Assaad Razzouk, CEO of Sindicatum
His family and childhood are a little mysterious (I couldn’t find anything much) but thanks to his Linkedin profile and his self-adverisment on various company websites, we can say that Assaad Razzouk was born in Beirut in 1964, and graduated from both Syracuse University and Columbia Business School. By the age of 27 he was advising the Indonesian Government on privatising public utilities. By his mid 30’s he was handling multi-billion-dollar investments for Nomura International. Today his company Sindicatum is based in London and he is one of the most influential figures in the world of renewable energy’ – wherever there is money to be made.
I’ll go out on a limb here and speculate that perhaps Assaad Razzouk was not the son of a penniless street sweeper. By the age of 35 this guy had pretty much mastered the the universe of international corporate Finance – maybe he’s simply a genius ? – but common sense tells you he’s well connected in the way that most of us never were and never will be.
In 2002, Assad founded his own global investment operation, where he was joined by the equally remarkable Bob Driscoll.
Bob Driscoll, President of Sindicatum
Bob Driscoll is from Texas. Like Assaad, he graduated twice – first in Latin American Studies and then in International Economics and Politics from Texas University. After ten years on the board of the Council of the Americas, he began a career in business, operating at the very highest level. By the 1980’s Bob Driscoll was brokering billion-dollar deals with heads of state and managing enormous investments for corporate and financial groups in the energy business.
If Assaad was special, Bob was something else again.
For example, we all know it’s not easy finding a job straight out of College. Well, it took Bob several days before he landed one – as a Vice President at the Council of the Americas, in Park Lane, New York City. Not bad for a first try, right kids?
Now there are a couple of things that need to be said about the Council Of the Americas. First off, The COA is basically the CIA with a smiley face and a chequebook – this is not a secret.
The COA has a sister organisation the SOA – the School of the Americas- which is widely acknowledged to be the CIA with a gun in one hand and a knife in the other.
The COA was founded by David Rockefeller in 1965 and today it’s ‘Chairman Emeritus’ is none other than the infamous John Negroponte – the Security State operative remembered for running the most infamous CIA campaign of bribery, torture and murder in Latin American history.
So back in 1973 Bob was flying pretty high. He stayed ten years with the COA (although it’s the kind of organisation you never really ‘leave’…). This was -in Bob’s universe- a decade of unending violence, revolution and miltary coups.
In 1983 having had one job in his life, Bob emerged from the murky world of Latin American business & politics to become a ‘senior international negotiator’, brokering massive deals in the very same countries the CIA had spent the last ten years subverting.
Now I’m not saying Bob is actually a bought and paid for career CIA man – maybe he was just an innocent college boy who got very, very lucky. But even if that’s the case, then lucky Bob spent his entire life sitting at tables next to people who were CIA, staying in the same hotels, flying first class on the same planes etc etc. And lots of the companies he worked for are – coincidentally – notorious CIA front companies – USAID, ASEAN business council etc. Again, these are not state secrets – you can read this stuff on the financial pages.
In the end, Bob clinched an enormous energy deal with the notoriously corrupt government of the Philippines before hooking up with Assad Razzouk to launch Meteo Systems.