James Caan
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(formerly Nazam Khan) is a British Asian entrepreneur of Pakistani origin. He is CEO of private equity firm Hamilton Bradshaw and has been building and selling businesses since 1985. In October 2007, Caan joined the panel in the fifth series of BBC Two's Dragons' Den.[1]

Having founded the Alexander Mann Group in 1985, an executive head hunting firm with a turnover of £130m and operations in 50 countries, Caan sold the company in 2002.[2]

Caan also co-founded executive head-hunting firm Humana International with his partner, Doug Bugie, growing the business to over 147 offices across 30 countries from 1993-1999.[3]

In 2001 Caan was awarded the 'BT Enterprise of the Year' award for outstanding success in business and having already been a finalist in 2000 he was named PricewaterhouseCoopers 'Entrepreneur of the Year' 2003. That same year, having successfully graduated from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School, Caan also won the Entrepreneur category in the Asian Jewel Awards.[4]

Setting up London-based Hamilton Bradshaw in 2004, the private equity company specialises in buyouts, venture capital, turnarounds and real estate investments and development opportunities in both the UK and Europe,[4] investing up to £10 million in each individual transaction.

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Career timeline

1985

1992

  • Appointed Jonathan Wright to run the business and stepped back to develop other business interests

1993

  • Co-founded executive headhunting firm Humana International with Doug Bugie, eventually growing the business to over 147 offices in 30 countries
  • Launched trade magazine Recruitment International – sold business in 2000

1996

  • Set up business process outsourcing company AMS with Rosaleen Blair – sold in 2002

1999

  • Sold Humana International to CDI International, a New York listed company. Later in 1999, sold a minority stake in Alexander Mann Group for £25m. Valued the business at £60m to private equity with Advent International

2000

  • Shortlisted for PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Entrepreneur of the Year award

2001

  • Awarded BT Enterprise of the Year award for outstanding success in business

2002

  • Sold Alexander Mann, which at the time had a turnover of £130m and operations in Australia, Europe and Asia

2003

  • Graduated from the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School
  • Named PricewaterhouseCoopers Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Won Entrepreneur of the Year at the Asian Jewel Awards

2004

  • Established London-based private equity firm Hamilton Bradshaw
  • Invested in managed office provider Avanta - sold three years later to private equity company Kenmore

2005

  • Named one of the 100 most influential Asian people in the UK by Asian Power 100, a list compiled by the Institute of Asian Professionals

2006

  • Acquired failing sandwich chain Benjys from administrators Deloitte but soon realised the business couldn’t survive in a flooded market. Handed the company to fellow administrators KPMG in February 2007 but gained from the company’s business locations
  • Set up the James Caan Foundation which is involved in a number of charitable organisations in the UK and abroad.

2007

  • Hamilton Bradshaw bought public and private sector recruitment specialist Eden Brown with revenues at over £180m. The company has already increased profits by 70% through a combination of investment and greater efficiency in the fist 6 months of ownership
  • Sold final economic interest in Alexander Mann Group to Graphite Private Equity in a management buy-out lead by Rosaleen Blair – one of the young entrepreneurs who he backed as a start-up in a £93m buyout
  • Joined the panel of Dragons’ Den judges for the fifth series of the show.

2008

  • Published autobiography The Real Deal with Virgin Books (ISBN: 978-1905264-45-2).
  • Caan appeared on the Channel 5 TV programme, The Wright Stuff, on 13 August, where he mocked the British Royal Family and the traditions of Scotland. He stated that people should not take Prince Charles too seriously because he wears kilts. Caan was holding a copy of a national UK newspaper at the time of his remark, which showed a photo of the Prince wearing a kilt. He said that that Charles was wearing a 'skirt'. The programme was bombarded with telephone calls from the general public, complaining about his ignorance towards British culture and his disrespectful remarks.

Personal

He enjoys skiing, tennis and snooker. Vintage cars are another passion. James gave himself a year off when he turned forty and learnt to fly aeroplanes and helicopters. He also took up sailing while between studies at Harvard Business School.

 

References

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