What could be preferable to working on the trading floor of a leading global investment bank? Perhaps establishing a business based on your family’s occupation, especially when that occupation deals with diamonds.
That’s what Ali Khalil has done. Khalil, a former Goldman Sachs executive director (ED) and co-head of central bank and sovereign wealth fund fixed income coverage in EMEA, just quit the firm after three years to found Levuma, a diamond manufacturing and trading company headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium.
Levuma traces back its roots to the early 1930s when Khalil’s great-grandfather and other family members began trading rough diamonds in Sierra Leone. Khalil is the chief executive officer of the company, which also offers investors tailor-made solutions to add diamonds to their portfolio through an actively traded fund structure.
A finance major from Solvay Business School and HEC Montreal, Khalil began his career with Morgan Stanley as an associate in London in 2008 before moving to J. P. Morgan four years later as a vice president. He spent two and a half years at J. P. Morgan dealing with Middle Eastern and North African Central Banks (CB), Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF), Ministries of Finance, banks, and insurers and asset managers in fixed income and commodities before joining Goldman in 2014.
While pursuing his masters, Khalil worked at diamond manufacturing and trading firm M.Suresh Co. in 2007. He was based out of Johannesburg, South Africa and worked in rough and polished diamond valuation and trading for over a year.
Khalil ‘s exit from Goldman comes after the bank paid its bonuses for 2017 in the past few weeks. It also comes after Goldman announced a round of managing director promotions before Christmas. The next opportunity for executive directors like Khalil to make MD will come in 2019.
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