business diversified concentrating on the buying and selling of prime bank instruments.
Mr Farazad’s unrivalled knowledge of international banking catapulted the core of the business and led to the foundation of Farazad Investments Inc. FII’s key activity was to facilitate medium to large scale structured finance plans for major corporations. Mr Farazad’s ethical approach and sound reputation resulted in solid relations with heads of states and senior officials within governments. FII currently operates across five continents, with a presence in the United States, Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Australia. The firm boasts an ever-expanding portfolio and has new and innovative funding ventures in the pipeline.
It is Mr Farazad’s transparent approach to financing and his creative business philosophy which introduced an award winning in-house financing formula. This approach has been widely praised by international institutions wanting to adopt the formula to enhance their traditional funding methodology.
The 2008 world crisis severely impacted on structured funding as the lending markets were crippled. The effects of this crisis linger on, even today. FII certainly encountered challenges during these turbulent times. The survival of the firm required a redirection to seek out new partners with the financial capability, and the understanding, to invest in profitable ventures. Mr Farazad was fortunate to be introduced to prominent family offices that not only evidenced the funds but also the risk appetite to invest Worldwide.
FII’s capability in the lending market strengthened with access not only to regulated funding houses but also to the private family offices that often demonstrated a willingness to compete in the market. FII’s survival during these difficult times depended on Mr Farazad’s ability to both diversify and establish a secure platform by adapting the traditional mechanics of conventional financing to the conditions prevalent in a volatile market.
Over the last eight years, FII has successfully assisted in advising and structuring projects with funding requirements totalling more than $2.1bn. For 2014, it is projected that the total combined funding in the pipeline exceeds $3bn. FII’s operations in Australia will take lead and attract Worldwide accreditation for a fresh new concept in financing.
Mr Farazad’s vision for the future of banking is optimistic. He can identify opportunities aplenty in emerging markets and sees clear signs of solid recovery. Mr Farazad considers that the increases in both GDP and FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) to be experienced by emerging markets may soon challenge those registered in more developed countries.