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For Shawn D. Baldwin, the concept of diversification means going global.

In 2006, the
Chairman of the investment banking and investment management firm, Capital Management
Group went East—the Middle East to be exact in search of expanding markets and lucrative
structuring and advisory work.

Baldwin views diversity as a global perspective he warns other to be wary of. Baldwin decided and was only going to become more liquid in
and decided that he needed to expand beyond he wanted to be in an arena that wouldn’t be the future. I made the decision that CMG was

the IPO investment banking business he built crowded with animosity or “bias.” going to be there.”

RIGHT in the U.S. capital markets and go abroad

— much like his business idol, the late Reginald
F. Lewis. We first featured Capital Management
So in search of opportunity Baldwin who
went to Doha, Qatar for an invite-only special
Baldwin also made two other assumptions:
he figured that the 15 hour plane ride and
Group (CMG) in 2002 and honored Baldwin at forum created by Steve Forbes on his birthday, cultural differences were going to be more
the NV Awards for his entrepreneurship. February the 26th. It was in Doha that Forbes than his fellow investment bankers would be
introduced Baldwin to the Emir (King) of Qatar willing to bear and that the combination of the
In less than four years, CMG underwrote along with his wife, Sheikha Mozah and one of two hurdles would give him a significant early
an astounding $63 billion dollars in 72 IPO their daughters. Baldwin struck an emotional mover advantage.
transactions for companies such as General chord with the Emir when he stated that Qatar
SHAWN BALDWIN HEADS EAST— Electric, Citigroup, Google and the New York should have its’ own conferences and that the Baldwin then set out to do what he did with
WORDS: ANNA OWENS THE MIDDLE EAST Stock Exchange right alongside with seasoned focus should be Qatari nationalism and repa- his U.S. investment bank — meet all of the
investment banks Goldman Sachs, Morgan triation of capital. respective players, forge new relationships
Stanley and Lazard. In the Google offering and arm the team with those relationships. He
CMG was twice as large as Lazard and nearly The Emir then challenged him on the spot to do then indoctrinated his team with a new focus:
three times larger than Deutsche Bank. “The something, and not be one of the many bank- Islamic Finance. The CMG transaction team
velocity of new issue equity was astounding ers coming to sell deals to the Qatari nationals began reading and researching every Islamic
for the period, the markets were moving at an and then after a few weeks stay in the luxurious finance transaction and compiling reports
unsustainable pace,” says Baldwin. “We were Four Seasons depart back to points abroad with from both capital markets and legal perspec-
doing every deal we could because I knew Qatari cash following by wire. A fast mover by tives. Baldwin then decided to augment his
that the eventually the business would fall off nature, Baldwin saw an opportunity and decid- knowledge base. So he began and completed
dramatically in the industry. I spent so much ed to grab it. Baldwin under the Emir’s advice a master’s in financial strategy with his thesis
time on planes and I was on the go so much I decided that he would host an international focus on Islamic finance — in one year — at
acquired a new nickname — R.F. or “Rif” which conference. In less than 70 days on May 18th, 800-year-old Oxford University’s Said School
was short for “Rocket Fuel.” Baldwin’s busi- this conference was held under the patron- of Business.
ness was so robust that he was named a Top age of the Minister of Finance and attracted
40 Investment Banker Under 40 by Investment American investment managers who oversee Baldwin is now completing a new fund, which
Dealers Digest in 2006. over $500 billion to Qatar. The conference also has the three top finance professors from
featured preeminent British investment banker, Harvard, Wharton and Oxford. The initial
Although they were financially good times Lord Jacob Rothschild, as a speaker along with investor is one of the 50 wealthiest families
as Baldwin’s deal velocity and presence prominent U.S. plans sponsors and all of the in the world and will seed more than $300
drew national attention in other media maga- Qatari Sovereign funds, banks and insurance million. Baldwin is tight-lipped about the alter-
zines along with a 2006 ad campaign for the companies. The conference was covered by native investment strategy and further details
BlackBerry wireless handheld device in which CNBC and seen as a great success. stating only that it will utilize his considerable
he became the national financial spokesperson rolodexes and investment banking acumen.
complete with full page ads in Fortune, Forbes, “In my mind, I essentially had received a com- When we pressed him for details we were
Businessweek and an online video commercial mand by the Emir to perform,” says Baldwin. “I greeted with a smile and “Stay tuned.” With
to boot. Baldwin also stated that he drew a fair decided that sole focus on U.S. capital markets Baldwin we can be sure that whatever strat-
share of critics who were unhappy with what was a potential liability -- in my view it was evi- egy CMG follows its’ trajectory will require
they saw as his “excessive” coverage -- a point dent that the Middle East was flush with cash lots of fuel. nv

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