at·las merchant cap·i·tal; noun, a small, nimble, private institution with capability to invest, guide and drive assets, leveraging proven experience of bringing vision, talent, technology and execution to the financial services marketplace
In a world of change, we find opportunity. Atlas Merchant Capital focuses on investing in the financial services industry, particularly in areas of growth and opportunity and in areas in which we bring a competitive advantage. The financial services industry has seen increasing regulation and market fragmentation, each of which has contributed to an attractive supply of assets and businesses.
We have built a cohesive team of investment professionals with extensive and complementary operating and investing expertise uniquely positioned to supply leadership and capital to attractive investment opportunities. Our business will not only invest wisely, but guide and drive our partnerships to new heights.
Atlas holds a significant advantage in identifying investment opportunities and generating proprietary deal flow due to its extensive network in the financial services industry. Atlas will use its experience in the industry to creatively and flexibly structure transactions that minimize financial risk while maximizing financial returns.
Atlas Merchant Capital’s Global Markets business focuses primarily on the financial services sector in the developed world (US, Canada, Western Europe and Japan). The fund’s primary area of expertise is in capital-intense businesses that are often overlooked or out of favor with traditional private equity.
The firm and its partners take an active approach to all aspects of their business, namely: diligencing, investing, guiding operating efficiencies, and driving investor returns.
We believe that our focused strategy and our partners’ deep experience in buying, managing and selling companies, gives us an advantage in an area where such an advantage is extremely unique.
Among emerging markets, Africa, and in particular sub-Saharan Africa (“SSA”), has demonstrated sustained strong growth since the mid-1990s* (source: IMF Banking in SSA 2013), which has been driven by several fundamental factors including improved macroeconomic policies, trade and regulatory reforms, favorable commodity price trends, new resource discoveries, relatively strong fiscal position and improved political stability. According to the IMF, this strong growth will continue, with Real GDP growth of more than 5% annually through 2018, outpacing global growth of 2-4% annually (source: IMF World Economic Outlook 2013).
Bob Diamond is Founder and CEO of Atlas Merchant Capital and a Director of Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Ltd. Mr. Diamond was previously Chief Executive of Barclays PLC (“Barclays”), and prior to that CEO of Barclays Capital, where he built the investment bank, and Barclays Global Investors, the asset management division of Barclays. Mr. Diamond also oversaw the integration of Barclays and ABSA’s African business across nine countries in Africa under one brand, and launched the pan-African corporate and investment bank, ABSA Capital. In 2009 ABSA Bank was recognized as “the most innovative bank in Africa”. Prior to that he worked at Morgan Stanley for over ten years.
Mr. Diamond is currently a Life Member of The Council on Foreign Relations, and is involved in several non-profit initiatives. He is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Colby College, a Trustee of The Mayor’s Fund for London, Co-Chairman and President of the New York Chapter of Invest Africa and a Director of the Diamond Family Foundation, which received the “Princeton in Africa Award” in November 2013.
Mr. Diamond holds a B.A. in Economics from Colby College and an MBA from the University of Connecticut, where he ranked first in his class (1977). He was awarded Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Connecticut and Doctor of Laws from Colby College.
David Schamis is a Founding Partner at Atlas Merchant Capital. Prior to joining Atlas in January 2014, Mr. Schamis was a Managing Director and member of the five-person Management Committee of J.C. Flowers & Co. LLC (“J.C. Flowers”), a private equity firm that invests solely in the financial services sector. J.C. Flowers currently has $9 billion in assets under management. Mr. Schamis joined J.C. Flowers in 2000 and was the first employee hired. Prior to J.C. Flowers, Mr. Schamis worked in the financial institutions investment banking group at Salomon Smith Barney LLC from 1995 to 2000.
Mr. Schamis is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Affirmative Insurance Holdings, Inc. and was previously Chairman of the Board of Directors of Fox-Pitt Kelton and Ascensus Retirement Services (formerly Crump Group, Inc.). He also served on the Board of Directors for Symetra Financial Corporation and MF Global Ltd. In 2007 and 2008, Investment Dealers’ Digest magazine named Mr. Schamis to its “40 Under 40” list.
Mr. Schamis holds a B.A. in Economics from Yale University and served as co-Chairman of the Reunion Gift Committees in 2005 and 2010.
Jeffrey Sonnenfeld is Senior Associate Dean for Executive Programs and Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management at Yale School of Management where he has taught since 1999. Before joining Yale, he taught for ten years as a professor at the Harvard Business School and nine years as a professor at Emory University's Goizueta Business School. Sonnenfeld is the founder of Chief Executive Leadership Institute, a non-profit educational and research institute focused on CEO leadership and corporate governance, and the world's first school for chief executives. Sonnenfeld has served on the editorial boards of several journals, and his professional activities also include membership on various non-profit organization and public company boards. Sonnenfeld was listed by Business Week as one of the “ten B-school professors who are influencing contemporary business thinking” and one of the “100 most influential players in corporate governance” by National Association of Corporate Director’s Directorship.
Larry Summers is President Emeritus of Harvard University. During the past two decades he has served in a series of senior policy positions, including Vice President of development economics and chief economist of the World Bank, Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, Director of the National Economic Council for the Obama Administration from 2009 to 2011, and 71st Secretary of the Treasury for President Clinton from 1999 to 2001. He received a bachelor’s of science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1975 and was awarded a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1982. In 1983, he became one of the youngest individuals in recent history to be named as a tenured member of the Harvard University faculty. In 1993, he was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal, given every two years to the outstanding American economist under the age of 40. He is currently the Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University.
Ambassador Louis Susman is an American lawyer, retired investment banker, and the former United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Prior to his appointment, Susman was the managing director and vice chairman of Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking. He practiced law for 27 years and was a senior partner at the St. Louis-based law firm of Thompson & Mitchell, focusing on mergers and acquisitions and general corporate law. Susman was appointed to the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy in 1988, and served as a director of the Center for National Policy in Washington, D.C. He retired in 2009 as vice chairman of Citigroup Global Markets in Chicago. Susman is a member of the Secretary of State's Foreign Affairs Policy Board. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and earned his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis.
The Diamond Family Foundation (“DFF”) is a not-for-profit organization that is privately funded by Bob Diamond and his family; the foundation is led by his wife, Jennifer Diamond, who is President of DFF. DFF’s principal purpose is to make grants to organizations that provide access to outstanding educational opportunities for those who lack access in the US, UK, and Sub-Saharan Africa. DFF has a special focus on Africa, and supports organizations that span multiple countries on the continent. DFF supports these organizations because of their efforts in working to end the cycles of illiteracy, poverty, hunger, disease, and child labor that plague some in Africa. Additionally, DFF supports organizations whose missions are to strengthen African governments’ capacity to deliver effective programs to the people through public services, infrastructure development, and job creation, and to promote strong political leadership.
Atlas Merchant Capital LLC
135 E 57th Street, Floor 25
New York, NY 10022
Atlas Merchant Capital focuses on investing in the financial services industry, particularly in areas of growth and opportunity and in areas in which we bring a competitive advantage. The financial services industry has seen increasing regulation and market fragmentation, each of which has contributed to an attractive supply of assets and businesses.