Ali Reza Erfan, a longtime friend and advisor to Mr. Kaplan and his affiliated companies, is a partner in the investment team of 3i, one of the oldest and largest venture capital groups in Europe. Having joined 3i in September 2000, Mr. Erfan became Group Marketing Director in 2002 and then a partner in the venture capital team in 2004. His investment focus is early stage opportunities where he takes a particular interest in "clean technologies". Currently he sits on the board of Udex as well as working closely with several additional 3i portfolio companies that have international expansion as a core part of their strategy.
In the ten years prior to this, Mr. Erfan established three different businesses: a film production company making documentary films that sold in over 20 countries; a fashion design company based in New York that he subsequently sold to a trade buyer; and a software-based risk management company that pioneered risk management technology, sold its products and services to over 100 Fortune 500 companies, and was also sold to trade buyers.
Before this, Ali worked as a financial and strategy consultant for Arthur Andersen, RSM Robson Rhodes and the Kalchas Group, a strategy consultancy that was spun off from McKinsey and Bain. He has also been a featured speaker on the BBC World Service on the subject of starting and growing businesses. Mr. Erfan has an M.B.A. from the London Business School, and a B.A. degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University.