Azeem İbrahim, born in the city of Glasgow in Scotland, was inaugurated onto The Sunday Times Scots’ Rich List at the age of just 31.
He is a Research Professor at the Strategic Studies Institute and a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Global Policy in Washington. He completed his PhD from the University of Cambridge and served as an International Security Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, World Fellow at Yale and a Rothermere Fellow at the University of Oxford. He also sits on the Board of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence at the Department of War Studies at Kings College London University and was ranked as a Top 100 Global Thinker by the European Social Think Tank in 2010 and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
Identifying himself as an “English Muslim”, Ibrahim marks that he feels at home when he lands at the airport in England. He also states that Muslims should integrate to the society they live in and try to be beneficial for their society.
It all began in 1997, when Azeem launched his own IT consultancy. In 2001, he began a similar but larger operation in Europe. Three years later, he set up his own insurance corporation focusing on the niche maritime-transportation market.
Later in 2004, Azeem established the European Commerce and Mercantile Bank, a private offshore concern specializing in accounts for commodity traders. Valued at over $100m by independent auditors, the bank has offices in Sweden and Dubai’s Emirates Tower.
Ibrahim has an M.B.A. from the University of Wales, an M.Sc. (Econ) in strategic studies from the University of Aberystwyth, and he is currently reading for a Ph.D. in geopolitical strategy from the University of Cambridge. He states that he never watches TV and gets up as early as 4 am in the morning, studies for 3 hours everyday and then focuses on his other jobs for the rest of the day.
Much of Azeem’s time is now devoted to his own charities. The Benevolence Fund sponsors high-achieving Bosnian students onto postgraduate education in Europe, which they use to rebuild their communities. In developing countries, PURIFI aims to provide clean drinking water. His charitable works also include the development and management of an Asia – Pacific orphanage in Bangladesh for 500 orphaned children.