Riaz Siddiqi is the Chairman of FLC. He is one of the Founders and Managing Partner Emeritus of Denham Capital, a $10B private equity company. He has around 40 years of experience in the energy and asset management fields. Currently, he serves as Chairman of Clovis Point Capital, a PE firm investing in software and tech-enabled service companies, an Advisor to Blue Bear Capital, a VC firm focused on energy tech investments, and Chairman of Epochal Technologies, a big data analytics firm focused on developing ethically derived databases of American consumers. Riaz also serves as Chairman of the Board of the American Pakistan Foundation and is also a member of the Board of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution. He is a member of BENS, Business Executives for National Security, an organization of private sector leaders that offer their expertise pro bono to the U.S Government on National Security matters. Riaz is also a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight, Pilots for Patients, and Veterans Airlift Command and is a recipient of the Asia Society Houston Center’s award for leadership in business and philanthropy. He is also a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Interfaith Ministry of Greater Houston.
Farooq Cheema is General Partner of FLC. He is an experienced entrepreneur and an accomplished operating executive. He owns and runs multiple businesses including a fast-growing produce distribution company in California that buys and transports produce to customers across the East Coast and Midwest. The company has exceptional profit margins, great relationships with farmers, buyers and brokers, and is growing 200% annually. Farooq successfully launched, grew and sold a regional tutoring company with over 200 employees. He has 5 process-oriented patents and has deep experience in how to design business systems and structures to scale growth. He currently serves on the Board of OPEN DC, a business association focused on fostering entrepreneurship in the DC Metro area. He earned his undergraduate degree at Purdue University in Electrical Engineering, and his MBA at the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.
General Partner and CEO
Aakif Ahmad is General Partner and CEO of FLC. He is an entrepreneur and investor with 20+ years of professional experience leading sales teams and growing businesses. He runs three businesses, one focused on recruiting, one on lead generation and outsourced sales & marketing, and a restaurant. He is President of OPEN DC a premier Washington DC area business association of CEOs, business owners, entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate professionals. From 1996 to 2008, Aakif worked at the Corporate Executive Board (now part of Gartner Group) where he was Managing Director and led B2B sales & marketing teams that collectively generated over $100M in revenue over, and more than 4,000 new clients across North America and Europe. Aakif also is co-founder of Convergence, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit that focuses on mediating actionable policy agreements among influential and diverse leaders on national policy issues.
Ehtisham Arshad is Sr. Analyst at Forest Light Capital. As Sr. Associate, Ehtisham works alongside the business executive team to manage strategic initiatives and operational rhythm of the business, launch and scale new cross-functional programs, and develop leadership communications and company narratives. Ehtisham is currently managing the overall acquisitions of Multi-Million Dollar Firms to the portfolio of FLC and is also managing day to day operations of the companies in the portfolio Ehtisham started his career as an associate recruiter in the Business Operations team Mclean Intelligent Workforce and soon transitioned to Sr. Lead Recruiter where he filled multiple positions with Fed-Sync having requirements ranging from TS/SCI (Top Secret Clearance with SCI) to Full Scope Polygraph within the deadlines he communicated with the client. As Sr. Lead Recruiter and Advisor to Managing Director he advised on growth strategies for customers and enterprise product offerings, as well as customer service operations to DOD & Fed-Sync Community. Prior to Joining Mclean Intelligent Workforce which is one of the companies in the portfolio of Forest Light Capital, Ehtisham was a Fraud Detection Analyst at Muslim Commercial Bank in Karachi. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Iqra University.
Benjamin Fersh brings with him knowledge and a diverse skill set acquired through experience in many different industries. He has previously worked for a major national law firm’s Washington DC office, in the non-profit sector, as well as in the retail and service industries. He also worked for former Senator Harris Wofford, and interned in the Executive Office Building for the Office of Management and Budget. He attended Florida International University, majoring in Finance, and then went on to Law School at George Washington University.
