Ghassan Abdul Karim
Founder and CEO
Ghassan Abdul Karim, Founder and CEO of GAK Capital, is a leader in the investment banking and financial services industries. His 30-year career, of which two decades were spent with J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs in various senior Managing Director and regional CEO roles, has focused on strategic advisory, public and private capital raising and investment management.
During his career, Ghassan has developed proven leadership skills and built an intimate knowledge of global markets, with a particular expertise in the MENA region and other new and emerging markets. He has also amassed an extensive client base of key decision makers in the government and corporate sectors, financial institutions and family offices. His product expertise spans mergers and acquisitions (M&A), advisory, debt and equity capital markets (including project, corporate and sovereign financings), asset management, restructuring, governance, commodities and risk management.
Ghassan joined J.P. Morgan for his second stint in 2006 as CEO of the MENA region and was promoted to Chairman of MENA, Turkey and Central Asia in March 2009. He had overall responsibility for J.P. Morgan’s wide range of businesses in those regions. Ghassan’s mandate included Investment Banking, Corporate Banking, Asset & Wealth Management and Treasury & Securities Services. Ghassan left J.P. Morgan to take on an assignment as Group CEO of National Holding in Abu Dhabi in 2012.
Before returning to J.P. Morgan in 2006, Ghassan spent nearly a decade at Goldman Sachs where he was Managing Director and Head of MENA. His responsibilities included Investment Banking (M&A, Capital Markets, Global Markets), FICC (Fixed Income, Currencies, Commodities) and Asset Management.
Prior to his Goldman Sachs tenure, Ghassan served as Vice President in the Investment Banking Division of J.P. Morgan. Previously, Ghassan was Associate Director of Corporate Finance at GE Capital. Before joining GE Capital, Ghassan was a member of the management team of Ford Motor Company in Europe responsible for Treasury Financial Analysis.
Ghassan holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School, a Master of Engineering (Electrical) from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) from the American University of Beirut.
Ghassan possesses a deep knowledge of history, politics, and international relations. He enjoys travelling the world, reading and current affairs.