Asif Aziz

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Asif Aziz
Born 1967
Limbe, Malawi
Education Emanuel School, Wandsworth
Alma mater American College, Kensington
Occupation businessman
Employer Criterion Capital
Title CEO

Asif Aziz is a London-based philanthropist and businessman. He is the founder and Chief Executive of Criterion Capital. Born in Malawi in 1967, Aziz moved to London at the age of ten where he acquired his first London property, in the 1980s, whilst still at school. He graduated from the British American College London with a business baccalaureate.

Later he worked for property investment company Morgan Grenfell Laurie before moving back to Angola, Africa in 1993 where he made his fortune through the setting up of two food manufacturing businesses, including Golfrate Angola, which he sold in 2005. That same year he returned to the UK and established Criterion Capital, which acquired the London Trocadero leisure complex and Piccadilly Hotel on Piccadilly Circus in London for £225m. As CEO of Criterion Capital he owns and manages a £2bn property portfolio across London and South East of England,including 15 commercial buildings in the West End of London, the Docklands[1] and Croydon.[2]

The London Trocadero bought by Asif Aziz in 2005

In 2005 The Evening Standard reported that he bought his first property at auction when he was sixteen by lying that he was actually aged 18. He bid £1.9m for building opposite in South Kensington tube station.[3][4]

Through Criterion Aziz has recently unveiled plans to turn the Trocadero into a 500 room pod hotel.[5] This year plans were also unveiled to open a TK Maxx retail store on the Trocadero site,[6] though the media are reporting there may be opposition from The Crown Estate.[7][8][9]

Reputed to Britain's seventh richest Muslim in the UK.[10] The Daily Telegraph ranked Asif Aziz as number 12 out of 40 in its list of successful entrepreneurs.[11]

Aziz has a number of charitable interests including supporting the Thokomala project in South Africa, which looks after orphans from the AIDS epidemic and supporting the Mosaic Future primary school mentoring programme through Criterion Capital. Seeing is Believing (organization), an charity that helps sight restorations as well as helping to prevent other causes of preventable blindness. Camfed the international organisation dedicated to eradicating poverty in Africa through the education of girls and the empowerment of young women. Unicef the international aid agency. The Olive Tree – a scholarship scheme aims to support outstanding young Palestinians and Israelis during their degree studies. The Next Step Diversity Mark – is a means for organisations to demonstrate their commitment to generating and supporting diversity at all levels.