Mateen is currently working as a business analyst with a team of executives to work through the acquisition of a multi-million dollar business. In addition to looking after day-to-day operations of the base office. Mateen started his career in the aviation industry as a customer services agent proceeding with acquiring mass and balance licenses and traveling on board as a crew member. In his tenure of working at Shaheen Airline as an operational manager, he has gained hands-on experience in resolving day-to-day strategic matters that directly had an influence on the revenues of the company. Prior to joining FLC, he was working as administration & HR manager for an independent power plant. He has done his bachelor's degree in aviation and is currently
pursuing Masters in Business Administration
Anaya is the Junior Analyst at Forest Light Capital. Along with that she’s a housewife plus a mom now. She is multi-tasking and thus works remotely for FLC. With her strong analytical and research skills she sources business acquisitions meeting our dynamics and criteria. She participates in team project planning and represents the business on project teams. She is involved in documentation, email communication with the brokers and maintaining dashboards.
Anaya started her career with Market Research assignments at Zaphyre and soon built up a team of 5 people under her. She recruited, trained and managed all the associates and got promoted to Market Research Manager. She increased the team to 9 associates. After a year she transitioned to Sr. Market Research Manager and she trained and transferred her skills to one of the associates to step up and lead the team. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from IBA.
Shayan is currently working in the Investor Relations Department of FLC. He completed his Bachelors in Media Sciences from Iqra University during which completed 2 internships as a Graphic Designer in Advertising agencies. Shayan worked as a Junior Account Manager at BullsEye Communications and managed National level accounts like Careem and K-Electric. Shayan started his journey in sales by joining Mclean Intelligent Workforce as a Sales Associate Intern which allowed him to visit the US on an Exchange Visitor Program sponsored by the company. Shayan got exposed to the US work culture by working under the direct supervision of founders Aakif Ahmad and Farooq Cheema as founders of MIW. Shayan moved up the ranks to Account Executive and then became a Chief of Staff to the CEO. During his stay in the US, Shayan also gained voluntary experience by being a part of the Executive Committee of OPEN DC, a premier Washington DC area business association of CEOs, business owners, entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate professionals. After completing the one year US Internship, Shayan worked remotely from home country for a sister company, Zaphyre, to lead sales teams and managers in order to provide appointment setting and prospect list building services. Shayan was responsible for managing 15 clients day to day today and was a bridge between the clients and the company.
Kate Smith began her career working in one of the four largest international accounting firms worldwide, focusing on tax compliance, accounting, and auditing. Following that, she successfully partnered with domestic and international companies as well as publicly-held multinational, billion-dollar corporations. Opening her own firm in 2017 allowed Ms. Smith the opportunity to bring her aptitude for large, corporate financial strategizing to mid-sized businesses. As a certified public accountant (CPA) and certified tax planner (CTP), her background cultivated a strong foundation in strategic tax minimization, tax compliance, and financial reporting. Ms. Smith then directed her skills with creating unique strategies for businesses, their owners, and high net worth individuals. Her years of training and experience give her firm’s clients the benefit of extensive knowledge on a range of issues. She applies these every day, unearthing all opportunities for strategic tax & risk minimization and wealth- building.
Habeeb is a Corporate and Securities Attorney working in the Blockchain and startup/private company space. Speak on panels on, and organize events and international conferences around blockchain. Background in startups, M&A, securities and tax law, drafting and negotiating contracts, fund formation, financings, and blockchain. Also intimately involved in the emerging company/startup space: serving as a KIC (Korean Innovation Center) Global Mentor, establishing a D.C. area accelerator, and organizing pitch competitions. He also possesses
solid venture management experience through Wonthaler Venture Partners, a joint venture of BJ Kang Law and an experienced venture management professional, wherein we acquire equity interests in clients and grow our portfolio value by helping them obtain financing and key relationships. Habeeb worked with the Tax Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California and as a solo-practitioner. Habeeb earned his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law (2013) and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science and International Relations with a Minor in Middle East Studies from the University of California San Diego (2010). Habeeb speaks fluent Hindi and Urdu and is proficient in Arabic and Spanish.